HBM – Multiple Tongue

Double  and triple tongue – principle – substitute another consonant for ”t” – to increase speed; normal substitution is “k” – use “g” with “d”

3 Main rules:

1. Keep the air moving ( non-stop, water sprinkler)
2. Keep the air moving; gap where k should be
3. Keep the air moving – legato air, sing with airy sound – multiple tone requires more air

Age to start – Here Kitty, Kitty – kids don’t think it’s hard; the longer you wait, the harder kids think it is

Use the Arban to learn, not solos!

Learning Process:   

Double or Triple?????  Start with whichever is easiest

1. Speak – TuKuTuTuKu or TuKuTu (flute) same as TTK
2. Whisper
3. Blow – with lips puckered
4. Practice “Kill the K” – TKTK, KTKT, KK
Practice – ½ of the learning time to get to a good K; the other ½ takes you from super slow to really fast

Play – Repetition – bad k’s = lack of repetition, 10,000,000:1 = T:K – extreme repetition – tongue needs endurance
5. Start super slow and gradually speed up
6. Alternate single and double tongue measures (repeat the measure so nothing is different)

Allow adequate time at each step – need to get the hang or the knack of this


Wheel of fortune:  air= wheel, tongue = flap
It’s like down-shifting – the engine slows down but the tempo picks up

  1. Keep corners firm
    1. Keep notes long – legato – arrow over notes
    1. Slur, then tongue; repeat the same passage – not as written
    1. Add Crescendo
    1. Keep air continuous – k is usually in the space
    1. Practice at single tongue tempos, gradually accelerate using a metronome
    1. Keep “T” good – ½ (or 1/3) of the notes are “T’s”
    1. Practice eighth & two sixteenths and two sixteenths & an eighth; prevents boredom
    1. Convert continuous passages to these rhythms and then go back to what’s written (Goedicke)
    1. Must overlap single and multiple tongue tempos (secret ceremony – tempo from quarter –  121-131)
    1. Focus on melody line, phrasing, (music)

Use tip of tongue, keep middle & back relaxed, keep it light:  emphasize the vowel

Ray Crisara – multiple tongue only when you have to – or else you lose your single tongue speed

Lloyd Geisler – double tongued everything

Double tongue to play loud – fast single tongue requires that you lighten, which may not be what’s needed

Many suggest dagah for fastest speeds – okay, but not sharp and not effective for fanfares or where you need sharp attacks; ttk can be too hard if the desired effect is more like a marimba roll

Hunt- Says coughing one note- bad mental image

Multiple tongue on the move – another level of difficulty; extreme repetition and patience required; Branstine:  stay with one pattern before moving on – you concentrate on the tonguing, not on which note comes next

K in the middle vs. K at the end:
     Arban theme and variations – better to use TTK to help negotiate jump
     Firebird – TKT (rest)
     Be sure it is triplets, not 3 sixteenths and a sixteenth rest – more of a problem with

     or for arpeggios – TKT – K is on a lower note

Fanfare tongue TKT   KTK – fastest triple tongue!

Fanfare Tonguing