Help! I have been playing the trumpet for six years now in school and I am just finding out that I haven't been "tongue-ing" this whole time . I can play fine without this for most of the songs that we are playing right now but i cannot play as fast as I need to be able if I am to continue. Right now I just let the other trumpet in my chair play the fastest tripplets. We have a person come and instruct us and he tried to teach me...I understood for about a week but when ever I try I always mess up some how. If anyone has any tips on how I could "learn" (and I realize this maybe an odd question) I would be soo thankful.
The best way I know of to teach tonguing (just remember to drop the "e" when adding "ing") to someone who has only been using breath attacks is this: There are two parts. One theory and one exercise.
Theory: The tongue - fiddle around with your tongue a little to get to knwo it. The very edge of the tongue, especially near the tip we call "The Tip". Just behind the edge about 1/4inch is what we call the blade. If you run your index finger on the "tip" of the tongue your finger nail (if clipped short) should be touching your "blade" of the tongue.
We are initially going to use the tongue to hold the air back. The exercise will demonstrate to you how to start a note and you will get a feeling of a little explosion for the start of each note. You want to carry this concept on to your tonguing as you progress. When you understand the theory and have done the exercise a multitude number of times then you want to work on keeping the tongue away from the teeth and down in your mouth except when you pop it up real quick to attack a note.
To increase speed you will want to move from pushing your tongue into the air stream towards pulling it out. Here is a great example.Pick a solid object that is not too hard and punch it with your fist. Try to be aware of the feeling you have in your arm muscles above and below your elbow. When you get that feeling try step number two. Which is to almost punch the same object. While punching try to just barely touch the object and pull your hand away before impact. This is a different feeling and is the one that will allow you to tongue fastest. Another concept to think about is the tongue of a frog.When a frog catches a bug they zip their tongue out just to where the bug is and pull it back quickly. That is the action you want from your tongue. You just want it to sit there in the bottom and pop out and pull back form the teeth when you articulate.
Choose a scale to play. Let's say C major.
You are going to play each note 3 times.
Get ready to play and before you do place the blade of your tongue behind your top teeth.
Use this position to keep the air from flowing.
When ready, release the tongue and play your note for about 3 or 4 seconds.
Do this 3 times for every note on the scale.
When you feel comfortable doing this then start measuring it. Start at a slow tempo and slowly increase your speed using a metronome. Once you get to a speed where you falter stop. Go back to the previous speed and do it correctly and then wait until tomorrow to do the exercise again.
Now if you know how to tongue already and you are really wanting to know how to double tongue or triple tongue tha tis a different story altogether.