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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) Is there anyone out there who tongues with the syllable "thu"?
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Georgilocks
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« on: Jul 11, 2017, 08:28PM »

For some reason, this syllable works the best for me in getting a clear articulation without much motion. I was instructed to us "Ta", but that always resulted in a lot of jaw motion and created problems in double tonguing. Just out of curiousity, I'm asking to see if there is anyone else who does this too?
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 11, 2017, 08:58PM »

My first guess is that you're not really doing "thu" because "thu" is not much more than a breath attack.

If you are doing "thu" it's unlikely that you are getting a result superior to everyone else who does "ta"

Maybe what you need to do is practice doing "ta" without jaw motion.  There's nothing about "ta" that requires jaw motion.


I'll also say that the "u" in "thu" (or "tu") is bad for tone quality.
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 11, 2017, 10:40PM »

I use it for legato tongue.  For me, Da or whatever is too disruptive to the air column.  I wouldn't use it for a standard articulation though.
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 12, 2017, 05:31AM »

    
Q: Is there anyone out there who tongues with the syllable "thu"?

A: Yeth.

There are loths and loths of them.

S.

P.S. Thorry...I couldn't rethisth.

P.P.S. Serious answer?

Maybe.

I don't know of any, mythelf.
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 12, 2017, 05:58AM »

My first guess is that you're not really doing "thu" because "thu" is not much more than a breath attack.

If you are doing "thu" it's unlikely that you are getting a result superior to everyone else who does "ta"

Maybe what you need to do is practice doing "ta" without jaw motion.  There's nothing about "ta" that requires jaw motion.


I'll also say that the "u" in "thu" (or "tu") is bad for tone quality.

Nope, not for me. Did it for many years, never worked. I do believe also that I get a very good sound with this articulation. Weston Sprott tongues very similarly too, but he's one of the only others I know. Also, a friend of mine, first chair all-state in SC, also told me he does something similar to that. He was actually the one who taught me that technique. https://westonsprott.com/articles/blog/variation-of-articulation
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 12, 2017, 06:16AM »

If you can't change, then I guess you need to make the best of it.

But I'll add that high schools students, even ones who made all-state in South Carolina, are not typically our first stop for best practices in trombone playing.  :/
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 12, 2017, 06:19AM »

Using the "thu" attack is a Dorsal style attack(using the top of the tongue for the initial strike).If dorsal style attacks suit your way of playing I would suggest maybe a simple change to "da" instead of  "thu" .This will probably help to open up your tone quality  while still retaining less movement.As
far as "thu" simply change to "the" and you will have a great legato style attack providing you keep the air moving from note to note.
Hope this Helps.

All The Best,

Bob
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 12, 2017, 06:35AM »

You can tongue with the area just back of the tip, keeping the middle arched and the tip down behind the teeth (how far depends on how long your tongue is, some people keep the tongue tip in the gully.) 

I've heard different consonants used.  Trumpeters talk about K tonguing, K-modified, Clarke tonguing, etc.  Doug Yeo said he used a "no" tongue on William Tell which sounds to me like he must have been doing it this way.

People who say they tongue between the teeth probably just mean they're tonguing back of the tip, and have a short tongue that ends up in the tooth gap. 

when I try to tongue thu, I interrupt the air with the part back of the tip, and the tip of my tongue lands on the top of the lower teeth. 
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 12, 2017, 08:01AM »

Through the teeth? I used to. Stopped doing it because it was not as clean as the more traditional method -- also hard to get much variation and I was limited in the top articulation speed I could achieve. I still use it once in a while for certain things.

A very prominent former principal horn player in a major symphony told me he articulates this way, and that his use of it was informed by the old school German/Austrian tradition on horn.
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« Reply #9 on: Jul 12, 2017, 03:18PM »

If you can't change, then I guess you need to make the best of it.

But I'll add that high schools students, even ones who made all-state in South Carolina, are not typically our first stop for best practices in trombone playing.  :/

I mean it actually suits me very well. Only thing is, that for legato tonguing, I have to change to "da". It may be because I have a very large tongue and I can't use the tip when using standard syllables like "ta.
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« Reply #10 on: Jul 12, 2017, 03:34PM »

If I understand you right, yes I do. If I don't, then disregard the following.

