Is Doubletongue Key to achieving Crisp Singletongue?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I guess I shouldn't count my chickens before they've hatched, but this morning I feel as though I've cracked three old, seemingly chronic problems in one blow. They were:

    1) Until CornyAndy mentioned something last year about the way some people in our region articulate most "k" sounds (at the back of the throat rather than on the hard palate), the art of multiple tonguing was totally lost to me.

    2) I'm sure my single-tonguing didn't sound as bad to an audience as it did to me, but in my head I was mainly hearing "thu-thu-thurr". I probably overcompensated for this with hammer-tonguing.

    3) The sound I've been getting recently feels a lot closer to soprano cornet than trumpet. Not a bad sound by any means, but not what you want for Prince of Denmark's March etc.

    Anyway, a few weeks ago I was given permission by a higher authority (;-)) to start working on tongued notes again after 6 months or so on untongued legato. The doubletonguing in particular has felt really strained as I learnt to cope with this "foreign" k-articulation, worked on making ku match tu, getting the timing even, gaining control of a steady pitch and tone through the articulation, and exiting with a clear "taaaaa" from the "tukutukutukutaaaaa".

    Gradually, I've been working the speed up and eventually started hitting a level where my tongue felt as if it was just bouncing on my palate rather than being driven. When this happened, there was a fair drop in resistance and (as I gained control of the note) a major improvement in tone of not just the short notes, but also the "taaaa" exit.

    It didn't take me long to try to produce the feeling of that bounce on single tongued notes, and lo and behold! I was getting much crisper single notes than I ever remember having coupled with the tone I'd previously only got on untongued notes.

    And it gets even better. I found that altering the degree of 'U' shape across my tongue produced a considerable variation in sound with a more pronounced 'U' giving that brighter more focused 'Prince of Denmark' trumpet brilliance.

    I'm guessing the key factor is learning to get your tongue out of way of the airflow as quickly as possible.

    And all from learning to say 'K' in a new way.

    Very strange!
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    It is counter-intuitive, but as you've discovered, the key to crisp tonguing is a relaxed tongue.
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    That comes from single tonguing playing. It does not have to do with double, triple or flutter tonguing for that matter. These ALL require separate muscle groups to execute. And I do not speak with forked tongue in so stating.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    My tongue is crispiest after a gin an tonic.
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Actually, my tongue is most relaxed with circular breathing.
     
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    My double tonguing has never helped my single. In fact, I'm not a really fast single tonguer, so I have always relied on the double tongue as a crutch.
     
  7. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    double tonguing reveals how heavy your normal single tonguing has been. When you correct that so you TKTKT is better then suddenly your single tonguing has improved.
     
  8. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    Seth, that's something I've been thinking about lately.

    I've started recording myself a few times a week, either playing a song or just exercises to get a feel for what needs improvement, and my tonguing stands out as something that needs work - some thu- and even some very ugly thwuh-sounds when I start a phrase.

    I've also noticed that if I spend a day working on the double and triple tonguing exercises in Arban's, that seems to help clean things up. GM seemed to indicate they are unrelated as far as execution, but maybe, as VB alluded, doing those exercises can help train us to relax the tongue.

    I can only speak from what I've personally experienced, but does that make any sense at all?
     
  9. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Neal, you maybe have gathered from the tone of my posting that I've had something of a revelation experience here.

    GM's view is always worth taking note of. But he has previously made it clear that his method of note production is somewhat individual, (based on the articulation 'phhhworrrrr' or some such), and divorced from my natural turf ;-)

    What you describe rings true, and VBs explanation pushes some good buttons for me at least.
     
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Relaxed and light will get the speed up. Then it's a matter of coordinating your fingers to the speed of the passage (assuming the notes are changing).
     

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