Do you legato tongue every legato note?

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norbie2018
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Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by norbie2018 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:19 pm

There are natural slurs and slurs across the break and legato tongue to prevent the gliss, but should we be using legato tonguing all the time to make those slurs sound more alike?
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Matt K
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by Matt K » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:20 pm

You (intentionally or otherwise!) have revealed what are essentially the two schools of thought on the issue. In short, there are a lot of players who will recommend one way over the other. I tend to not tongue unless I need to but I'm a brighter player so I don't need any additional help with my articulations. I know some very fine players who tongue though so at the end of the day it boils down a lot to artistic preference.
AndrewMeronek
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by AndrewMeronek » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:28 pm

Speaking of artistic preference: IMHO not every note needs to sound the same. Variety of articulations add musical interest, even in "legato only" passages. Let the trombone sound like a trombone.
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Neo Bri
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by Neo Bri » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:02 pm

I prefer to use natural slurs when at all possible. That said, I believe Paul Pollard advocates tonguing everything. And he is good.
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BGuttman
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by BGuttman » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:33 pm

I was taught to use legato tongue on everything so all the notes in a slur sound the same. Of course that means learning to synchronize the tongue and the change of partial.

I even carry this over to playing valved instruments (tuba and euph). Once it becomes a habit it's hard to break. :wink:
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tbonedude
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by tbonedude » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:01 pm

Warning: I am fairly opinionated on this issue.

If a composer wants to hear a phrase legato, they'll mark it as such. So many American trombonists play everything legato, and it gets to me. Having a good legato tongue is important to developing good technique, but using it all the time by default not only sounds boring, but it's also incorrect.
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BGuttman
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by BGuttman » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:16 pm

tbonedude wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:01 pm
Warning: I am fairly opinionated on this issue.

If a composer wants to hear a phrase legato, they'll mark it as such. So many American trombonists play everything legato, and it gets to me. Having a good legato tongue is important to developing good technique, but using it all the time by default not only sounds boring, but it's also incorrect.
Quite true. I use legato tongue on slurred passages, but when I need an attack I play an attack.
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norbie2018
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by norbie2018 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:21 pm

I agree that only parts marked legato should be played legato, which is why I titled the post the way I did. I was not aware that American trombonists used legato as a default, but I haven't been at university in some time.
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Neo Bri
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by Neo Bri » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:24 pm

I just recorded Maslanka's 10th Symphony this week. I assure you we had a few non-legato attacks.

At FFFF some of the time.
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baileyman
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by baileyman » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:58 am

There are timing differences to consider. A tongued attack is more likely to be at the time you intend. There is lots of timeless legato out there.

tbonedude wrote:
"... If a composer wants to hear a phrase legato, they'll mark it as such."

In my experience even trombone playing composers do not often so notate. And very often in the middle of a legato marked passage it will be clear from the style that a good whacking tongue in the middle somewhere will make the music happen.

But these considerations aside, yes for sure, some people prefer the tongueless sound.
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Neo Bri
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by Neo Bri » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:32 am

It's like anything else. It's coordination between slide and air and tongue. I've got pretty good at timing tongueless legato so it's not usually out of time - it's usually very accurate (though it could always be better). Like anything else, do it more and more and it tends to get better and better.
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imsevimse
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by imsevimse » Tue May 01, 2018 6:10 am

I allways use a gentle tounge in the low range when the notes are on same partials as if I play C-D-E on 6th, 4th, 2nd.

Sometimes I skip tounge if I cross partials or if the use of valve in between notes solves the legato. If I play Bb, C, D legato I could play Bb on v3 and C on 6th with no tounge, but add a little tounge when going for D on 4th from C on 6th.

In solo jazz ballade playing I advocate no tounge wherever no tounge is possible.

In all legato in classical playing I use as less tounge as possible, sometimes no tounge, but most often a slight touch on all legato notes.

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Doug Elliott
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue May 01, 2018 7:18 am

You should be able to do everything. So practice legato tonguing everything, practice not tonguing anything, practice every conceivable articulation and type of tonguing, and practice figuring out what combination gives you the sound you want for any particular situation.

I tend to tongue except when I don't. :hi:
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by GabeLangfur » Tue May 01, 2018 8:24 pm

Most composers have no idea how we do what we do. The notation they use is not instructions for technique, but their best attempt to represent the sound they want.

I generally use natural slurs whenever possible, but like Doug, I use whatever technique gets me the sound I hear for what I am playing.
Basbasun
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by Basbasun » Wed May 02, 2018 6:24 am

It all depends on what your teacher say. If he want you to use leagto tongue, do it. It is good to be able to use legato tongue and it is also good to be ableto use against the grain legato. If you are good at it it does sound the same.
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Re: Do you legato tongue every legato note?

Post by RustBeltBass » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:26 pm

As has been said many times above, there are mainly two schools of thought on this issue.
I do not think it is wise to dismiss one or the other as there are great players on both sides. I do believe that the idea of using tongue only when needed in order to avoid the gliss has become more and more the standard in the United States. It has been said that the “tongue everything” method is mainly credited to the Eastman/Remington school of thought.

The “go for the natural slur” method to me seems to have become most prominent through the teachings of the Chicago school, though I am sure both ideas can also be linked to other schools.

I have seen several French trombone books that heavily emphasize the use of alternate positions in order for o avoid using the Legato tongue. I know that other European nations traditionally tend more towards the use of tongue.

Ultimately I believe a great player can be convincing on either method. I also think that the different musical settings require different skill sets and that the more flexibility a player has, the more situations he can master.


One of the lessons I learned in my professional experiences is that nothing holds a player more back than the dogmatic sticking to certain concepts of playing, as good as those might be.
The growth of the player so often depends on his potential to open up to new ideas.
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