I work a lot on not doing it. Most of my tongue exercise work is spent speeding up my single tongue by shortening the stroke and keeping it further back from my teeth.

I also have a large tongue - I usually wake up biting it because it spills over my teeth when I sleep. Painful as hell, but I digress.

This wasn't always a problem. For years my tongue struck right where it's "supposed" to, on the little ridge behind the teeth. Never even thought about it much.

I made a mouthpiece change right around the time I started playing more Timba and Salsa. I was also working on my spanish a lot. I don't know whether it was the Monette TS6 I was playing on or the spanish lessons or something totally unrelated, but I started tonguing on the tip of my teeth for some reason. It could've also had something to do with the fact I had been playing piano pretty exclusively for the previous 3 years and had lost some of my strength/endurance on the horn over that period and the "thu" tongue was just a compensatory thing to get the power out of the horn I wanted. I've always been a "grip it and rip it" type player and as usually happens with those types of players, I develop bad habits that I spend my practice time trying to mitigate.

Another thing that occurred to me: for the first decade or so of my career - maybe from the age of 19 until about 30, I was playing a lot. I'd average about 7-8 hours of face time on the horn a day between the gig(s) and practice. I also was not having to blow my brains out most of the time. When I worked a ship, we had microphones and the bands were usually good and played with dynamics with very few exceptions. When I was playing with bands elsewhere, it was usually jazz in an acoustic setting with little or no amplification and little or no mics. I settled back down in Oklahoma around 2009 and for a while, the majority of my work involved extremely loud playing. That coupled with the 3 years I spent playing mostly piano, I think the "thu" may have come about through overcompensating for my chops not being where I remembered them being.

I've managed to move the tongue back to it's "proper" place for the most part with a fair amount of work, but I can't let up on the practice for even a few days or it stubbornly moves forward. I still definitely tongue on and past my teeth in the lower range.

If the end result is a good one, I don't necessarily think it's a problem. I have seen where it limits me, particularly in terms of flexibility and speed/timing. If it doesn't limit you, I don't know that it's a bad thing.
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« Reply #11 on: Jul 12, 2017, 03:40PM »

I tongued through my teeth for a brief period, and while it worked decently well, I've had more success switching to the "standard" back of the teeth position.
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« Reply #12 on: Jul 12, 2017, 04:28PM »

If I understand you right, yes I do. If I don't, then disregard the following.

I work a lot on not doing it. Most of my tongue exercise work is spent speeding up my single tongue by shortening the stroke and keeping it further back from my teeth.

I also have a large tongue - I usually wake up biting it because it spills over my teeth when I sleep. Painful as hell, but I digress.

This wasn't always a problem. For years my tongue struck right where it's "supposed" to, on the little ridge behind the teeth. Never even thought about it much.

I made a mouthpiece change right around the time I started playing more Timba and Salsa. I was also working on my spanish a lot. I don't know whether it was the Monette TS6 I was playing on or the spanish lessons or something totally unrelated, but I started tonguing on the tip of my teeth for some reason. It could've also had something to do with the fact I had been playing piano pretty exclusively for the previous 3 years and had lost some of my strength/endurance on the horn over that period and the "thu" tongue was just a compensatory thing to get the power out of the horn I wanted. I've always been a "grip it and rip it" type player and as usually happens with those types of players, I develop bad habits that I spend my practice time trying to mitigate.

Another thing that occurred to me: for the first decade or so of my career - maybe from the age of 19 until about 30, I was playing a lot. I'd average about 7-8 hours of face time on the horn a day between the gig(s) and practice. I also was not having to blow my brains out most of the time. When I worked a ship, we had microphones and the bands were usually good and played with dynamics with very few exceptions. When I was playing with bands elsewhere, it was usually jazz in an acoustic setting with little or no amplification and little or no mics. I settled back down in Oklahoma around 2009 and for a while, the majority of my work involved extremely loud playing. That coupled with the 3 years I spent playing mostly piano, I think the "thu" may have come about through overcompensating for my chops not being where I remembered them being.

