Triple tonguing probs

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Blagger, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Ok - not the end of the world I know BUT-
    I have the slowest single tonguing speed known to man (probably)
    I can double and triple tongue well - but - I get to a certain speed and I hit a brick wall. This is fine for most band pieces but prohibits lots of pieces that would otherwise be readily playable for me - old fashioned air varies, brilliante, bravoura etc.
    Its always annoyed me and I was wondering wether anybody has some advice /books/techniques that I could use to speed it up.
    I dont stick my tongue between my teeth or anything like that - just above say 132 bpm i'm struggling.
  2. brassed_off

    brassed_off Member

    Nope, I have the slowest single tounging speed known to man! (well, probably?!)

    I can double tongue, still working on the triple. I find playing hymn tunes and trying to double tongue them (triple as well) slowly helps, then speed up. My single tonguing is getting better because of this. Interestingly I can't roll my R's, so flutter tonguing is totally out! Do you have the same problem? Maybe it's just a tongue muscle thing.
  3. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    No my r's are fine :)
    Interesting that you say your single has improved because of practice on double and triple - i guess they are all linked in terms of producing a note.
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I was taught a method to help increase (and maintain) tongue speed many years ago. It goes like this:

    1. Set your metronome to a speed where you can comfortably single tongue semiquavers (16th notes) then go up 4 beats per minute.

    2. Starting at the bottom, play a chromatic scale. Assuming common time, start with a semibreve (whole note), then a measure of minims (half notes), then a measure of crotchets (quarter notes), etc, until you get to semiquavers. One note for the whole pattern, then go up. Most people find that they can tongue faster in the middle of the range than at the top and bottom extremes.

    3. Every day, do the pattern until you can comfortably tongue the semiquavers on all the notes in the scale, then bump the metronome up another 4 beats per minute and repeat.

    You can easily adapt this pattern to double and triple tonguing. You can also do other scales, arpeggios, etc to vary things a bit. The key is to use a metronome, so that you can tell if you're starting to slip downward in tempo through the exercise.
  5. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    Triple tonguing is obviously limited by the speed of the single tongue, double tongue also (less obvious, but it is).

    Simple answer is practice.
    Simplest exercises are the best (i.e. on one note)
    With a metronome is a must, turn it up 1 bpm every day or three.
    I would try doing tttttttt, kkkkkkkk, t-ttt-tt, ttttt---, tktktktk, ttkttk, as repeated patterns (at least).
  6. RonBarnes

    RonBarnes Member

    When you say 'slow' single tonguing speed, about what speed do you mean?
    I consider that my single tonguing is pretty poor and I struggle above about 116 bpm in semiquavers. So what would you say was a 'good' single tonguing speed to aim for?
  7. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    There's plenty in the Arban. I think the trick is to not start to fast. Start slower and build up your speed. Get the technique sorted first, the speed will come when you've really mastered the technique
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  8. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I try to maintain semiquavers at 132 (although it depends on how many in a row - more than one measure in 4/4 at that speed and I usually trail off). And I don't think that's particularly quick.
  9. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Thanks fo all the info guys :)
  10. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    About the same for me.
    I know it all boils down to practice in the end - was just after ( and have got thanks :) ) some new ideas for improving.
    Thanks again everyone.
  11. Fortunately I can double and triple tongue pretty fast.

    I find the key is to really finely point the tip of the tongue upwards and also get the 'k' happenning as close to that tip as possible, effectively just 'wiggling' the furthermost front part of the tongue.

    Also (and I find this a problem with my own pupils) tutor books use 't' and 'k' which is fine most of the time, but can be cumbersome at speed. For very fast double/tripple tonguing a good 'd' and 'g' works much better.

  12. screamlead

    screamlead Member

    Try the Claude Gordon book " Tongue level excercises " The first part / excercise is very useful. Also there are some really good excercises in the Cat Anderson trumpet method although this may be hard to get hold of. PM me if you are struggling to get hold of these items.


  13. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    When I find triple tonguing too slow (Partita @ pontins!) I often use double tonguing as it's a simpler technique.

    Instead of going ttkttk,
    Go tktktk but with the emphasis and pulse on 4th note (k)

    This is very useful when you have one or more quavers pick-up

    It works for me!
  14. flash harry

    flash harry Member

    I note that all the previous posts are very helpful and I thought I would add my experiences as well - the more the merrier and different things work for different people etc....

    First of all, I was always taught that you should be able to triple and double tongue at any speed - there should be no tempo at which you would say "it's too slow to triple/double and too fast to single". In fact, to triple/double a passage which might be deemed as 'slow' could in fact assist you with the control of your playing (prevent rushing).

    Secondly, the technique I was taught was similar to some of the points raised above. You should practice your tu and ku separately (Ryan's point on du and gu is good too). The reason for this is to ensure that both the tu and ku can work effectively independently of each other. Sometimes people will 'learn' to double tongue first and then struggle to triple tongue using tu tu ku instead of tu ku tu (not that I am saying that one should be used instead of the other - that's a different debate!).

    To practice, play arpeggios starting on a bottom g and work up chromatically. Play the first arpeggio - 4 notes/quavers on each note (up and down one octave and then hold the final bottom note as long as possible) with a tu. Then do the same arpeggio with a ku. Then repeat the exercise with tu ku. Then move up a semi-tone and repeat to as high as you can go - as you get higher, you will utilise Ryan's suggestion (above). This should be done very, very, very slowly - resist the temptation to speed up thinking 'I can do this, this is easy'. The slower and longer you do it, the faster you'll be able to do it in the end (no inferences please).

    The aim is to get your ku as good as your tu.

    The more you do it the stronger you will become. Oh and the back of your tongue will ache like hell if you do it properly.

    Hope this helps.... somone.
  15. I'm currently learning double and triple tonguing

    I was doing it before, but the new 4th section test piece (4 cities symphony) really does need a bit of double-tonguing, so i'll have to get a move on!

    But i do agree, the Arban is probably the best place to either start or improve your tonguing
  16. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Great thread guys - still watching :)
    I have used tktktk grouped in triplets as one post said.
    Interestingly - without a mouthpice I can triple tongue far more quickly if you get my meaning... maybe the production of a note is slowing my tonguing down when the mouthpice is added? anybody have them same experience??
  17. Yes, at the minute if I triple without the mouthpiece I can do semi triplets at about 180 bpm but that goes down to about 30bpm with the mouthpiece!
  18. I believe there's two simple reasons for why it's so much easy to triple or double tongue without the mouthpiece:

    Firstly is that the rest of your embouchure is probably not in playing position, allowing more room for the tongue to do its job.

    And secondly you don't require anywhere near so much air to 'say' ttk than to play it. Simply, the more air required, the stronger your tongue needs to be. Hense why louder triple tongueing will also be slower.

    Saying that, I do still believe practising them without even the mouthpiece is very important as long as you do do it with the instrument regularly as well. I used to walk to college nearly every day saying them under my breath (when nobody was passing me) and now I can do groups of triplets up to around 240bmp on my cornet and around 275bmp without.
  19. I started walking around my school as well, saying tktktktktk

    I got a few wierd looks!