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Triple Tonguing

25 Jul 2009 08:05 #305 by Kendall Betts
Triple Tonguing was created by Kendall Betts

I was taught horn playing at a young age to use the syllables, "tu ka tu", but I noticed recently that most of the basic instruction books recommend "tu tu ka".

I have a difficult time doing "tu tu ka", perhaps just because I have done it the other way my entire life. I admit my triple tonguing could be improved, but my question is:

Should I relearn this technique "tu tu ka" to improve my triple tonguing technique or just work on perfecting the system engrained in my consciousness long ago?

Dave Haupt

Kendall Betts responds:

Dear Dave,

Thank you for your question.

I think this falls into the "do what works best for you" category. I've always used and taught "tu-ku-tu" myself but I've known others who advocate and use "tu-tu-ku" with success as well. That said, the reason I prefer "tu-ku-tu" is that I advocate "tu-ku-tu-ku" for double tonguing so "tu-ku-tu" seems a logical extension of the same technique for triple tonguing.

There is an old method book that goes into great detail and has exercises to improve tonguing techniques: Tongue Gymnastix by Henri Weber. Yes, that's the correct spelling! Originally published by Belwin, it may still be available. An online search should bring information.

I've also found that developing a solid, versatile single tonguing technique helps with the development of the others.

Have fun!

Kendall Betts

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