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 Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: SuperC 
Date:   2003-03-28 02:38

Hi. I'm a Junior in High School and I'm have serious problems with my tounging. We are playing the march In Storm and Sunshine, along with Festivo(which calls for alot of 16th note tounging at high speeds). I don't know if I need more practice, or if there are any exercises that I can do to improve my tounging, but I just can't get my tounge to move that fast. It's pretty frustrating. I would appreciate any helpful advice that anyone might have.

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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: GBK 
Date:   2003-03-28 03:39

SuperC...Assuming that you are already tonguing correctly...

Nothing we can tell you, will make you tongue quicker overnight. But if you immediately begin a disciplined program of tonguing exercises, you will see a difference sooner than you think.

There are numerous books specifically targeted at tonguing. I particularly like both Kell books - "Clarinet Staccato From the Beginnng" and "17 Staccato Studies", but it doesnt particularly matter what you use. There are many fine exercises in Rose, Klose or Baermann, if you already have those available.

If not, you can adapt almost any exercise into a tonguing study.

After 6 months of disciplined exercises, you will definitely see a change in your tonguing speed and clarity.

Again, assuming you are already tonguing correctly...GBK

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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: Bradley 
Date:   2003-03-28 04:27

Are you trying to double tongue?

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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: DAVE 
Date:   2003-03-28 05:06


You must first understand that tonguing is a struggle for every clarinet player. I used to be very worried that my tonguing would never get better while the rest of my playing was going just great. I always had a fast tongue, but I could not control it. Tonguing at 132 was not that bad, but at 112 or 120--forget it! Also, for me tonguing moving notes like scales has always been easier than one note repeated quickly.
Okay, my point is this--You must learn to tongue very precisely with a lot of control and without lots of force. Learning to tongue is not fun because it must be done slowly. When I studied with Combs, one of the first things he had me do was simply start an open G without the tongue and carefully PLACE the tongue(not attack!) on the tip of the reed with only the force required to stop the reed vibrating and nothing more. He would have me say the word "articulate", and bring my attention to the T sound as an example of how hard to touch the reed. It is important to place the tongue in the same place with the same pressure EVERY time. Once this step is under control the tongue is simply released and the tone resumes hopefully without any harshness. It must be said that during the interval that the tongue is at rest on the reed, the wind is fully supported. It is very important that there is no accent with the tongue. Accents are created with the air, not the tongue.
It has taken me a long time to implement these ideas into my playing. Just a couple of years ago I became Very frustrated that I couldn't tongue anything. I was reading at the time Pamela Weston's Book "Clarinet Virtuosi of the Past", and I think (I could be wrong about this) I read that people long ago used to tongue just about everything. That idea coupled with the idea that I have tried everything else, I thought why not tongue all of my scale practicing? I was very good at slurring my scales, and why not?, I had been doing that for 15 years!! I think you will be good at whatever you practice most. My tonguing has improved drastically since I made that decsion; I don't really struggle much with of any piece with tonguing. BUT then I took a look at The Bartered Bride Overture. I don't see how that can really be done w/o double tonguing. I can do maybe a measure at 144 or 150, but no way measure after measure. I would love to hear what other people do with this piece. If there are people that really tongue it, then I guess I have a lot more work to do.

P.S. Sorry about the long post; I am feeling a little verbose tonight!

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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2003-03-28 13:52

SuperC -

Two ideas. First, if you're anchor tonguing (tucking the tip of your tongue behind your lower teeth and touching the reed with an area further back on your tongue, you need to switch to the tip-to-tip style, where all that moves is the tip of your tongue. This lightens everything up and lets you go faster. See http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=6899&t=6887 .

Second, you may need to reverse your tonguing concept. That is, you don't start the sound with your tongue. Instead, you just interrupt an existing sound by brushing the tip of the reed with the tip of your tongue. See http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=32780&t=32715 .

Your assignment (should you choose to accept it) is to try these exercises and come back in a couple of weeks with a report.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: William 
Date:   2003-03-28 14:14

In the long run, careful practice may increase the speed of your tongue and its cordination with your fingers. If your tongue remains sluggish after a few years of staccatto excercises, etc, then I would recommend learning double and triple tonguing skills (Ta-ka Ta-ka; or Ta-Ta-Ka, Ta-Ta-Ka, etc) Lots of pro players actually use multiple tonguing technique when the tempos become "too fast."

In the "short run"--that is, if you need an "immediant fix"--you might try the old standby, slur-two, tongue-two. In each group of four sixteenths, slur the first two and tongue the remaining two. (Ta--Ah Ta Ta, etc). Be careful not to rush the two slurred 16ths and let the tongued ones lag--still keep them as even as possible. Just relieve the constant articulative drag on you tongue muscle by slurring the first two of each group of four. Good luck!!!!

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 The proper way to tongue . . .
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2003-03-28 15:46

I don't have too much trouble tonguing at a quicker speed. But sometimes I find myself doing something odd and I woudl like someone to let me know if it's "ok" or if I should work on changing it.

When I have a staccato run (most of the time this happens when they are in a scale form ascending or descending), I find that I almost use my breath in conjunction with my tongue. I exhale short breaths in time with the music. So if "Ha" represented my breath, instead of going "Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" while letting my tongue stop the reed, I Go "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha . .. " and yet at the same time let my tongue stop the reed.

Is this wrong? it works both ways, however it does look a little odd when my diaphragm and stomach seem to be jumping with each note. if it's not good, I'll work to fix it with above exercises.


US Army Japan Band

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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: SuperC 
Date:   2003-03-28 20:05

Ok, thanks for all the advice, I'll report back on any progress. I would also like to learn how to Double tongue or triple tongue, I've heard alot different methods though, i.e. using the back of your tongue in a gi-di-ga fashion and the Ta-ka fashion.

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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: Bradley 
Date:   2003-03-28 20:26

I saw somewhere that it is better to use "tuttle uttle" instead of "ta ka" because it is more suited for clarinetists rather than the ta-ka which is more for flautists. I just read this, so I dont know how true it is- except for the opinion I formed for myself, and I think you should form your own as well......


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 Re: Quick/fast Tounging?
Author: Dee 
Date:   2003-03-28 21:55

Many people think they have tonguing problems when in reality it is a synchronization problem between tongue and fingers. The subconscious thinks the tongue is slow and hold back the fingers. This makes the tonguing sound muddy, unclear and slow. And the bad part is, the faster you try to tongue, the worse it gets!

Before deciding you have a tonguing problem, try tonguing a couple of measures as fast as you can on an open G. Try to see what your speed is. I think that many people would be pleasantly surprised. Pay special attention to tonguing in a light and relaxed manner as this will give you maximum speed. Don't try too many measures as the tongue is a muscle and slows down as it gets tired, you may need to build up stamina for long passages.

Then after the above exercise, try a fast tongued passage BUT focus on moving your fingers fast. Just set the tongue in motion so to speak and forget the tongue. The finger movement needs to LEAD the tongue movement. You might only manage a bar or two before falling apart but it's a start.

Once you've tried these two little tests, then go back and work on synchronization at a slow speed. Make the fingers move first on each tongued note. Then gradually increase the speed focusing on this synchronization.

This is an important procedure to learn. For if you don't have the synchronization, double and triple tonguing won't help.

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