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Double tonguing 11 year old.


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tptptp
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:09 am    Post subject: Double tonguing 11 year old. Reply with quote

I need some advice, friends.

My grandson is 11 in the 5th grade in Charlotte, NC.
He has been playing trumpet for 14 months, and has done very well. He was 2nd chair in middle school all-district band in Feb, and even made all-state this year, competing with kids through 8th grade.

I've had numerous in-person and Skype sessions with him, a real treat for me!

He is struggling with double tonguing....Trouble with the "ku' syllable, and has no real speed. I had no difficulty learning this, but I was 13 when I started.

Is it possible that the 11 year-old mouth and tongue are just too small to perform the necessary movements? Or could this be a more permanent problem?
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of players struggle with the K syllable. There is nothing wrong with your grandson's mouth.

When I start players in double tonguing, I have them work on the K syllable ONLY. Have him say "Kuh" several times, and then get him to experience what the syllable feels like on the horn. Have him strongly exaggerate and accent each K (it may sound pretty ugly for a while). Have him go back and forth with saying K a few times, and then playing K a few times (again, strongly accented). It may take days or weeks for this to get more solid.

You can start this experience on several low C's, and add from there. Eventually, when the K on the horn gets more solid, have your grandson play quarter notes at about 100. Also, you can then have him begin to alternate between the Kuh and the Tee, and start to feel the difference. Have him continue to accent the K more strongly than the T.

A solid "K" can takes months to develop with certain players, so you need to project an attitude of patience (or he will get impatient as well).

Good luck!

Jeff
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does he have a need for double (or triple) tonguing?
Is his single tonguing adequately fast and precise? That should be very well established as a primary skill.

Jay
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tptptp
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice! I’ll be patient.
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tptptp
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jay, good point. We’ll keep working on both syllables.
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have him go around whispering ti-ki-ti-ki-ti-ki; like saying "ticket" minus the final "t". I wanted to perform the 3rd mvt of Hummel in HS but wasn't using double tongue yet. I did this riding my bike around on my paper route and about anywhere else I could do it without someone thinking I needed some meds. When that feeling/action becomes natural, switch to forming an embouchure and blowing through using the same vowels rather than going to "tu-ku". IMO the process will be easier at first if one keeps the tongue in the "ti" position rather than "tu". Convert it all to placing the mouthpiece against the lips and doing the same thing and start off on the Arban-type exercises. I'd take as much emphasis off of the mechanics of the "k" action for playing and substitute normal speech patterns. Even an 11 year old has been pronouncing "k's" for years. Good luck.
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Legitbrass
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a fourth-grader I struggled with pronouncing Tu Ku fast; just couldn't grasp the concept until my private teacher had me say, "Gotta' get a gal" several times. I could say that lightening fast and suddenly I "got it." Of course the articulation sequence was initially out of cadence, but once I felt the rapid front to back tonguing, it was a snap to grasp it.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legitbrass wrote:
... had me say, "Gotta' get a gal" several times. ...

-----------------------------
thanks - well, I
gotta gu

Jay
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was 10 or 11 when I learned to double tongue (6th Grade), so I don't think age or size of the mouth has anything to do with it.

Are you having him practice K-Tonguing as well? He should be. Just have him K-Tongue on Middle G or Low C quarter notes, over and over. Have him play similar exercises with actual Double Tonguing but have him play very slowly.

The Arbans exercises for multiple tonguing (both double and triple tonguing) are very good, and practicing Clarke #2 very slowly is also good for matching up fingers to the tongue when double tonguing. In fact, Clarkes 1 through 8 are excellent for multiple tonguing practice. One can start out playing them, and in fact any and all multiple tonguing exercises very, very slow (slow quarter notes).

The slower one practices this type of material, the sooner one will learn to do it.

Best wishes,

John Mohan
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For grins and giggles, here's how I learned to double tongue:

Our Junior High School Marching Band was fantastic - we regularly competed in High School competitions on a national level, and often won.

