Learning how to double tongue

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mummytuf, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. mummytuf

    mummytuf New Friend

    Aug 8, 2011
    I'm trying to learn how to double tongue and the very first thing my teacher told me was to repeat the following over and over as fast as I can until I get tongue tied, " Ta-ka-ta-ka... "
    This is exactly what I'm doing and I get tongue tied in like a couple of seconds.
    Once I improve on this, what are a several tips I should do the trumpet?
  2. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Oh man, I'm right there with you on double tonguing... had been trying to teach myself for years, my college teacher is starting it with me now. She did say to make sure to keep air moving, it should help. And also its good to keep working on the "ka" syllable until it starts becoming nearly as clear as the "ta". (Applies to similar syllables). Let me know how it goes! Hopefully with practice we'll both get there!

    I'd think that starting a little slower might be helpful to get the evenness between syllables and rhythm as well. Good luck!
  3. andredub

    andredub Pianissimo User

    Oct 16, 2005
    Here is a good exercise that will help. Do 1 minute of double tonguing at a comfortable speed on your mouthpiece. Make sure it is at a tempo where you can go for a minute, or as close as possible, without stopping. Take a break. When you are ready,do 30 seconds as fast as you can, regardless of how even or clean it is. Just get your tongue used to moving at that pace. Take a break again, and finish with another 30 seconds at a nice slow even tempo

    Good luck
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I feel that a lot of teachers and most method books drop the ball on double/triple tonguing. This is something that should be started when one is a beginner and everything still sounds crappy. Once you get a great tone, it is frustrating until the new movement pattern is learned.

    I combine this with scales. I always start with Tu-Ku-Tu-Ku-Tuuuuuuuh going up and Tu-Ku-Tu-Ku for each note going down.

    As the double tongue does not match any syllables commonly used in western languages, we have to learn the new pattern. That takes hundreds to thousands of repetitions.

    Practice very softly. For some, just Ku-ing everything helps, for others not. I generally can sort the students out during lessons. Multiple tonguing belongs in the daily routine!
  5. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Seconding rowuk here and would like to emphasize using the tu-ku instead of ta-ka or ti-ki (like I was first taught). I use the long "U" (too-koo) which I find places my tongue in the best position.
  6. krmanning

    krmanning Pianissimo User

    Apr 18, 2009
    Fayetteville, NC
    I would also suggest working with a metronome as you do these exercises. For me, at least, it has been too easy to become uneven as I ascend the scales. Metronome work has also helped me better coordinate fingers and articulations, although it still eludes me at times.
  7. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    I am a fan of learning to single tongue well with the K tongue.
    Very slowly until it is pretty indistinguishable from your T, then gradually add tempo.
    Then it will be easy to alternate the TKTK (using whatever syllable you like)

    I think students struggle with double tonguing because they are doing it too fast with undeveloped K tongues.
    Slow down... Mendez said the secret of playing fast is learning to play slow!
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Lots of great advice has been given. I wanted to add a "ditto" to this part of rowuk's helpful comments.

    I have a daily 20-minute maintenance routine, which includes 5 minutes of tonguing (legato, staccato, k-tonguing, double tonguing, and triple tonguing). I may do other tonguing exercises, depending on what I'm working on. But I always have the daily maintenance routine.

  9. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    Anchoring the tip of my tongue improved my double tonguing. If you find that you get "tongue tied" :roll: and start making "th th" sounds, you're probably putting the tip of your tongue between your teeth. In that case, you MAY improve by keeping the tip planted behind your lower teeth and using the part of your tongue just behind the tip to tongue. For some, this happens naturally so they never have to think about it. And I guess that somewhere there's someone who can double tongue like a jackhammer with the tip of their tongue, but that guy isn't me.
  10. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    "This is something that should be started when one is a beginner and everything still sounds crappy." I love the honesty. This is also exactly how it felt. The first teacher of my comeback had me start double tonguing right away while I was still trying to relearn the basics from the time when I was a kid. I must say that it was very hard, but an excellent approach as it seems like a very natural thing to do now. I did struggle though.


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