Teaching one student at a time.

Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.

Single, Triple, Double Tonguing

1) "Single Tonguing",

Play in cut time.  Use the syllables “Tee - Tee - Tee, Ta - Ta - Ta, Tu - Tu - Tu, Da - Da - Da, Du - Du - Du, Thu - Thu - Thu, Lu - Lu - Lu, and Hu - Hu - Hu (breath attacks).”  in the order given for now (you will later be able to mix and match the order as needed).  Make sure you are using pronounced, confident resonating consonants. Practice them at different dynamic levels from very soft attacks to brilliant, crisp attacks and at speeds ranging from slow to quite fast.

Work your way onward through these.  Play perfectly and cleanly.  Speed is a result, not a goal.  Many perfect repetitions will bring about a quicker, lighter delivery.  Stay precise.

Do a few of these before going on to...

2) "Triple Tonguing"

Beginning these step and leap-wise exercises! Goal of all this, one is hard work. To make you’re “Ku” as strong as you’re “Tu” to develop coordination of “triple and double tonguing” patterns.  Use pronounced, strong, resonating consonants as above.  You may want to strongly accent the 'foreign' syllable at first. Play with a metronome start off slow then add more to the tempo, play only  as fast as you can play without losing you’re clear “Ku” or without tripping up on the articulation patters.

Do a few of these before going on. 

3) "Double Tonguing"

Practice whispering “tu-ku tu-ku tu-ku ... “over and over to train the tongue to move in the double tonguing pattern. Very strict and even; use a metronome.  Keep Ku's solid.  Remember: Clarity, then speed. Use pronounced, confident resonating consonants. 

Do a few of these and go on.

4) "Few Notes"

Notes on Tonguing syllables.  Although we have used syllables like Tu and Ku throughout, you will find that the tongue naturally drops in the low register to more of a Ta and Ka.  In the higher register, the tongue will raise, making the syllable more of Tee Kee.  In all cases, make sure the tip of the tongue is not hitting between the lips.  For less percussive attacks, use Du Gu or even Lu Gu for almost no separation. These softer syllables are great in quiet jazz ballads.

After your tongue is strong, you can start to back off, practicing in these more legato styles and softer dynamic levels.

Now, look for applications in your playing and practicing!

Written by JWATTS

Exercise by ITG

Exercise No. 1 (Gah syllable) Play slowly on mouthpiece and trumpet until comfortable. Connect the syllables but make each attack crisp and clean.

Exercise No. 2 The goal is to make the "gahs" equal to the "dahs". Try to keep the pitch exactly the same throughout the exercise.

Exercise No. 3 (slow double tongue) Again, make all attacks as even as possible. Accuracy over speed!

Exercise No. 4 Gradually increase the speed and go as fast as you can. This may be the only time you will ever hear a teacher say this! In order to reach a tempo that is useful, you must constantly try to move forward. Practice this exercise at least several weeks.

It is crucial to practice the following exercises with a metronome. 
Inexpensive metronomes can be purchased for about twenty dollars. Progress charts are indicated to help chart your progress. (Cross out tempo marks as you reach them.) These are merely suggested ranges of tempo marks. It's okay if you need to start slower than indicated or move in smaller steps! Observe all repeats.

Exercise No. 5 Notice the syllables used. It will not be possible to maintain fast speeds in the first ("dahs" only) or second ("gahs") groups, because you are not using both syllables.

Exercise No. 6 This exercise will help your double tongue endurance and increase the number of notes you can double tongue without getting "tongue tied". This is particularly useful in the many cornet solos in our literature.

Exercise No. 7 (1x single tongue, 2x double tongue) Above 140 double tongue only, but still take the repeat. Now we move beyond double tonguing on a single note and must coordinate valve changes and the tongue.

Copyright @ ITG/International Trumpet Guild




Go Back