Advanced Techniques

Advanced Techniques Chapter Sample

From Chapter 11. Advanced Techniques:

Multiple Tonguing

As we have learned, brass players articulate by tonguing as though saying the syllable “ta,” a technique known as single tonguing. When the notes get faster it becomes difficult to move the tongue fast enough to keep up, so brass players switch to a technique called multiple tonguing. There are two types of multiple tonguing: double tonguing for duple rhythms such as sixteenth notes, and triple tonguing for triple rhythms such as sixteenth triplets. In both cases the tongue is used like a see-saw so both the front and the back of the tongue are used instead of just the front, as in single tonguing.

To double tongue, use the syllables “da ga da ga;” for triple tonguing there is a choice between the pattern “da da ga,” repeated over and over, or the pattern “da ga da,” repeated over and over. The pattern used is a matter of personal preference.

Multiple tonguing is considered an advanced technique, though high school players may need it occasionally. It is advisable to be sure your brass players have a good, reliable single tongue before introducing them to multiple tonguing and, of course, to emphasize breath support in order to develop good multiple tonguing.