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. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    If the offending speculation was mine, I apologize. I have admired Rafael Mendez's playing my entire life and have spent an ungodly amount of money on his transcriptions and his recordings, and countless hours enjoying both. In guessing at what technique he might have employed in a recording, I was always conscious of his phenomenal abilities and did not intend to suggest he might have chosen a technique for anything other than solid musical reasons. While he could single-tongue circles around just about anyone else triple-tonguing, I know that he could double- or triple-tongue as well as anyone I ever heard. He came as close to the trumpet equivalent of being able to walk on water as anyone has.
  2. dameyn

    dameyn New Friend

    Jan 8, 2008
    Fredericksburg VA
    As an old, OLD cornet player re-learning it all after a 50 year siesta, here's another little benefit to double tonguing. My teacher (a jazz and big band player of note) has me doing it to correct my tendency to let my tongue go between my teeth, thickening the attack when single tonguing. It actually is working. If you live in the Fredericksburg, VA (USA) area, look him up - he's great and he's cheap: Marc Weigel at Roberson's Music.
  3. amanitas

    amanitas New Friend

    Apr 5, 2009
    Culver City
    In short,


    In long,

    Yes, but probably less if you aren't doing orchestral music. That said, even in pop and jazz someone is sooner or later going to ask you to do it, so you should probably know how. Let's be honest, what the hell is a trumpet good for if not for fanfares?
  4. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    I couldn't really multiple tongue until my senior year of high school (I didn't start playing until I was 13, and didn't have lessons until college, though). That said, it was clear to me then that I was going to have to figure out how to do it somehow if I wanted to make it. Luckily, I had an Arban's book and lots of determination. Even so, I still spend more time on multiple tonguing in my practice these days than just about anything else.

    If you're serious about being a pro trumpet player, you have to be honest about your shortcomings and start chipping away at them with sustained, disciplined effort. This is way more essential to success than talent.

    Of course, if you're not trying to become a pro - do whatever you want! :lol:
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
    MJ likes this.
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Mendez did not think much of his ability to single tongue. He was most proud of his recording of the Arban's single tonguing exercises and felt the exercises were more difficult than his solos.
    His father taught him to double tongue at a very early age and the result was his double tongue was so mind-bogglingly great, it very often sounds like a single tongue. (Another trumpet site has a Mendez forum moderated by the great player/teacher David Hickman who is an authority on Mendez. That is where the information in the first paragraph comes from).
    In my opinion and experience in the Chicagoland area, every competent trumpet player I know can single, double, and triple tongue to at least an adequate level. Tonguing is a fundamental, just like tone, reasonable range, and technique.
    Rich Tomasek
  6. Cleveland600 1974

    Cleveland600 1974 New Friend

    Apr 27, 2009
    Houston TX
    A competent pro has the basic skills mastered and the ability to double/triple tongue is a basic skill. Yes it is a PAIN IN THE ASS to learn but if gotta do it, especially if you going to be doing any orchestra work. Yes some guys can get away with single tonguing--MOST can not so don't handicap yourself by possibly losing a chair, a competition, or a JOB because of lacking an essential tool.
  7. artiep2

    artiep2 New Friend

    Jan 12, 2009
    there isn't an orchestral player on the planet who can play the repertoire without being able to double and triple tongue. Get another teacher, if he can't multiple tongue he isn't worth his salt as a teacher and will limit you as a player.
  8. davidelf

    davidelf New Friend

    Dec 7, 2006
    I'm a comeback player who could not multiple tongue in high school but have no problem with it now. There a few things that helped me get past this block:

    1. I realized that I learn things better based on feel and that if I thought too much about what the tongue was doing, syllables and such I got tongue tied and nothing worked.
    2. I heard Mendez talking about how he learned to double tongue on a youtube video and he recommended starting with a flutter tongue to get the feel of it and then slowing that down.
    3. My teacher talks about letting the tongue ride on the airstream and this sort of clicked for me as well.

    Once I got the feel for it, it hasn't been a problem. Hope this helps.

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