Slurring vs Tonguing in Playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mark_Kindy, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    I found that breath attacks, followed by barely tonguing progressively evolving to more aggressive tonguing helps me on that. The tongue should be as light as possible. Whenever I work on difficult (for me!) articulations, I try to cover all the spectrum between sharp attacks and totally slurred, then try to gravitate where the piece should be. Overall, I must say I find it easier to tongue lightly with multiple tonguing than single, although everything gets more difficult around Bb above the staff. I sincerely think that this is one of these things that holds many yet-to-discover dimensions one can only uncover with lots of practice.
  2. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    I do this too and I think it's a great thing. If you always practice your multiple tonguing with the same amount of separation between the notes you won't be as prepared if a piece calls for, say, slightly more legato tonguing.
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    It would really depend on how Mark is currently sounding when he single tongues in the different registers. A good general way to play is to keep the air moving forward so that when the tongue does make it's very slight interruption there's is no disturbance of the air column. This way the sound will be as fluid as when one slurs. To achieve this I tell students to practice the mental image of BLOWING THORUGH the horn. The tongue should move instantly. Just a flick with the least amount of tongue movement the better. Keep the tongue relaxed. tongue with the tip of the tongue. Blow thorugh the tongue. The air supports the tongue.

    Is there more to it then this, yes. But this will get you started.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  4. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    I prefer slurring because it gives me impression of sobriety when I play trumpet :) That is when I'm busking of course. Last night I made 2.25$
    coolerdave likes this.
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    then you are a Professional!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    My teacher often has me slur phrases which are giving me difficulty. Slurring helps me put my focus back on air and support, things which are still necessary when playing mixed articulation, but which can sometimes go right into the background (or out the window completely) when your attention is on the tongue. Focus on the air and supporting the entire phrase, and think about how you want it to sound instead of how your tongue is working.
  7. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I think we have a couple of things going on here. There is the tonguing thing which has already been covered pretty well and then there is the suppleness (is that a word?) of the embrouchure. If you have to exagerate the attack to get the note started then the lips could be tight or dry ( chapped lips or just not drinking enough water) .. you also just might be using too much pressure. Robin's "Circle of Breath" has some really great benefits .... fights off tension (hence tight lips) ... improves breath support so in theory you would use less pressure.
    since you said you are having trouble with multiple tonguing in the upper register my gut is you are using too much pressure.
    I am a big proponent of warm downs .... lots has been said about playing more when your chops are toast doesn't help ... but I don't think everyone plays to exhaustion ... (i.e .. you just got done playing lead in a jazz band... chops are tight ... just loosen them up with peddle tones before you put the horn away).
    and I have posted this one quite a bit..but I think pg 125 of the Arban's, played staccatto, is a fantastic exercise ... I start in the middle.. then play the one a half step higher..then the one a half step lower ... with a metronome... tagging every note.
  8. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Thanks Dave, let me comment on this very quickly --
    I'm good on pressure where I begin to have real trouble double tonguing (I mean there's not much at all). The problem there is keeping the tonguing moving, which I suspect is the result of non enough support in my air flow and perhaps stiffening my tongue too much. However, I think there's something to what you're saying -- sometimes a harder attack helps me center in on the note, so perhaps I'm too tight.

    What I've gathered from a few people is the idea of a more supple tongue, which I feel is perhaps closer to the root of my issue, but I'm still working on it, and I appreciate all replies! I'll keep you all updated on what seems to help most
  9. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    In addition, and more specifically about having perhaps too rigid of a tongue :

    I feel that my tongue may be doing tongue arch, but getting too rigid, or causes it to get more rigid in the upper register. I will need to go back and work to relax the tongue in all registers, to have this "fluttering" feel. It seems to me that my tongue is dominating the process, instead of the air working with tongue.
    kingtrumpet likes this.
  10. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I like the Clarke Technical Study not sure which one it is off the top of my head.. 4 or 5 for legatto double tonguing.
    It's the one where you play 16ths across seconds.. goes up to the minor third then the major third then then same thing up a fifth. I found it a real challenge just double tonguing across a major second and centering the tone,
    whatever the one that goes like this is
    ie c-d-c-d c-d-c-d- c-d-c-d- c-d-c-d- c- d- eb- d c- d- Eb-d c - d- eb- d c- d- eb- d
    again I always start in the middle and do one up then the next down ... keeps my chops loose and able to play the entire excercise. You can start each exercise with Robin's circle of breath which also helps.

    Fourth Study
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012

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