Topic: Double Tongue/Embochure Pressure

I have been having two problems lately.

1, my double tongue isn't nearly as fast or crisp as it used to be. I just need some advice getting it faster, and more clean. Also, I have been having trouble double tonguing below C (octave below middle C).

Also, I have been having trouble with embochure pressure. My embochure has been getting tighter lately, and it is making playing difficult. If I try to loosen my embochure, air leaks, and my pitch sags. I've been trying to work on air support, and practicing in larger amounts of smaller sessions, though it isn't helping... It's just been frustrating, I have been having trouble playing, not doing nearly as good as I was last fall......

Bassoonist, Contrabassoonist, Composer.

Ask not what your reed can do for you, but what you can do for your reed.

Re: Double Tongue/Embochure Pressure

Hunter, First check over your instrument and bocal for leaks. Then, be sure your reed is not leaking on the bocal. After that, reflect on whether you have allowed your reeds to gradually get less responsive (be harder to blow).

After those checks, when double tonguing: be sure you are not reducing your air speed; tonguing too far back on the tongue for the front stroke, or attempting to make the notes too short. In my opinion double tonguing is fast legato tonguing not fast staccato tonguing.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University