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. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    The nature of the instrument and an inherent thing in much of the solo literature requires a double and triple tongue. To my mind if you are really striving to be a competent player you need to learn how to do both. For example in my orchestra we are presently doing Petrouchka and if I did not have a double and triple tongue then it would almost be impossible to do at tempo.
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I have NEVER met a player of the symphonic repertoire who could not double and triple tongue. I learned to do this in elementary school.
    It is a must.
  3. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Thanks... no my throat doesn't hurt. I was cautioning begginners I remember the experience I went through. I will get the "GA" closer to the front, thanks for the tip.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  4. Melodious Thunk

    Melodious Thunk Pianissimo User

    Jan 14, 2009
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
    I've heard many time over that most jazz players just single tongue. But as mentioned before... I've also heard that you must be able to double & triple tongue to play classical tunes. So I guess it depends if you want to "pigeon hole" yourself into a certain style or want to be able to do a bit of everything.
  5. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Ok, another suggestion that might help straight and to the point. Another method book that will help is Herbert Clarke's Characteristic Studies by Carl Fisher. It has a whole section on the topic at hand including "Remarks on Tongueing" on page 5. Questions on single tongueing are answered on page 6 followed by exercises, double tongueing on page 8 followed by exercises, and last but not least, triple tongueing on page 11 followed by exercies.

    There you have it. Two method books that I have mentioned in this thread which answered all of your questions and EVEN gives you exercises to develop technique.

    Where do I send my consulting bill? (ha ha...just kidding)
  6. Scooter01

    Scooter01 Pianissimo User

    Mar 31, 2006
    Double, Triple and Single Tonguing are like different sized wrenches. You would expect a good mechanic to have a full set so they can properly repair your car. Imagine if he only had a 1/2" (13mm) socket wrench. Now if you can tongue anything anyone puts in front of you I guarantee you'll never starve. You must attain a level of playing proficiency where you feel you can play anything anyone puts in front of you. Within reason!

    Looking back on many of the "greats" (Harry James, Rafael Mendez, Ziggy Elman, Maynard Ferguson, Al Hirt etc.) they could all multi-tongue with proficiency. This may be the old cornet school mentality based on cornet literature, but all these guys were brought up about the same time and all had similar abilities. Musically they could be worlds apart, but technically they had the same set of tools.

  7. Bulos

    Bulos New Friend

    Mar 15, 2006
    South Fl
    I concentrated on jazz playing for many, many years and would only occassionally open up Arban or Clarke and TRY to play the tonguing studies and could never get anywhere near the metronome markings, in retrospect I wish I had spent more time and gotten it down, I would think it would be a real musically rush to play Scherezade with a fine orchestra. I totally concur wtih WW. Ira Sullivan once said to me "man I got an Arban book and for about 3 weeks I practiced that stuff everyday, when I got on my gig I couldn't play!"
  8. Bulos

    Bulos New Friend

    Mar 15, 2006
    South Fl
    Thanks Wilmer this is very helpfull!
  9. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    I could easily be mistaken, but I believe there were two very, very short downward runs early in the Mendez performance which were double-tongued. I'm basing that solely on the sound of the tonguing. Almost all the rest of it was clearly single-tongued - his choice, but you can bet he long since mastered all tonguing techniques.
    Back to the point: yes. You should learn to double-tongue and triple-tongue, and learn to do it naturally and musically when indicated. Those aren't show-off techniques, just part of what should be in your repertoire. I also learned both before I hit my teens. Like everything else, it just takes some practice. If you're going to try to make a career or even a satisfying hobby out of this trumpet thing, you owe it to yourself, your audiences, and those who hire you or play with you not to show up with deficiencies in your core technical abilities. Would you go to an audition knowing only five scales?
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I find the speculation about a great player like Mendez unworthy. He was an incredible trumpet player and "had it all" (range, technique, sound, musicality). He earned everything that he had and to even question his qualities puts an itch on my moderator ability to delete posts.

    Let's get serious here. It is BRAINLESS to create a myth or lie about this consummate player. For those of you that can't multiple tongue, practice - don't look for excuses why you may be able to get away without it!

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