For some reason I seem to struggle with double tonguing. Your really not saying the words TU KU into the trumpet when your double tonguing, your just simulating the action of the tongue when actually speaking TU KU and I can’t seem to get the back of the tongue to raise/lower when playing the KU. Having said this, isn’t the KU really just a breath attack? I had a teacher tell me that the KU is a hard breath attack. Is this correct?
For me the ku or kah isn’t a hard breath attack, rather it’s more like the first sound of the word kick or ketchup (same for the ku/kah of the triple tongue — ttk) — so a real tongue attack but, I think, using the middle/back of the tongue against the top of the mouth. I tend to practice exercises that call for double tonguing both single tongued and ku/kah tongued. After that shift to double tongue very slowly with metronome, coordinating fingers and tongue. Then increase tempo as it becomes more controlled/clear/easy.
Hey Rob, strange I thought I replied to this question somewhere but now I can’t find it, very odd.
As Nate said the KU is the lowering of the tongue away from the roof of the mouth like when saying kookaburra, koala, kangaroo. You are not using your voice when playing but the action of the tongue is the same.
Close your eyes and say these words very slowly and become familiar with the movement of the tongue.
It definitely is not a breath attack. It is a release of built-up pressure in the air from behind the tongue when the tongue is lowered away from the roof of the mouth.
Can you do it without the trumpet? Take your breath, then Ku Ku Ku Ku — quarter notes at 60? (or even just one Ku)
If you can do it with just your breath (BCH) and trading the Tu for Ku, then add the mouthpiece. If that’s working, add the leadpipe. Hopefully, your Ku is going ok using the lead pipe. Then add your trumpet — start with the mouthpiece (assuming you can Ku with the mouthpiece) and bring your trumpet to the mouthpiece — just open low C or second line G.
But get it going first with just your breath — no mouthpiece or trumpet.
Firstly you need to recognise the feeling of the ku ku ku then add each step.
Start with the aahooh and even say the ku aloud, then disengage the vocal cords, add tissue and visualiser (or fingers), mouthpiece then lead pipe.
You’ll soon discover which part of the process you are compromising when you are playing which is inhibiting the ku attack.
I suspect you haven’t yet got the sympathetic oscillation of the lip and thus dealing with too much air pressure in the mouth. I also think if you look closely (with your eyes closed) your throat might be closing. Have a DEEP look around the system.