I've managed to move the tongue back to it's "proper" place for the most part with a fair amount of work, but I can't let up on the practice for even a few days or it stubbornly moves forward. I still definitely tongue on and past my teeth in the lower range.

If the end result is a good one, I don't necessarily think it's a problem. I have seen where it limits me, particularly in terms of flexibility and speed/timing. If it doesn't limit you, I don't know that it's a bad thing.

Yeah, I'll just have to wait and see. Also with the typical "ta" syllable, I can't ge the clarity out of my articulation. It sounds pretty muddled to me.
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« Reply #13 on: Jul 12, 2017, 04:40PM »

Yeah, I'll just have to wait and see. Also with the typical "ta" syllable, I can't ge the clarity out of my articulation. It sounds pretty muddled to me.

It takes practice when you first start switching. I once went a whole summer pretty much not being able to play at all because I was trying to switch and I couldn't do the new way well yet. Keep at it.
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« Reply #14 on: Jul 12, 2017, 05:37PM »

"thu" seems to be interpreted several ways:

1 tongue sticking through the teeth

2 tongue doing something other than a tip pointed touch to the back of the teeth or roof

3 tongue striking mid-tongue, not tip first

4 and prolly others I have misunderstood here. 

For me, I'll say, these tip style tonguings feel like a dead end.  Starting from sabutin's long tones, in time, breath attacks, etc. the tongue takes a, whadayacallit, a "posture"?, inside the mouth for each pitch.  From middle G or so and lower, it seems possible to get from a long tone tongue posture to a pointed tonguing.  But from there up, especially much up, the tongue wants something else, and above 7th partial G, trying to do a pointed tonguing is positively detrimental to holding the pitch, seemingly because of the little volume created behind the point. 

I'm not sure how many would call this posture that does not disturb pitch a "thu" but it could conceivable be called that. 

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« Reply #15 on: Jul 12, 2017, 05:51PM »

I'll also say that the "u" in "thu" (or "tu") is bad for tone quality.

Tu might be useful for explaining to learners what to do as Tu requires and aperture and firm corners to say and Ta doesn't.
To me Tu puts the middle an back of the tongue in raised position where the tongue is lower and more relaxed for Ta. Hence Tu would be expected to provide better tone quality.
(Disclaimer: This relates to pronouncing these sound with a New Zealand accent. YMMV)


I struggle to get clear articulation in the trigger register (below F) - Moving the tongue forward of the teeth for attack helps a bit. Maybe I just need to practice more though.
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« Reply #16 on: Jul 12, 2017, 07:03PM »

One variation on explaining how to tongue that may be useful here:

Try starting a note by basically plastering the tongue - tip and an area behind it - to your hard palette and right up on the back of your teeth. That is, your tongue will be in contact with that entire area, not just your teeth and not just the hard palette behind your teeth, but both areas.

Then, start the note by both starting the air and releasing the entire surface of your tongue from your upper mouth at once. You may find that you end up producing an extremely explosive attack. This is not bad. This is good. An aggressive, explosive attack is a great tool to have in your articulation toolbelt. This can also stabilize your tongue so you're not inadvertently doing weird vowel twisty things in your mouth when you play. The simpler the action, the better the results.
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« Reply #17 on: Jul 13, 2017, 06:47AM »

I know at least one outstanding player who tongues "thu".  I tried imitating him when I was practicing and found it can be very effective.  It's really just a conceptual variation and I think works well for fast single tonguing.

The idea that anything other than a hard "T" will result in a poor attack is, IMO, outdated dogma.  Frankly, if it were possible to get inside great players mouths and see what they are actually doing (not what they perceive that they are doing), I bet you will find less "T" than you think.
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« Reply #18 on: Jul 13, 2017, 02:34PM »

I've had success with some students teaching them to approach Rochuts with a "dtha" tongue. Ymmv.
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« Reply #19 on: Jul 13, 2017, 03:29PM »

Honestly, it works for me and doesn't seem to be a detriment. I am actually incapable of tonguing fast with "da" or "ta". I'm not sure why though.
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« Reply #20 on: Jul 13, 2017, 06:41PM »

Honestly, it works for me and doesn't seem to be a detriment. I am actually incapable of tonguing fast with "da" or "ta". I'm not sure why though.

