Still having tonguing issues

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

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    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    Hey all I mentioned earlier that I have been having tongue problems. I have what may or may not be called "Heavy tongue". My tongue keeps seazing up on me and I have realized that the air is not blowing as smoothly because of it. In other words, my tongue is getting in the way of my air passage, what can I do? (I need to have this cleared up before a major audition for me coming up soon)

    Any good exercizes or another way to approch tonguing will be greatly appriciated

    thanks in advance
    Eric
     
  2. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

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    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    Tonguing Problems

    While it is difficult to diagnose your specific situation over the internet, I will give you a couple of ideas to think about.

    Tension is your enemy! "Stiff" tonguing usually means that the tongue is not relaxed when striking the note. This tension affects the air flow (which also may be to restricted by the throat) and the audible results are usually not at all satisfactory.

    Hints.....


    simply blow a moderately gentle continuous air stream (no horn) starting with the syllable whoooooooo. (4 -8 slow counts)
    no tension or choking off at the throat.

    Add a very light and quick tongue using the syllable TOH (tow)


    Think of the tongue as a very gentle release valve of the air stream.


    Add light and relaxed tongues in a quarter note rhythm. Keep each one light and relaxed yet quck.


    With the mouthpiece, go through the same process. Keep in mind the breath atteck initially and avoid pressing and adding tension when introducing the tongued notes.


    Add the horn on a medium range note such as 2nd line G or 1st space F.

    Very relaxed and free flowing. The tongue should never stop the air flow but rather simply interupt the flow for an instant. Air flow should never stop at all.

    When playing louder, avoid the tempation to tongue harder with added pressure behind the teeth.


    Good luck....

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, Florida
     
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Baltimore/DC
    Eric, what have you been doing up until now to try to fix this problem?

    When I was in high school I had what I referred to as a "thunder tongue" - I tongued hard and heavy. It improved some while I was still in high school, but the biggest advancements I made with my articulation was during my time with the First US Army Band - I didn't have a car, I didn't have a girlfriend, I was a barracks rat and as a consequence I spent a lot of time working basics, and I would actually split my practice routines to where I would work one aspect of technique per practice session.

    I would practice nothing but articulation on my articulation practice days, and I would create exercises to do. I did a lot of legato tonguing, focusing on consistency and sound and as a result, it also improved my air flow.

    There may not be a designated set of exercises that will best help you and what you may need to do is to just do a lot of it and by doing so, you will naturally find a more efficient way.
     
  4. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

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    Halifax, NS CANADA
    I have tried to fix this problem (but not entirely sure how I am doing it - if that makes any sense). I will keep these comments in mind for sure. I had it once! I guess I am not doing something in my routine that I used to do. I'll get it back I am sure. I think a big problem also stems from not matching up my fingers with my tonguing (and blaming my tongue for it).

    Thanks guys
    Eric

    do you think playing the exercizes in the Arban EVERYDAY would help (multiple tonguing and the lyrical melodies)
     
  5. jcstites

    jcstites Mezzo Forte User

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    Tallahassee, FL
    The one thing that has helped my atriculation the most is consistent practice on it everyday. I wont happen in a month, maybe not for 6 months. It takes time, recently I have become happiER with it, but only after months and months have i been able to see the work pay off.

    Buy the gekker book and go to town everyday. Vary the speed, style and volume. Work on each volume and style at least a little everyday.
     
  6. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Is the tongue too tense? Have you tried flutter tonguing the passage, I find that helps with even air flow and relaxed tongue position. Other than that do what Josh has put out and work on it slowly and relaxed over time.

    If coordination of fingers and tongue is a problem pull out a metronome, I hear that it is important to practice with one.
     
  7. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

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    Halifax, NS CANADA
    You wanna hear a secret? But don't let it out of this thread.....I can't flutter tongue. I growl with the back of my throat when it calls for flutter tonguing. (I honestly can't hear the difference). And it's not like I haven't tried, but I cannot do it for the life of me. (I think it's physically impossible for me). Any tips on practicing flutter tongue?

    Eric
     
  8. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    All I can tell you is that I have known of at least one person that has gotten from where you are at, to where they could do it.

    Flutter tonguing can work as a good diagnostic tool for some things, might be worth your time to learn how to do it.
     
  9. jcstites

    jcstites Mezzo Forte User

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    rrrrrruffles have rrrrridges

    Try and say that rolling your tongue.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Baltimore/DC
    Just a thought and opinion, but when I used to practice articulation, I did VERY basic stuff and it was mostly done as off the cuff exercises that I created rather than actual exercises out of a book.

    To synch up my fingers and my tongue, I played a C scale, up and down, over and over and over, slowly at first, then speeding up, and slowing back down. Then I would switch to another scale just as basic like F and do the same thing, gradually working up the speed and insuring before I increased tempo that everything was still synced, focusing on sound rather than the mechanics of what I was doing. Once I got a basic scale like C or F really locking in, I'd do the exercise with some other scales, adding sharps and flats for more complexity, essentially killing two birds with one stone - scales and articulation.

    For double tonguing, initially, it was even more basic. I would simply blow a G in the staff and start double tonguing it fairly legato, until it really started to "click" and the "Ga" tongue was just as clean as the "Da". To synch up my fingers with my double tonguing, I would do a very basic scale exercise:

    F G A Bb C Bb A G F G A Bb C Bb A G F

    I'd do that over and over and over - slow to fast to slow to fast, pounding the valves, getting the tonguing synched up with the fingers. Gradually, as I got things more and more in focus, I would add other scale patterns.

    Triple tonguing was simply going up and down chromatic scales.

    It was amazing how much these very basic exercises translated directly over to musical passages that required fast single tonguing, or double or triple tonguing. Eventually I got to where I was working in more complex things, but the real progress that enabled me to successfully play exercises out of a book was made with the basic exercises I have described.

    All this talk is making me want to go practice that stuff - stuff that I haven't worked on (and as a result has atrophied) in a LOOOOOONG time. While technically I don't play as well as I once did, there was a time when I was happy with my technique and this is the kind of thing I did to get it there.
     

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