This may be one of the best-kept secrets re. developing the "higher" register. I urge you to develop your single
tongue to a "high" level of efficiency before you even begin to think about double tonguing!
Think of double tonguing only as "something to which you will have to resort" when your single tongue "runs-out".
This can help to place the relative importance of the two in perspective. As in ALL things -
practice SLOWLY until the tongue is precise - then gradually increase the speed. When you are ascending or descending
- use the "silent whistle" approach for correct tongue placement. Your attack will vary from TOO-TOO at the lowest,
to teeh-teeh at the highest. (And infinite variation between those extremes.
Many problems result as a result of a mis-match between pitch and tongue placement.
Keep 'Em Flying,
How to correctly tongue on the Trumpet
It is perhaps no secret that much of the "high register pyrotechniques" take place in the Bigband or jazz setting.
Therefore, much of the "playing" is quite legato and melodic. I suspect that this may be the predominant reason that "stratosphere tonguing"
is not so widely pursued, or even discussed. Perhaps most "non-jazz" playing, in the C3 register, is done on the "Capo" trumpet,
rather than the long Bb - hence this demanding, "forward" t e-e-e- kind of tongue is not so frequently experienced.
The short - tubed instruments do not seem, to me, to require tha same tongue position as the long Bb. (Above C3)
If your "developing" range seems to be "stuck" in the "F to G#" range, try developing a sharp, clean,
tongue in the "C, C#, D, Eb area. You may find this to be quite taxing. Your tongue, in order to execute the attack,
MUST be "right out front" - an extension of the "silent whistle" technique, which I advocate.
And yes, it is even possible to multiple tongue in the C3 register!! In short - I do advocate the use of
"high register tonguing" for several reasons.
Keep 'Em Flying!
Clyde E. Hunt***********************************************************************
I went through a fairly big embouchure change about 3 or 4 years ago...we moved my set up and rolled in the corners a little. The result is a nice open sounding upper register (dbl G's, A's sometimes a C), much better endurance. The only problem is my setup is so relaxed that my tonguing is not very good. Do you mean just since the embouchure change? Or has this always been the situation? My tongue gets between my teeth, giving me a choppy articulation.
One of the things I have noticed is:
(1) Many of the "chops" books DO NOT have much concern with tonguing - simply because "tonguing" is not a particularly important aspect of this kind of playing (ie. higher / louder.)
(2) In fact, some some persons, such as Jerry Callet (a respected friend of mine, btw,) advocates inserting the tongue between the teeth! (3) my suggestion would be to "go back over" some of your "range developers", this time TONGUING EVERYTTHING - as opposed to the concept of employing "lip trills". (4) I am often told, "there are several people who are able to play with an very great range - but I have heard few, if any, other players who are able to tongue, rapidly and cleanly - even multiple tongue, near the top of their register". The tongue is used as a valve to control the air during the initial "attack", or beginning of the tone. If you do not "TONGUE" the note, it will not have a precise, definite beginning. Let's refer to that 2nd. line "G" again. In order to "start" the tone, place your tongue lightly against the back of your upper teeth, at the gumline. (This will be adjusted somewhat, according to how high, or low, the pitch.). Now, take a good breath , and commence the blow. You will find that you CANNOT produce a tone with your tongue in this position!! When you "pullback" your tongue, the air, already undr pressure, "bursts through" thus creating the so-called "attack". The relative "sharpness"(staccato) or "smoothness" (legato) of the attack is controlled by the point at which the tongue strikes the teeth. The attack syllables vary from a very marcato TAH! TAH! TAH!, to a very legato lah,lah,lah . AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION - the concept is to "pullback" the tongue and release the air -NOT -to reach forward and strike the teeth with the tongue. A subtle difference, perhaps. ********************************************************************************
(Q) How do you triple tongue? (A) One word of caution - please make certain you have GOOD control
of your single tongue before tackling the Triple Tongue. Go to section 155 in your ARBAN book.
Practice SLOWLY and distinctly without the mouthpiece. Begin on G second line (singing while practicing) Tah - Tah - Kah, repeat, etc.
The PROBLEM is to make the "Kah" indistinguishable from the "Tah's" and keep them ABSOLUTELY EQUAL -
especially, as you attempt to increase your velocity. You may find it helpful to slightly accentuate the "Kah" -
it will "even-out" as your increase tempo, and accentuate your awareness of the problem. You might find it helpful to visit our website where there several "examples" form HUNT TEACHES ARBAN (Q) Please give me tips on how to improve single tonguing speed. I'm a senior in high school and need your help. Also some tips on double tounging please.