For me "thu" is a flatter and faster stroke and it's easier to keep the air flowing.
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« Reply #21 on: Jul 13, 2017, 07:20PM »

Post a vid so we can hear how it works!   Idea!
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« Reply #22 on: Jul 14, 2017, 10:29AM »

Quick vid that I took at the end of today's morning session.  Just a simple tonguing exercise using "thu".

https://youtu.be/NyKp0qxJdvs
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« Reply #23 on: Jul 14, 2017, 02:23PM »

Quick vid that I took at the end of today's morning session.  Just a simple tonguing exercise using "thu".

https://youtu.be/NyKp0qxJdvs

Youtube labelled that category "comedy"?  :/
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« Reply #24 on: Jul 14, 2017, 05:30PM »

Sounds good to me. It all depends on the style of music but that is a very useable articulation.
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« Reply #25 on: Jul 15, 2017, 06:48AM »

For some reason, this syllable works the best for me in getting a clear articulation without much motion. I was instructed to us "Ta", but that always resulted in a lot of jaw motion and created problems in double tonguing. Just out of curiousity, I'm asking to see if there is anyone else who does this too?

It is not possible to give advice if this is good or not without hearing you. Me personally think "thu" is very close to "tu" or "du" or even "lu". To me the difference is a "thu" is either between the teeth or just behind the teeth. If behind the teeth it could be done both dorsal and non dorsal ways. Does it sound good? If it sounds good on a recording it is another tool in the box for you.

The background of language makes it tricky to understand exactly what you are doing. Me for example, as I'm Swedish the English ta is the Swedish tĺ and the English tu is the swedish ta. Question is if there are English dialects here to consider too.

As to different toungings.

For single tounge I use both ta and da  -  with 1. tip of tounge right behind teeth, as well as 2. dorsal attacks with the tounge against the roots in the jaw.

I also use different kinds of "la" attacks 1. la as to remove the tounge when saying la. 2. la as using the tip of the tounge as a valve and move it side to side, against or behind the teeth. It sounds a bit like a valved instrument when I use that, but it is sometimes useful because I can do it pretty fast. I once asked if anyone else here used that but I think no one really understood. It's okey if you don't.

Then we have the double tounge and triple tounge and the doodle tounge and my own variant of fast single tounge that is ta-da-ta-da. I can't single tounge ta-ta very fast but ta-da works for sixteens at the speed of 126 and the ta and da sound the same so no one can tell.

I guess you do what you have to do

Record yourself and listen  Hi

/Tom
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« Reply #26 on: Jul 15, 2017, 07:05AM »

Tom he posted a video.
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« Reply #27 on: Jul 15, 2017, 07:11AM »

Tom he posted a video.

Yes, but the one posting a video is a professor at a school not the original poster, anyhow I thought my answer could give some ideas. The idea to experiment to increase your toolbox. Try the tip your teacher gives you but never stop to experiment on your own too.

/Tom
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« Reply #28 on: Jul 15, 2017, 07:44AM »

Haha whoops!
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« Reply #29 on: Jul 15, 2017, 09:12AM »

For me "thu" is a flatter and faster stroke and it's easier to keep the air flowing.

Same for me. Sadly, I only figured it out late my sophomore year in high school.
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« Reply #30 on: Jul 17, 2017, 12:41PM »

For some reason, this syllable works the best for me in getting a clear articulation without much motion. I was instructed to us "Ta", but that always resulted in a lot of jaw motion and created problems in double tonguing. Just out of curiousity, I'm asking to see if there is anyone else who does this too?

I dont know but maybe some do. It isn't easy to answer this because there is so many different kind of articulations needed to play even a simple piece of music. I'm sorry I always use the term simple music because it doesn't really exists. What do exists is music with different character. It varies a lot even inside the same piece.

I'm not sure exactly what I do my self, but I know I use different "things" to achieve different results depending on the character of the music.  I wouldn't think so much about it but let the music steer the tongue. If it doesn't work you might need a lesson with a teacher.

Nothing wrong with thu if it works for you?

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