Do you need to be able to double and/or triple tongue to be a competent player?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet-Golfer, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Trumpet-Golfer

    Trumpet-Golfer Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2008
    Liverpool, England
    This would suggest not:-
    At the end of my last lesson I asked my teacher about double/triple tonguing. (My teacher is a Professional Jazz trumpeter in Liverpool who I have seen perform on a number of occasions playing trumpet & Flugelhorn.) His answer surprised me as he told me he only single tongues. He went on to say that he should practice both techniques; however he can comfortably play his repartee single tongued. He also said he played a lot of his pieces Legato.
    As I said I’ve seen him perform and some of his solos are so fast I naturally assumed he was double/triple tonguing.
    He has me work hard on slurring as he says this is critical in building up a strong embouchure.
    I’ve been playing just over three years so I’m no expert, however I thought it would be an interesting discussion point.
  2. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2008
    If you can single tongue everything, then why not? That said, if you're prevented from playing some rep by the inability to double/triple tongue (or anything else, for that matter) then obviously you're going to be at a disadvantage against people who CAN play that rep (either double or single tongued).

    Who's your teacher, out of interest?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  3. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    I'm not a professional nor even my wildest dreams, a jazz trumpeter, but I think that it is necessary to be able to double and triple tongue. For a start you won't be able to play all the wonderful solos in the back of the Arbans but more importantly it sometimes makes sense from an ensemble point of view even if, as an individual, you can single tongue the piece or passage. For me at least it just has a different attack and sounds much better when the whole section is using the same attack. Get a good recording of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th and tell me that doesn't work.


  4. tony h

    tony h Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2008
    If your going to play classical I would say definetly , how and ever , if your serious about the trumpet you should do it anyway it will make you a more rounded player.
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    No you don't need double or triple tonguing to be a competent player if you can single tongue as fast as 2X and 3X , when I was 18 yrs. old and a freshman in college my new trumpet instructor had me play some of Arban's characteristics studies and theme and variations and told me I had the even and cleanest 2X and 3X tongue he ever heard from a student, when I told him I could only single tongue he said he knew some who could single that fast but for only short bursts, not for a full page , he then began pulling music from his library to test me, anyway I did eventually learn 2X and 3X in my mid twenties because I started playing only big band lead and wasn't practicing my single tongue enough, so I didn't have the endurance to play a whole page any more, 2X and 3X tonguing doe's make it easier and will make you a more versatile performer.
  6. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Try single tonguing Scheherazade :-o On the other hand, Donna Lee would sound ridiculous tongued ROFL
    You must have all the tools to do the job.
  7. DarkKnight88

    DarkKnight88 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2008
    Tallahassee/Bradenton, Fl
    Just as Wilmer mentioned above, you need ALL of the tools to do the job. If you've planed on putting more emphasis on jazz, then you might not need it as much. But, I would go ahead and study it anyway (even if you can play the most ridiculous passages single tongued). It will make you a more complete player.
  8. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    It depends. If you are going to play classical music, then yes, because your're going to run into material that simply requires you to be able to do it. To do other types of music, for the most part, no. I would imagine that playing commercial stuff like pit bands and such you might occasionally run into something dicey, but my guess is that a good single tonguing technique would get you by.

  9. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    As you have heard, to be a well rounded trumpet player you need to be able to double and triple tongue. An example and also a good exercise for you is to play Leory Anderson's Bugler's Holiday. It is a classic and an example of use of tongueing techniques.

    Never limit yourself. Learn all the different techiques that are available on the trumpet and you will find yourself a much better player. It will take time, patience and most of practice...lots of practice.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It depends on what you play. If you are a section player in a decent concert band, the minimum requirements are much lower than if you are the soloist up front. Both are competent however.

    2 May 2009
    I thought about this again. You can't be "competent" without advanced tonguing. You can only "get through" without. It is pure BS that Mendez did not double tongue. Any teacher that talks down advanced tonguing is missing something important. With a double tongue, you have another tool for added artistic expression. Those that claim to get away without it, are lying, or have a limited scope of things that they play.

    We are talking about being a COMPETENT PLAYER. A teacher that doesn't have it all, could MAYBE be OK as long as they don't handicap the player. They would still be lacking competence in a critical area of playing and THAT would make a second teacher necessary.
    Last edited: May 2, 2009

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