I see in all videos on youtube, people say to say "ta ta ka" instead of "ta ka ta" for triple tonging. However, in my mind I always thought it was "Ta ka ta" and so it seems easier to do for me at least in certain rythms.ç

For example, If i have to do a 3 16th note and a silence pattern, the famous galloping rythm used in William Tell Overtur "takata takata takata ta ta", I could not imagine doung it tataka tatak tataka tata.

Is it in this case done right, and if so, would "tataka" be used when those triple notes are continuous without rests in the middle? doing continuosu triplets instead of 3 16th+16th rest. and so on.

  • 1
    One example video would be nice. Of course double tonguing means, that the second push of air has to occur with another end of the tongue, and therefore the same syllable seems pretty pointless to me.
    – guidot
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


Ta-ta-ka is the standard, but the primary concern is that each tone receive its proper emphasis. So if this can be achieved with ta-ka-ta or even ka-ta-ta, then ultimately the technique is of less importance.

I practice all three just because it's good practice. In performance I've always fallen back on ta-ta-ka.

In the specific case mentioned, I use ta-ka-ta, but I don't think of it as triple-tonguing, since it isn't continuous. I consider it double-tonguing.

  • 2
    There's a fourth possibility, if you have two triplets you can tongue them as three double-tongued pairs, TK TK TK. This is useful for building clarity in the K syllable. Triple tonguing that uses TTK or TKT doesn't start on a K, but K clarity is vital when you tackle something like Hummel Trumpet Concerto 3rd mvt starting at bar 32. This phrase starts on a K Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 13:09

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