Going Mad!!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ejaime23, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. ejaime23

    ejaime23 Pianissimo User

    Jul 27, 2007
    Howdy Mr. Hooten, so I've been working on my triple tonguing pretty intensely for quite some time (about three years consistently now), and although I've seen much improvement, I'm still really behind from where I should be (going into my last year as an undergrad). My double tonguing I feel is fine, and I feel confident that if I ever have to play an orchestra part like Mahler 7 or Also Sprach I'll survive, but put Ravel's Alborada del Grazioso in front of me and I'm TOAST!! My first question is, have you ever met any orchestral players that were devoid a specific skill, and of course the second question, after much perseverance with little results, what now? I appreciate the responses, thanks!
  2. thomashooten

    thomashooten Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2005

    At first I was going to give some general response in regards to tonguing....but lets take a little different approach.

    Describe your work on tonguing
    Single Tongue
    Double Tongue
    Triple Tongue
    "k" or "q" tongue

    Tell me how you work on those
    also explain what you mean by consistent and intense

  3. ejaime23

    ejaime23 Pianissimo User

    Jul 27, 2007
    Okey doke, my tonguing plan of attack is as follows:

    2 minutes of 16th notes on "T" attack at 80bpm
    2 minutes of 16th notes on "K" attack at 80bpm
    First 5 pages of Arban triple tongue exercises at 96bpm
    First 3 pages of Arban double tongue exercises at 162bpm
    Williams Method of Scales with "variations" of tonguing

    That about covers it, I'll occasionally use Clarke in variation form, but all the above usually takes close to 20 minutes, this has been an everyday part of my routine for about three years, although that first year I wasn't really able to get the triplets up to 96, so I guess the tempo markings are as of two or so years. Thanks!
  4. thomashooten

    thomashooten Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2005

    For the most part, I think you have a good approach.
    I would suggest being a little more focused on the target area of multiple tonguing that you want to get better at. As you probably know, it helps to have your single Tongue and KT fairly loose and free in order to speed up your multiple tonguing in general.

    Since you mention Alborado as a trouble excerpt, I'll use it as an example on how to get more specific in your approach

    First thing I would do is make sure you can multiple tongue VERY legato for the amount of time you need to tongue the Alborado excerpt (at least 2 bars of 6\8). I would say, so legato its just a hint of triple tonguing. Don't even worry about being clear at this point.
    You want to make sure the air is there while tonguing and that you can stay loose while playing this excerpt. If this is hard at first, break it up into sections of tonguing versus sustained notes. (one 1\8 beat of tonguing in 6\8 then play 1\8 note, 1\8 note, one beat of tonguing 1\8 note 1\8 note. So now you are only playing 2 actual beats of tonguing per bar while still confirming the air support on the other beats. Remember sustained and legato on all notes. Continue this formula until you have all the beats covered.
    You can work on this excerpt a couple of different ways.
    1) Mentioned above
    2) practice short bursts of multiple tonguing, and single tonguing with a metronome as fast as you can.

    Now for the disclaimer :)
    I've never heard you and you still should go play for someone that is really good at this.

    One last thing.

    Remember that what you were doing for the last couple of years probably did work. You did get better! You made a commitment to an area of your playing that needed work and you made progress.
    One of my favorite sayings is "What got you to where you are isn't necessarily going to get you where your going"
    Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  5. ejaime23

    ejaime23 Pianissimo User

    Jul 27, 2007
    Thanks!! I find the initial problem when triple tonguing to be the first 'TT' of the 'TTK' pattern, I'll definitely work on this approach, thanks again!
  6. Hags888

    Hags888 Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2006
    Corpus Christi, TX
    If you've spend 3 years working and working on the "TTK" triple tongue pattern and it isn't working, you might consider a couple of other approaches. The first is a "TKT" pattern. In the end, when you line up the two, the pattern is the same, but how it is started and where the "K" ends up in the triplet is the only difference. (TKT, TKT, it still has "TTK", but it's off set by a syllable). And when you are playing something fast, no one can really tell the difference anyway. For whatever reason I learned TKT, and I have never encountered any situation where TTK was more preferrable. If anything, TKT has come in more handy for strange mutliple tonguing passages, like the 5-tuplet in L'Histoire.

    The other approach is one that I think Dave Hickman advocates and that is to keep the double tonguing syllable the same. So, when you have a triplet, instead of "TTK, TTK, TTK" (or TKT, TKT, TKT), you just do: "TKT, KTK, TKT". This way you only have to learn one set of multiple tonguing syllables regardless of whether you are "double" or "triple" tonguing. And eventually when you get down to it, Hickman's method will allow you go faster.

    I don't know if that will help or hinder you at this point, but there are certainly alternatives to the method Arban prescribed almost 140 years ago.
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Another way of putting this, and it is counterintuative as all get out, is to relax the tongue, letting it "melt" in the mouth. Sometimes, we'll tense the tongue up, thinking "stronger=faster" and end up hitting a wall. Try letting your tongue flop around as it will, and just articulate. It might work, and it sure beats practicing more!
    Good luck, and have fun!
  8. trumpethack

    trumpethack Pianissimo User

    Jun 1, 2006
    I would try to get your single tonguing faster. A minute of T tonguing at 80 is good, to start... but, then bump it up!

    Great single tonguing is the real key to fast triple tonguing (once you can comfortably 'k' tongue). Since there are 2 T's next to each other, obviously the faster you can single tongue the faster you will be able to triple tongue.

    You should be able to single tongue at least at 100 very comfortably...

    A really good fast single tongue will improve all areas of playing in general too...

    I'd move on to some of the harder triple tonguing exercises in the Arban's too... The first five pages are good for getting down the ability to triple tongue, but keep going, you aren't going to develop speed by just doing those 5 pages over and over again... I bet if you really work through the whole section in the book that when you go back to the first 5 pages you will be able to go much faster without even realizing you are...

    Also triple tongue Clarke 7th study...

  9. ejaime23

    ejaime23 Pianissimo User

    Jul 27, 2007
    My only argument there is that it doesn't really make sense to me to go on if I'm not able to do the first studies cleanly. I could be wrong, it's obviously not producing the results I'd like so it can't hurt right??? In any case, thanks for all the great responses!
  10. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Have you tried tonguing without the mouthpiece? I have practiced saying/singing the triple staccato since childhood. i am told that this is the way Mendez practiced. I can do this anytime, anyplace as long as I don't add sound to the act of tonguing.
    I practice the whole "Alborada" lick, I add the second trumpet notes like the piano version. It would be good to know how the piano version sounds.
    This works for me.

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