Single tonguing and when to double tongue

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by therealnod, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. therealnod

    therealnod Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2014
    I haven't posted my introduction yet, but I plan on it. I've been playing after a 20+ year layoff, and tonguing turned out to be one of the harder things to recover (It's okay now). I can't say for certain, but it seems to me that having worked on it for a few days in a row I can maybe single tongue faster than back in my playing days. Of course then I went to work on double tonguing, and have that nearly ironed out. My question is: at what point do you decide to switch from single tonguing to double tonguing? Only when you can't single tongue the passage fast enough? What if you can comfortably play it either way? I had always assumed that you single tongue it if you can.
  2. 4INer

    4INer Pianissimo User

    Dec 31, 2013
    Personally I almost always will single tongue until it is getting so fast that single tonguing is uncomfortable at which point I will double tongue. I say almost always because phrasing will sometimes dictate otherwise. Triple tonguing on the other had has more to do with the feel of the music (triple vs duple) than of the speed, and since I can't triple tongue as fast as I can double, I will often cheat so to speak and double tongue but alternate the accent. As for improving your double tonging, one of my favorite exercises is to play major and minor scales while tonguing with a k (or g sound if you prefer) with a metronome and gradually increasing the speed. Then play the same exercise while double tonguing. Then I will play interval scales doing the same thing (K sound only and then double tongue). What I mean by interval scales would be (example with a C major scale) C, D, C, E, C, F, C, G, C, A, C, B, C, C, C, B, C, A, C, G.......... etc..... You can do this with any scale in any mode.......... But alway use a metronome......
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Single tongue if you can, but double tongue if it's too fast for single tonguing.
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Do whatever gives you the best sound and articulation. Some people actually use a K tongue more than the T/D.

  5. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    I practice slurs, single tonguing, K-tonguing, double and triple tonguing regularly, challenging myself to mix it up in awkward phrases so that during a performance I can do what VetPscychWars suggested: Do what gets the best results. If you give equal time to all forms and nuances of articulation, you'll be proficient at whatever is asked of you.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The consummate trumpeter needs it all. There are no "rules", what counts is what comes out of the front. It is useful to have a large overlapping area where you can choose for best effect/lowest effort. My students need double tonguing starting at quarter=100 and single tonguing up to quarter=144. Then no questions are asked, we simply listen.

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