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1265 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  benbyrne
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'm having a bit of a problem with my playing. I am having trouble tonguing sixteenth notes at speeds as low as quarter note = 100. I currently need to be able to tongue sixteenth notes at quarter note = 115 for a piece I am playing.

But before you give me a lecture about how I should start slow and gradually build up, I've been trying that, for about a month. It has gotten me nowhere, and if for some reason I don't practice for one day, my tonguing speed gets slower!

I have come to the conclusion that the cause of this problem must be either one of two things.
a) My tongue is incredibly slow; or
b) I am not tonguing in the correct manner

Does anyone have any tips on how to tongue properly, and how to do it fast?
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Off the top: Maybe try different consonants to get the right tonguing motion for you (eg "D" not "T")? Or maybe try a slightly harder reed? And, oh yeah, start slow and build up speed over a period of several decades (;) ). Seriously - use a metronome and don't proceed to faster tonguing until it's absolutely clean and clear at slower speeds. Consult with your teacher over what "clean and clear" is. All the best.
hmmm... Next time you practice your tonguing, pay extra attention to exactly how your tongue is moving. You might be moving your tongue too far (greater distance to travel = slower tonguing speed) and you might be pushing the reed too hard; you only need to put enough pressure on the reed to make it stop vibrating (which is a very small amount). You don't need to push the reed shut.

In a nutshell, minimize the distance your tongue moves as much as possible.

It may also have something to do with what part of your tongue is touching what part of the reed. I find that touching just above the tip of my tongue to the very tip of the reed works best for me.

This is something that I have been working on a lot. If it turns out you have to change the way you tongue, you will absolutely *have* to slow it waaayyy down (I know i know...pain in the ***). Make sure you get the mechanics precisely correct at a slow speed then gradually build it up.

hope this helps.
can you play it perfectly without tonging?
usually if you can do that it's only a matter of time and air support (I don't know why but if I find that I tongue worse when i'm not supporting with full air)
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