Synchronising Tongue and Fingers

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    One of the objectives I've set myself for the next few months is to be able to double-tongue all my scales cleanly and 'nicely' at some reasonable speed. Let's say semiquavers (sixteenth notes) at around 140 for starters.

    The main challenge I see is perfecting the synchronisation of tonguing and fingering, and would appreciate any helpful pointers for formulating a programme to tackle this.

    I've downloaded a neat little laptop metronome from Download Free Metronome Software for Windows and Windows Mobile and started the ball rolling by practising double-tongued trills (CDCDCDCD, DEDEDEDE, etc). Very awkward at first, especially on the 3rd finger stuff, but at least it seems to be strengthening my 'ku' which needs doing I think.
  2. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    I think you are on the right track, scales, Clarke Technical Studies etc, with gradually increasing tempo with the Metronome. The Metronome usually wins.

    Regards, Stuart.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    My recipe is to build clean patterns at a greatly reduced speed. That means taking everything at half speed and NOT gradually speeding up, rather building the habit and then taking a big step. I have had a lot of success in the past 20 years with students keeping them away from the edge of their limitations.
  4. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi sethoflagos,
    There's more than one way to do this and I think you're on the right track.
    Back in the stone age I learned how to do it by double tonguing the first note of the scale for 8 beats (double tonguing a steady soft single note was a chore!) then the second note for 8 beats and so on all the way up the scale. Then I would do it again but reduce the frequency to 4 beats then to 2 beats until it gets to one beat per note. Once you get it down (not going blatty was the big challenge for me), it's really a graceful thing.
    Good luck. In no time you'll be tonguing every and any note you wish.
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    What this little venture has shown up is how lazy and approximate my fingering had become. What works just about okay for legato really doesn't cut the mustard on fast tongued passages (these have been off limits a long time while I sorted other stuff out). A few hours on these exercises got me really slapping those pistons down much harder to hit the notes cleanly.

    Incidently, I'd fallen into the habit of fiddling about finding the right embouchure set before any piece or exercise. Counting myself in on the metronome solved that problem pretty well instantly. I guess, it's one of those tasks where if you don't have time to think about it, it ceases to be a problem. (Am I really telling myself this? ;-))
  6. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

    Aug 2, 2010
    North Carolina

    Are we still talking trumpet or shades of...never mind.

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