Tongueing low notes rapidly.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet_man, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. trumpet_man

    trumpet_man Piano User

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    I have music that I need to work on. There are many songs that I have to tongue raplidy on some low notes (Bb), and I'm having some trouble down there. If it's in my middle range, or even the higher end of my range, my tongueing is just fine. Any advice on tonguing for low notes?
     
  2. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    What happens when you try it? My suspicion is that it is more an air problem than a tongue one. Think "lots of air" and keep the tongue arch low and relaxed, and your throat open and relaxed as well. You need to support light tongue action with full, steady air. Make sure your jaw is loose, and there is space between your back teeth. Don't stop the airflow with your tongue, rather just tap it like the arm on a lawn sprinkler taps the water jet.
    veery
     
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi trumpet man,
    Markie here,
    I do not know your skill level so bear with me.
    When you tongue at different ranges the oral cavity changes. The middle and high range generally requires the oral cavity to be small thus requiring less work for the tongue. It's the difference between saying lee,lee,lee,lee really fast and low,low,low,low really fast.
    Notice how much more the whole tongue moves with the latter of the two.
    The tongue has to contend with a larger oral cavity with the low, low, low sound which means it has to work harder. How to deal with this:
    Tongue your low notes with the delicate skill of a fencing expert (the olympic sport not the stuff you put around your yard). This means to tongue with a goodly amount of grace and accuracy.
    Now, do some active checking and see:
    Are you tonguing low notes blatty or hard?
    Are you putting a hard sound at the end of your attack. i.e. saying Tat instead of Ta. Tat tends to stop the air.
    By starting and stopping the air, you're working harder than you need to.
    Low notes require the oral cavity to be very open which gives the tongue lots of room to goof off and for lack of a better term flap around. Work conciously on graceful control.
    Keep the air flowing by saying Ta not Tat.
    Train your tongue to work gracefully and not blatty
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

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    Here's how I work on this...

    Play scales starting in the middle of the staff and decending. Tongue each note and tongue the lowest note several times. Work at different speeds, slow, med. and fast, even if fast doesn't sound good at first. When you feel a little better tongueing low, invert this.

    Keep the tongue movement efficient; it moves up and down, not front and back.

    Keep chest and shoulders relaxed, and don't overblow. Don't let the air be too lazy, but difinitely don't overblow.

    Don't let the chops get too flappy and loose. I like to think that low C feels pretty much like third space C.

    A few minutes a day, and it'll improve eventually.
     
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Lighten up on the attacks ,most students try to tongue too hard, the tongue releases the air it doesn't strike the note. Don`t push too much air when tonguing down low, lighten up on the volume also.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Clarke had this covered about 100 years ago.

    The problem with our development is that it is not consistent over all disciplines. You need a good daily dose of Clarke/Arban very slowly but positively at first - lets say 16ths at quarter=80. Do that for a whole week, at least 10 minutes a day. Then jump to quarter=90 and spend another whole week. Then comes a week of 100, 110, 120, 130, 140.

    The reason for my logic: when we can't do something, we want a quick fix, but that does not exist. There is tons of qualified advice, but you are a creature of habit and NONE of that advice works without the factor TIME to unlearn the bad, relearn the good. Just like quitting smoking, you have to be prepared for an investment in time. If you do not start with that in mind, you can go through 20 suggestions in a month and gain NOTHING.

    My suggestion is plan at least 8 weeks (you may need 10 or more - never advance without perfection). Set a reward when you reach single tongue 16ths at quarter= 130, 140 and 150. We are dealing with mind over matter here. Let's get the mindset cooperative!!!
     
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi trumpet man,
    Markie here again, One thing I forgot, Make sure your tongue isn't being forced to the back of the throat when you play low. Keep the tip of the tongue where it suppose to be, touching or real close to back and bottom of your two front teeth.
    This is another reason low notes can be a hassle to tongue. The oral cavity is improperly increased by shoving the tongue back to create a larger cavity. Keep the tongue where it suppose to be. Good Luck
     
  8. trumpet_man

    trumpet_man Piano User

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    Thanks, guys.That definitely helped. I wish my all state concert wasn't next week though, I could use some more time to work on that tonguing. :bash: Sorry that I was a little vague. It has my tonguing a low B with 8th notes at a quarter note=192 in 6/8 time (Capriccio Italien, Tschaikovsky, op. 45: measure 299-311, Cornet II part), when I have a good lip I can usually tongue it just fine, but I need to get it so that I can't play it wrong.

    One of you asked about my skill level, which would help you guys out, I can play the 3rd movement of the Hummel Concerto, but not quite up to speed. Though tonguing-wise I could get it up to speed and play it just fine. Tonguing is by far my best area, but not low. Would you guys recommend I tongue that area I described double tongued or single tongued? I'll be practicing soon, I'll let you know how it goes, and specifically gives me trouble, but I think you guys have covered quite a bit. Thanks.
     
  9. john daniel

    john daniel New Friend

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    I am agreeing with much of what has been said, especially regarding air and light tongue strokes. Also I agree it is a matter of practice to single tongue quickly, but I wanted to comment on playing in the low register, tonguing, and putting the two together.

    There are aspects of trumpet playing that invite us to give away our embouchure either because we are distracted or because we think we are temporarily functioning better without it. The aspects that are most common for letting our embouchure dissolve are for low notes and running a very close second place; tonguing. When we first learn the low register, it is without any embouchure concept, just "two lips". There is a tendency to relax our set and just get by. This makes for very loose, sloppy, uncentered and often very flat low notes, lacking in core or projection. Add an articulation to this "two lipped" approach and we aren't going to have much precision or speed.

    Secondly, we learn to "tongue" in the sense of language skills at an age of a few months, without any regard to embouchure skills whatsoever. When teachers refer to syllables like "tu", "du", etc. we have to remember that we learn those syllables with a relaxed jaw, no positioning of the lips or anything resembling an embouchure. So there is a tendency to relax our air and embouchure every time we tongue anything.

    Putting low notes and tonguing together, we must be hyperaware of embouchure and breathing skills. Don't relax the components of great sound and control. These are good thoughts to keep in mind as we practice as hard as necessary to make it as easy as possible.
     
  10. trumpet_man

    trumpet_man Piano User

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    Thanks, guys. Your advice really helped me out, I think I'll be able to handle it now.
     

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