New Member

Can anyone give me a few tips on double and tripple tonguing??
The pressure of moving up a section are taking its toll.

So far i can do the D K D K bit, but when trying to play it, it doesn't work!!

Help please!!!!!

Back Row Cornet
YBS Concert Brass


Active Member
I managed to learn these techniques by simply starting very slowly, on the exercises in the arban (i think i started with triple first), playing to a metronome and very gradually increasing the speed maybe only 4-5 bbm at a time. If it doesn't bore you to tears then it does help, especially if you really concentrate on getting even notes when it is slower.
Yah do all them Arban ex's slowly and don't move onto the next until you've absolutely perfected the current one. Sure-Fire perfection. I found it also helpfull to play long notes and lip slurs in between tonguing 'sessions' when I was learning, to make sure the sound stays in check with so much new activity going on in the ol' Oral Cavity.

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
The only catch with the arban exercises if they don't sustain the action long enoughj, according to most QCM students. Instead of doing 4 semi's as per the book, do 8-12.

tu ku tu ku to ku tu ku toooooo

Also, some people feel the du sound in't as articulate. that's a personal preference I think.
Took me ages to get used to both double and triple..but i have by no means mastered them yet...i still do stuff from the arbans...IMHO i think practicing solos at home, in which multiple tonguing is required, is useful too to put what you've learned into context...get a hold of something like facilita, rule brittania or simlar (the old theme and variation solos)...oldies but goodies i reckon..some songs just never lose their appeal....

2nd man down

Staff member
I've tried to get the hang of double and triple tongueing for years and can never seem to get the note definition clear enough, maybe just as well i can single quite quickly, but that won't help if we ever move up the ranks considerably enough. I need proper help too!!

The Cornet King

Active Member
Its best to start off by simply saying the syllables TTk, DDG, (whichever takes your fancy). Then when you have the hang of that, apply this to just the mouthpiece.
Then when you can do that reasonably quickly have a go on the instrument. Start slowly, aiming for clarity and definition and gradually get quicker. Practice is the key! An old teacher of mine said not to do too much work on double/trpling in a practice session to avoid killing off the back of the tongue which is weaker/less defined than the front.

I always find myself saying DDG. DGDG etc during the day without instrument...helps keep the technique embedded in the brain.
I certainly can triple horrendously quickly, but i think ive enough to cover most band pieces.


Active Member
The difference between saying TTK and playing TTK is simply the air support. If you can say it but not play it then try supporting it with a bit more air. Also, i was never one for practicing studies and the only way i learnt was by playing stuff i liked, find a few pieces you like and practice your favourite bits of double / triple tongueing. Start slowly and get them gradually quicker.


New Member
I know theres money riding on this but im still no where near so dont worry, we could always join a lower section band! Only joking!!!!

Keep practicing and we will compare Tu Ku's on Tuesday.
Col x


You just need to stick at it, and as everyone else has said, the Arban is the answer! Start slowly, because, believe it or not, the hardest thing is double and triple tonguing slowly. Once you have got it, it will be easy to go off like a whippet, but won't be so easy to do it slowly and clearly. And I may get shot for this, but when you start triple tonguing, learn it Tu Tu Ku and not Tu Ku Tu, because it is a pain trying to swap it round to Tu Tu Ku once you have learnt it the other way round, believe me!! :roll: :wink:


skweeky said:
its also useful to practise just the Ku bit aswel other wise you wil just hear TU!kaTU!ka

I think this is quite a large problem as well as a lack of support mentioned further up the thread. I think most peoples K/Ku/G is much weaker than there T/Tu/D so an uneven articulation is common.

The action at the back of the tongue should be strengthened but also it needs much more stamina as it hasn't been used at all until the need really arises.

I practice loads of exercises just using the back articulation like scales, arpeggios and all the arban's exercises just on K trying to get it as strong and fluent as the T.


well said... i cant stress enough how important you need to work the KU sound.. as Tim so rightly said, there is very rarely any time that you use the back of your tounge and you cant expect it to match the TU sound if you dont practise your KU's :D


twigglet said:
If you can get the technique when you play it slow you will be absolutely laughing when you speed it up!

You can't do both! :p Laugh, or triple tongue, can't have it both ways :wink:

Seriously though, I read somewhere that it's better to learn to some degree to triple tongue first, then double tonguing is a lot easier? Might be wrong though...


Active Member

Personally, I developed the ability to double and triple tongue not by practising that itself, but general tongueing exercise. When I was at college, I made tongueing exercises part of my daily warm up routine. Once the tongue muscles were developed and regularly exercised, al I needed to do was use the "T" and the "K" for production. Having said all that, I am lucky, because as a trombone player, I don't need to use it anything like poor cornetists, (and euphs).


Naruco said:
Yea I'd go with that drummerboy...
think how easy it would be to SINGLE tongue then! :lol:

Yes yes hahaha :p
Obviously single tongue first, but I'd like to think they've learnt that already. Lesson 1 is normally 'play a note', not 'let's do some triple tonguing' :wink:

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