Double & Triple Tonguing

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jack E, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    953
    I came across this video on YouTube about the above, which I found of interest, as (like the poster, Trent Hamilton), I can't get my tongue to move that fast. This gave me quite a problem in a piece we had in our juniors' last concert, which called for a triplet. What I found was that I could either play it at the right speed - in which case it came out very 'fluffy', or if I went for a more crisply defined note, I couldn't get it up to speed.

    So I'll try following Trent's suggestions and see what happens. The techniques he describes may be well known to many of you, but I'd never come across them before. Here's the link:


    Jack
     
  2. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    I've come across this chap a few times - really entertaining, but quite often wrong on points of fact (by which I mean usually atleast a couple per video, and this one is no exception), so I'd be careful taking anything straight from him without checking out the particulars first.

    With that said, lets jump in...
    Firstly - yes, these are perfectly valid techniques and they're definitely something worth having in the arsenal... having said that, it can also be quite time consuming to learn and whilst useful in the long run is probably an unnecessary complication in the earlier stages of learning - about grade 5-ish is probably a sensible time to start introducing it on valved instruments, IMHO.



    As to points where Trent is incorrect in the video...
    1) Double and Triple tonguing are ABSOLUTELY NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR A SLOW SINGLE TONGUE!! Slow single tonguing is the result of either bad technique or insufficient practice (or both), it is absolutely not something you should accept as just a natural fact that needs to be worked around, it's something that you can and should work to improve.

    2) The "T" tongue syllable is certainly NOT "at the very front of your lips" - absolutely not, the "T" sound is made on the back of the upper teeth... suggesting that the T is made "in the lips" could leave someone with the idea that the air is stopped by the tongue penetrating the lips in a kind of spitting action. It shouldn't be!
    When done correctly it's on the back of the upper teeth (depending on individual physiology, that might be with the tip of the tongue, or it might be part way up the tongue with the tip on the lower teeth - either way, it will be the tongue on the upper teeth that causes it).

    3) There's no accepted/correct order for the syllables in triple tonguing - TTK and TKT are both valid and both useful, depending on the music in question it may be advisable to use one or the other (or even both in different places in the same piece).

    4) Valved instruments aren't absolved from proper tonguing techniques - the valves don't articulate for us (not if they're working properly) and something marked tongued shouldn't be slurred any more than it should on a trombone (that's not to say that you can't sometimes, under certain conditions, get away with slurring where not marked).




    Sometimes we just come up a bit short - sometimes the music is horribly difficult, sometimes our technique isn't quite there, sometimes it's just not clean enough together as a group - there's absolutely no shame in using a bit of bandcraft to help contribute to the overall effect whilst acknowledging your own limitations... so, with the triplet you mention, you may find that for the moment it would be more accurate to play the first note of the triplet and leave the 2nd and 3rd ones out - you'll find this even in top section banding sometimes (eg: double-tongued demi-semi's not quite lining up - conductors can, and do, ask some players to play the on-beats whilst others play it all, or split it up so that the two players play it all between them but not all at the same time).


    If you're looking for youtube videos to watch, this chap is a much much more reliable source of information in general, and the particular video linked is a much better one to take advice from than the one you posted.... check it out :)



    As always, best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    stevecritchlow likes this.
  3. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    953
    Thanks for that suggestion, Tom - and I have watched many of his videos, but the infuriating muzak he pumps into them, loud enough for me to have trouble focussing what he's saying - it drives me up the WALL!! :mad:

    Why do so many people DO that on YouTube?
     
  4. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    No idea.. I guess it's supposed to make it look more "professional" than just playing in silence?

    I know what you mean, it's slightly invasive - with that said though, he's mostly worth watching which is more than can be said for 99% of the channels on youtube.
     
  5. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    953
    He is, indeed, worth watching, Tom - which makes that obnoxious muzak all the more irritating. And I cannot see it makes the uploads more professional. I can't imagine going for a lesson with my tutor, and having him put some background music on!
     
    BigJamie likes this.
  6. Hsop

    Hsop Member

    Messages:
    62
    Hi Jack

    I originally learned double and triple tonguing from the Arban book. Maybe you have this book or have seen it? The examples are good, just lots of repetition to get it right. This youtube video is a good example of triple tonguing, apologies if you have seen it already. I like the high F at the end too :)
     
  7. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    @Hsop

    Marsalis carnival is excellent... If I'm honest though, Maurice Andre's (also on YouTube) would be more to my taste all day long.


    Oh and @Jack E - if you're listening to solo's for examples of triple tonguing in action, see if you can find a good recording of Hailstorm (depending on the player, this may well have TTK and TKT in different parts of the piece
     
  8. Ray Woods

    Ray Woods Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Many years ago I started TKT, but soon learned many solos needed TTK. This is mainly because many of the variations with triple tonguing have the melody note on the first of the triplet, then returning to two same notes, repeatedly as the melody note changes. This initial interval is more clearly articulated with the two harder Ts. Also TTK leaves the weaker articulated K at the end of the triplet, mean you can rock the tongue strongly to the T beginning of the next triplet, given the triplet more starting definition. In contrast TKT TKT gives two abutting strong Ts next each other, at the end and start of the triplets, somewhat masking the clear beginning of a new triplet. For these reasons I suggest TTK is preferred. And you can practice the tonguing pattern sat staring at you PC or smart phone.
     
    Jack E likes this.
  9. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    953
    Whilst I appreciate the suggestions, listening to other people double or triple tonguing won't really help me understand or learn how to do it myself, will it? And that's my main aim.

    With best regards,

    Jack
     
  10. Ray Woods

    Ray Woods Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Step by step guide:
    1. Tongue with a T or TA by placing you tongue just behind your top teeth to stop airflow, then suddenly remove it, as if saying TA, to give a strong start to the air flow.
    2. Repeat 1. with a KA sound instead. This time the middle/back of your tongue arches up to touch the roof of your mouth to block the air. Suddenly removing it as if say KA gives a strongish start to the note.
    3. Practice each of the above as single tonguing to develop a strong start to a single note.
    4. For double tonguing, start slowly doing alternate TA the KA repeated. Speed up over time. Try to create a steady rhythm.
    5. For triple tonguing, start slowly with TA, then TA, then KA and repeat. Speed up over time. Try to create a steady rhythm.

    The Arban Cornet Method has many exercises.

    Here is me triple tonguing the very last piece in the Cornet Method:

    Good luck.
    Ray
     
    Jack E likes this.
  11. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    953
    Thank you for your constructive reply, Ray - it's much appreciated.

    Jack
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice