How to Use Triple Tonguing Technique for Trumpet Playing

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Triple tonguing is a technique you can use to increase the speed of your tonguing drastically on the trumpet. This an advanced trumpet tonguing technique that is valuable to you as a trumpet player, but it will take lots of work to master. Here's how you can triple tongue on a trumpet.

  • Practice tonguing with a "ta" sound. You may already tongue with this syllable, or you may use a "da" sound. Both are used for triple tonguing, but the "ta" needs to come first. Your tongue should touch the back of your top front teeth when you make the sound.

  • Add in a "da" syllable. The "da" should come from the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth. The tip of your tongue does not figure into the "da" syllable, so be sure you are not using it. Try to use the part of your tongue that is about a centimeter back from the tip.

  • Mix in a "ka" syllable at the back of your tongue. If you have learned to double tongue, this should be the same as you use for the second part of your double tongue. You may use a "ga" syllable as well. The important thing is that you are using the back of your tongue at the back of the roof of your mouth.

  • Work on variations of the syllables slowly to make the different tonguing sounds the same. Start slow and alternate between two. Start with "ta" and "ka" to make them sound the same. This is double-tonguing. Now try "ta" and "da" until you cannot hear the difference between them. Combine "da" and "ka" to get them the same and be sure not to use the tip of your tongue on the "da" syllable.

  • Add all three together and practice speed. Start working in a succession "ta-da-ka" to make them sound the same together. Once you eliminate the differences of the tonguing, you are ready to practice speeding up. Realize that triple tonguing is difficult and will take some time to master. Try not to get discouraged if it doesn't come naturally. Think of it as rolling your tongue from the back of your teeth, to the top of your mouth and finally to the back of your mouth.

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