Jazz Trumpet Player Rich Szabo and his Big Band

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Breakthroughs... Part 3

Once he got the concept, we went to work on his actual mechanics of playing the trumpet - Breathing, posture and tonguing. He finally single tongued with a full sound.

Then I asked him if he could double tongue. We again went through the “try,can’t, won’t” exercise for several minutes.

I asked him what syllables he used to double tongue. He responded with “TA-KA-TA-KA”. I asked him why he used those syllables.

He said it was because “That’s the way it’s supposed to be”. I said “Really? Who told you that?” He was dumbfounded. Someone was going to challenge his way of thinking.

I asked him to use a different set of syllables for the exercise. I had him use the word “attic”. I got this one from a student of mine and it works like a charm for getting students to double tongue.

Start the first note with a “TAT” then “IC”. then AT-IC-AT-IC-AT-IC. Guess who was double tonguing? You guessed it. This student began to double tongue with no problem. Rafael Mendez he wasn’t but he was on his way.

The look of amazement on his face was priceless. “How did you do that?” he asked. I didn’t do anything. He shifted his perception and had a breakthrough. Try different syllables. Maybe “attic” doesn’t work for you. Step outside the traditional approaches and experiment.

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