triple tonguing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Passion, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

    Jun 11, 2009
    I haven't done it in awhile, but need to work on it again since I plan on performing carnival of venice for a solo at school concert.

    1) Exactly what syllables do you use? Tu-tu-ku? Ta-da-ka? Tu-tu-gu? I do tu-tu-ku, but wondering if anything works better for you people?

    2) How come my tongue gets tired quickly when I triple tongue, then I cant do it and have to rest my tongue? How to make that not happen? Please tips.

    I can already double tongue pretty well, and my tongue never gets tired except triple tonguing. My tongue always gets tired with triple tonguing. Am I using it too harshly? What can I do to not make my toungue tired?
  2. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    Your tongue gets tired like any muscle. The more you practice, the longer you'll be able to triple tongue. Practice the exercizes in the Arbans, over and over, every day. For stamina, make them longer with repeats, or adding notes/removing rests as you progress.

    Try to keep the motion of the tongue as simple and efficient as possible. Less movement = less fatigue and better sound.
  3. DarkKnight88

    DarkKnight88 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2008
    Tallahassee/Bradenton, Fl
    The first part of the Clarke Characteristic Studies actually adresses this pretty well. Here's some tips:

    1) Clarke recomended doing different vowels in the syllables based on their pitch. That is, "tu tu ku" for the low register, "ta ta ka" for the middle register, and "te te ke" for the high register.

    2) You might have tried to sprint before you could walk (if I'm mistaken, then I apologize). Here's my suggestion: try practicing it at a slow tempo and at a soft dynamic. Try only doing it on middle g at first so you won't be fatigued. As time goes by, the cordination with the air and the tongue with start to mesh better and better. Then, try picking up the tempo a bit. You see, as you develop the technique properly when you play slow, then having the proper technique when you play faster passages will only be a matter of practice and picking up the tempo. Endurance will no longer be an issue once the muscles become cordinated and gain some strength.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ok. Maybe I am moving my tongue too much Pedal C. Thanks. I guess il start practice triple tonguing everyday day now in Arban exercises to build muscle.

    That certainly does help. Thanks Tom.
  5. Mr. Stomvi

    Mr. Stomvi Pianissimo User

    Nov 14, 2003
    Passion - Here is how I teach my advanced students to become great triple tongue monsters :-)

    1. Practice "Off the horn" a lot. While walking, while driving, while watching TV, or sitting at the computer, etc. This helps you build the coordination without tiring your chops.

    2. Learn to use different syllables while practicing "Off the horn" - try "ta ta ka" - "tu tu ku" -"tit tit ka" - "du du gu" - "tee tee kee" - etc.

    3. Now start using different patterns while "Off the horn" - for instance, start with "tee tee kee" then try "tee kee tee" - and then finally double tongue in triplets " tee kee tee" "kee tee kee" "tee kee tee" "kee tee kee" - etc

    4. Now start using the above different syllables with the different patterns while still "Off the horn" - really mix things - change back and forth between syllables and patterns quickly.

    5. Once you become proficient at the above - try steps 1-4 very slowly but now "On the horn" on a middle G or C.

    6. You want to be able to play all the different combinations and have them sound alike.

    7. Start speeding things up and for now make sure that you still have some percussiveness in the attacks. You don't want everything to "run together". The notes should be clearly seperated at this point.

    8. Now start doing the exercises in Arban's starting on page 155 in the Carl Fischer edition. Start slow and then build up speed. Make sure you practice doing them using all the above different combinations of syllables and patterns.

    9. Work on your scales using all the different combinations of syllables and patterns.

    10. Once you have everything up and running and feel like you are making good progress - try to smooth everything out by using the syllables and patterns of "du du goo, du du goo" or "du goo du, du goo du" or double tongue in triplets with "du goo du, goo du goo, du goo do, goo du goo" etc. This produces a smooth, almost legato type of attack and gets the sound of a heavy tongue out of it. Will also let you go faster and just kinda "glide" over the notes without the percussiveness.

    11. Listen to many recordings of the greats. Listen to their style. It doesn't always need to be at light speed but always has to be nice and light and never heavy and labored.

    Anyway - give it a try and I think that you will make quick progress.

    Good luck !!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  6. Jcoffey

    Jcoffey New Friend

    Aug 20, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Stomvi. My first orchestra audition called for several excerpts from Scheherazade... which was kind of daunting to a 15-year-old me. My teacher at the time gave me similar advice and I was double and triple-tonguing everywhere I went. I didn't win the audition, but I also held my own didn't look like an idiot. THIS HELPS!!
  7. crazyandy88

    crazyandy88 Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    I was having a very similar problem to yours for a long time. I could double-tongue all over the place but triple tonguing just wasn't happening. Then I found the Earl Irons lip flexibilities book...Twenty-seven Groups of Exercises for Cornet and be exact. Published by Southern Music Company. This book has a section in the back on multiple tonguing. In this method book the syllables tu-ku-tu and ku-tu-ku are a group of six would be tu-ku-tu-ku-tu-ku. Basically it is just like double-tonguing but in a triplet division...when I started practicing this I picked it up really fast. The only strange factor is that when I have triplets that begin on a upbeat, I feel the need to start on ku-tu-ku so my tu's line up with the beat. Everything said above is good advice to practice with this articulation as well. Give it a shot...I think the book is only like 10 bucks.
  8. Bagnewauckland

    Bagnewauckland Pianissimo User

    Dec 2, 2008
    New Zealand
    I use either Tu-Ku-Tu or the aforementioned Tu-Ku-Tu Ku-Tu-Ku. These two worked best for me.
  9. Bugler

    Bugler Banned

    This may help....

    YouTube - Triple Tonguing
  10. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    That is not triple tonguing.

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