Should I change my tonguing technique before it's too late?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hamandcheese, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. hamandcheese

    hamandcheese New Friend

    Oct 29, 2015
    I've coming back after ~10 years off as I've mentioned in a few other posts and am desperate to do things right from the get go rather than fix bad habits after they've been ingrained in my muscles.

    That being said, I was doing some practicing (simple tunes after some Clarke) and got to focusing on how I tongue. I realized I don't use the "too" or "doo", where my tongue would hit near where the back of my top teeth and gums meet, as many people say you should. Instead I tongue by putting my tongue into the space my lips make sort of like a plug.

    I'm pretty sure this is how I've always done it since muscle memory took over after picking the horn back up from my hiatus.

    My question is: Would it be worthwhile to work on a "proper" tonguing technique while I'm building up my endurance and other skills or is my current technique something that wont be detrimental to future playing?
  2. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    The way I understand it, you're stopping your air every time you tongue. While this is unavoidable to a point, doing it the correct way will make it much easier and sound better when trying to play legato or connected passages.
  3. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    No question you should work on removing that from your muscle memory, it will never let you tongue cleanly and fast.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    You asked two questions. The answers, in order are "yes" and "no."
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    If you factor in some serious work on double- and triple-tonguing, you may find the changeover happens quite naturally. At least, I found that it helped me a lot this time around.
  6. hamandcheese

    hamandcheese New Friend

    Oct 29, 2015
    I've been focusing a lot on my tonguing technique. It sounds pretty sloppy right now but I can still tell it's improving. Once I finally find a teacher I'm sure things will go smoothly. I'd like to be able to hold a C for more than a few bars without losing all my endurance before then though.

    I've been doing Arban's first studies and Clarke's First and Second studies with some youtube playalongs for practice. Having a piece of music to play makes it MUCH more enjoyable.
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    That is a breathing issue, not necessarily related to your tongue. Go find a good teacher, even a first lesson, just to see how you fit with the teacher. Who-ever you pick, they should be able to point you n the right direction, quickly.

  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I prefer to start with practicing longtones and slurs with NO ATTACK. Then we teach ourselves that the sound is actually quite independent from the attack. Once we get our "exhaling" tones working properly, we add a small bit of articulation to clean up the attack. I observe with weaker players, that the attacks excessively force the lips to fire. The tonguing on those players actually has taken over part of the playing process belonging to proper breath support. This means that you lose twice with poor articulation.

    My take is the first part to better playing and articulation is creating clean tones without articulation. Once the lips can create tones at all volumes and registers without the tongue, we add only enough tongue motion to "articulate".
  9. BachM

    BachM Pianissimo User

    Mar 10, 2015
    North Carolina, USA
    My understanding is that tonguing "correctly" is done by cutting the airflow by a "too", or "doo" fashion, as that is what most teachers use. They likely will also tell you to hit the frontal roof of your mouth or on your top row of teeth.

    Tonguing can be done efficiently in both the "doo" and "too" fashion, and your "air-plug" fashion may be fine, while not as quick or articulated as the other two methods.

    That is my answer and understanding anyways. Best of luck, and remember: play how you want to play, as long as you are having fun... and it sounds good.

    Also, I tend to tongue by hitting my front teeth, works well, sounds well, so all's well.

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