Serious tonguing issues

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Xenojoe, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Xenojoe

    Xenojoe New Friend

    Jan 5, 2010
    Hi I have been playing trumpet for a good while now and I cannot tongue fast in the slightest. Ihave very good range on the trumpet but my tonguing issues are really letting me down.
    My trumpet teacher doesnt quite grasp what I am saying but Im sure most of you Trumpet Master folks will.
    I tongue unlike most on the pallet of my mouth and my trumpet teacher says there is no problem with this I should be still able to tongue as fast as I want. However all trumpet players I see play tongue between the gap their lips make with the mouthpiece (I know its not the correct vocabulary). Ive tried to tongue this way but canĀ“t. Any feedback would be great.
    Hope I didnt make a fool of myself:-(
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Hi Xenojoe -
    I am not the best one to answer as I am still trying to relearn after 35 years of not playing but I will give it a shot. If you look at typical instructions for double-tonguing, you will see the syllables written as 'Tu' and 'Ku'. The 'Tu' sound comes from using the tip of the tongue to stop the air through the aperture (the gap in the lips) while the 'Ku' sound comes from closing the air with the tongue against the roof of the mouth. It seems that you are using the 'Ku' part as your regular tonguing rather than the 'Tu' sound. Has your teacher had you try double tonguing? If you could learn to alternate the 'Tu' and 'Ku' sound, perhaps you could then pick up the 'Tu' sound for single-tonguing. I agree that trying to single tongue with 'Ku' would be harder as you have more mass of the tongue tissue to accelerate. Another approach would be to try to learn flutter-tonguing which involves the use of the tip of the tongue. I am curious to see how this comes out for you.
  3. Xenojoe

    Xenojoe New Friend

    Jan 5, 2010
    I can flutter tongue but still cant tongue fast
  4. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    The only time I tongue at my aperture is when I want a staccato attack on the note. Normally I tongue behind my front top teeth. This gives me smoother attacks. ComeBackKid makes a good point with the double tonguing "KU" sound.
    Good Luck
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Tonguing fast requires good breath support. Like I have posted hundreds of times, we need to be able to get the sound going WITHOUT the tongue. Once that works, we add a very light tongue, just enough to make the beginning of the tone sharp.

    A slow clumsy tongue is just working too hard. Reduce the hammer blow of every attack and your tongue will have a chance to speed up.
  6. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Unless all of your chops are working - you won't be able tongue fast.
    Work gradually up, never sacrificing quality while using something like clarke to gradually tick up on a metronome your speed. START SLOW
  7. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    learn double and triple thats wha t Idid
  8. WGing

    WGing New Friend

    Dec 15, 2009
    What always helped me was double tonguing while I just walk around without my trumpet. Thats what my past instructor said and taught me how to double tongue.
  9. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    How can you say this: "However all trumpet players I see play tongue between the gap their lips make with the mouthpiece" -- how can you see where they tongue when they're playing?

    In my experience, very few trumpet players tongue with their tongues between the gap in their lips. Watch the online videos by Allen Vizzutti and Eric Bolvin and I think you'll find that most trumpet players tongue just as they say the letter T -- with the tongue against the hard palette, just behind the upper front teeth.

    Think of your tongue as the firing pin of a machine gun -- and also think only of using the tip of your tongue, not moving the whole muscle, which is way too big for quick, delicate articulations.

    And take Rowuk's advice -- get your trumpet sound in good shape without using the tongue at all, and then it becomes a simple matter to concentrate on introducing the tongue into the process.
  10. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    I officially learned how to double tongue for the first time ever... I had always heard about double / triple tonguing, and of course the saying Tu Ku Tu Ku for double tonguing which of course you don't actually do ?? but more the case that the tongue is either at the top of the mouth or bottom of the mouth when you tongue the notes.

    Granted my instructor said it might take weeks, months, years? to master double / triple tonguing but from my 5-10 minutes working on it in a lesson I was able to double tongue with now my only issue is that my double tonguing is probably half or a 1/4 as fast as single tonguing...

    Not quite sure how you speed it up so that it gets to the 'gatlin gun' sound of shooting out the notes. I assume this like anything just takes time and practice but if there are some useful suggestions I would like to hear from others.

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