Thank you I urge you to develop your single tongue to a "high" level of efficiency, BEFORE you begin to even think about double tonguing! Think of double tonguing only as "something to which you will have to resort" when your single tougue "runs-out". This can help to place the relative importance of the two in perspective. As in ALL things - practice SLOWLY until the tongue is precise - then gradually increase the speed. When you are ascending or descending - use the "silent whistle" approach for correct tongue placement. Your attack will vary from TOO-TOO at the lowest, to teeh-teeh at the highest. (And infinite variation between those extremes. Many problems result as a result of a mis-match between pitch and tongue placement.
Q - I am having trouble learning to double tongue. How do I begin?
Well, let me start by asking a question. Are you able to triple tongue?
My teacher, William Best, felt that the double tongue is often more successful when it follows mastery of the triple tongue.
1. Un-even-ness of the syllables. This is often the result of trying to move too fast too soon.
Start very slowly and master the articulation BEFORE attempting to to add the mouthpiece.
2. Inappropriate syllable for the register. Eg., ti-ki - ti - ki, in the low register. Syllables need to "follow" the melodic line.
3. Too much tongue motion - the motion should be as slight as possible.
4. One needs to be able to vary the syllables from ta ka ta ka to da ga da ga
Keep 'Em Flying,
Thank You so much for your patience on my ignorance. You stated that the single tongue should be developed before attempting Triple or Double, and that the Kah should sound like the Tah... Gah like the Dah. Would introducing Kah - Gah as the single tongue syllable foster better Multiple Tonguing?
Yes, that is a helpful suggestion. What I was alluding to, specifically, is that multiple tonguing is often attempted BEFORE there is a good, clean, rapid, straight tongue. The straight tongue is always preferred if the tempo will allow it! In other words, you don't want to be in the position of having to double tongue at tempi where the single tongue "should" be possible. The double tongue should be the "court of last resort"!
All the best,
THE FIVE MYTHS OF TRUMPET PLAYING
extracted from SAIL THE SEVEN C's
MYTH #1 Only special freaks can play in the high register. Don't waste precious time trying to duplicate their efforts. There are plenty of notes below high C upon which to devote your time and effort.
FACT: Nearly any player can dramatically improve his or her high register. What is needed is the desire to do so, and a dedicated, systematic approach. The high register will not succumb to the casual player.
MYTH #2 If I could find just the right mouthpiece, I too could be a high note artist.
FACT: There are mouthpieces which facilitate brilliance and intensity of sound. These mouthpieces, sometimes labeled high velocity, are more "V" shaped as opposed to bowl shaped. Sometimes, usually at the music store when we are trying mouthpieces, almost any mouthpiece appears to be superior to the one we are now playing - hence the answer to all our prayers. But pitch is determined by frequency of vibration of your lip. If you can play a C4 on a Schilke 5a4a, you can also do so on a Bach #1. Don't get into the drawer full of mouthpieces syndrome. Choose a rim that is comfortable and learn to play it. I am convinced that a larger cup diameter and a more open throat, which permits a larger airstream, actually facilitates the development of the high register.
MYTH #3 I need a special trumpet.
FACT: Mouthpiece tapers, varying bores, different bell sizes, and various alloys will alter the timbre and playing characteristics of an instrument. But the instrument, in fact, has even less to do with lip vibration, which determines pitch, than does the mouthpiece.
MYTH #4 Playing and practicing in the high (G2 to C5) register will ruin the middle and low registers, and make my tone brittle and laser-like.
FACT: Not practicing all registers equally will allow one-sidedness to take place. Practicing the pedal register, especially, will serve to counteract the extreme compression required to perform the high register. More than likely, a piercing, laser-like sound and a too blatty low register is really the fault of a too small, too shallow mouthpiece. This combination leads to jambing the mouthpiece for the high tones, which is sure to elicit the above mentioned complaints.
MYTH #5 You must play in all registers without changing your embouchure, or play in all registers without re-setting your lips.
FACT: I don't disagree in principle with the above statement. But I believe it has been widely misinterpreted because of semantics and/or insufficient explanation. The opening quote, taken literally, is nonsense! No two tones are played with precisely the same lip setting, let alone an entire register. What is required is a constantly adjusting embouchure, capable of moving from the bottom register through to the top register without the necessity of stopping along the way to regroup your chops. Re-read the last sentence and memorize it! It is of the utmost urgency that you understand what is meant. The understanding which you believe that you have right now will probably be altered as you progress toward the Constant Adjustment Embouchure.*s Clyde Hunt Extracted from SAIL THE SEVEN C'S (C) Copyright B Flat Music Production
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