Trumpet Topics

Improved Single-tonguing
in 15 Minutes Per Day
Part 2

This Trumpet Topic page is the second of a series of postings related to improving one's single tonguing. Like so many of our trumpet techniques, great improvement can be seen in our single-tonguing if we simply discipline ourselves to devoting just a few minutes every single day to the development or maintenence of this technique.

I hope that you have gotten started by simply incorporating the basic exercises of Part 1 into your daily practice routine. I suggest that you first go through your own warm-up routine, then play these tonguing exercises before you procede with the rest of your practicing. Be sure that you always practice these tonguing exercises with a metronome.

One thing which is very important in increasing your tempo is that you maintain a very steady air flow and take care to not totally stop the air flow with your tongue. At a slower tempo in a marcato style, we will articulate individual puffs of air with the tongue, but at a fast tempo the tongue simply flicks the continuous stream of air.

We must imagine the tongue bouncing off of the air without interupting it. The tongue must strike the stream of air crisply, then ricochet quickly off of the air.

As one goes faster, it may be helpful to think of using a more legato articulation, for example "dhe" as opposed to "ta". However, it must be stressed that while the articulation may be smoother, the tongue motion must not be slow.

The following exercise has larger groupings of sixteenth notes than in the previous exercises:

Rest briefly, then continue with the following exercise. It is similar to one of last week's exercises, but the tempo has been increased to mm=126.

Take another brief rest, then continue with the following exercise. This exercise is for trumpet in C. Transpose it up a step if you are playing on a B-flat trumpet. In the next few weeks, this series of exercises will gradually lead up to preparing the opening excerpt from Ravel's Piano Concerto:

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