Our band director was Archie McAllister, Jr. and he was a World War Two Combat Marine Veteran, and basically the General George Patton of the marching band world. He was great. Taught me many valuable life lessons - including how to double tongue. The school was a 7th and 8th grade school, but I was a pretty good player as a kid, so I got to be in the band when I was in 6th grade (I was still in elementary school). One evening we were out on the field practicing our Field Routine. One of the songs in it was "Sabre Dance" and there was a section where the 1st trumpets had some double-tonguing. They were flubbing it up a bit. Mr. McAllister stopped the band, yelled at them, then in his booming Patton voice (he actually had a megaphone), yelled, "MOHAN!!! Can you double-tongue?!"

Timidly, I said, "No."

He then yelled, "SAY TACO!!!"

I said, "Taco".

"NOW SAY IT TWICE!!!"

"Taco taco."

"NOW SAY IT OVER AND OVER!!!"

"Taco taco taco taco ta-"

"THAT'S ENOUGH!!! THAT'S HOW YOU DOUBLE-TONGUE!!! FROM NOW ON, YOU PLAY THAT PART."

And I did. I also got pummeled frequently and regularly by certain 7th and 8th graders in the band from that point onward. But I had learned to double-tongue.

I think Scott Wiltfang (CalicchioMan on the Trumpet Herald) might have been at that Field Show rehearsal. He was one of the 8th grade trumpet players in the band (and one of the few that didn't participate in the ensuing pummeling).

Fond memories,

John Mohan
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krell1960
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legitbrass wrote:
As a fourth-grader I struggled with pronouncing Tu Ku fast; just couldn't grasp the concept until my private teacher had me say, "Gotta' get a gal" several times. I could say that lightening fast and suddenly I "got it." Of course the articulation sequence was initially out of cadence, but once I felt the rapid front to back tonguing, it was a snap to grasp it.


"GOTTA GET A GAL"

this is priceless !!!

thanks Legitbrass !!

tom
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly did spend time using an aggressive Ka syllable. But eventually I think I made big strides on my double tonguing when softened the syllables from Tu-Ku to da-ga or du-gu. I focused on tiny movements that barely bumped the air. Once that became second nature it was pretty easy to make it more percussive as needed.
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tptptp
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All these are great tips and stories. I hope he'll get it eventually.
I'm still working with him.
Unfortunately, since Corona-induced home schooling began, I think his focus has declined somewhat during our Skype times. He's one of four kids, all trying to juggle school, music, etc at home. Challenging for the kids and parents!
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SSmith1226
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not a professional, “so take this with a grain of salt”, but perhaps this alternate play along approach might help whether you use ta ka, tu ku, ti ki, or da ga:

https://youtu.be/leX8i5qucbc
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Jerry
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My teacher assigned me double tonguing exercises from Arban's when I was in 8th grade. (I started playing trumpet in 7th grade.) I wasn't getting it until he eventually changed his approach with me drastically.

He essentially had me do what trumpetteacher1 describes above. Within a very short time I was double and triple tonguing fine.
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jdleggett
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="JayKosta"]
Legitbrass wrote:
... had me say, "Gotta' get a gal" several times. ...

-----------------------------
Good one. New for me.
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MrClean
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the air. Everyone focuses on the tongue, which is going to get very bogged down unless there is firm air support (firm, not loud) for the tongue to bounce off of. The tongue just interrupts the air stream as it dips in, and then is knocked back out of the way by the air. It does not need to be short - think linear. Aim for the last note in the phrase.
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musicman1951
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of my students find the Du-Gu (Vizzuti) style easier at the start. Most important to keep the air going and keep the syllables near the front of the mouth (i.e., with a French accent).

I show them all the choices, including anchored, and let them select the one they find easiest.
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tptptp
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrClean wrote:
Don't forget the air. Everyone focuses on the tongue, which is going to get very bogged down unless there is firm air support (firm, not loud) for the tongue to bounce off of. The tongue just interrupts the air stream as it dips in, and then is knocked back out of the way by the air. It does not need to be short - think linear. Aim for the last note in the phrase.


Thanks for pointing this out. I’ve been emphasizing this with him quite a bit.
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tptptp
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

musicman1951 wrote:
Most of my students find the Du-Gu (Vizzuti) style easier at the start. Most important to keep the air going and keep the syllables near the front of the mouth (i.e., with a French accent).

I show them all the choices, including anchored, and let them select the one they find easiest.


Yes. I’ve gone through several syllable choices with him. He is showing some improvement. It’s just been a lot harder for him than it was for me 55 years ago! I guess I was lucky.
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