Tongue Placement
Clear all

😲 Use tags in your posts so everyone can find topics they're interested in! Learn about them here "Forum Basics" (<-- click here)!

[Solved] Tongue Placement

6 Posts
3 Users
Topic starter

Hey to all,

I am always confused playing in connection with the different tongue positions. 

Any advice in which range from C below the stuff to C above the stuff you use the different syllables?? Just to get an idea about it. 

Also sometimes it does not feel that it helps, it's sometimes more disturbing me to think about the tongue.

Could it be, that when moving the tongue upwards it is extremely important to compensate the air stream and that this is highly sensitive??

Another question is about the way to pronounce the different positions. Is it important to say the different syllables within a stable tone (voice) , or is it fine when practicing that my voice also increases from Ahh to ehhh to eyyy??

I am just wondering about the vocal chors, if they can affect something. 

Topic Tags
3 Answers

Hi Steffen, great question. Make sure you watch the lesson on tongue placement if you haven't already. Tongue placement plays a vital role in trumpet playing..

Changing tongue position will 1) allow you to change blow resistance, 2) broaden and narrow the airstream to manipulate pitch and range. 

It is VERY important to remember that the tongue alone does NOTHING! It works in harmony with the embouchure, mouthpiece and air stream to produce each note. This is why first you develop the tone, then you worry about the tongue if necessary. Analysis = paralysis.

Having said that check out the image below from Trumpet Pedagogy, David Hickman, pg. 102-103 that shows the tongue positions for different ranges. The most important thing to draw from this image is that when we go higher the tongue moves up AND forward. Most people will only go up and stay in the back, causing a lot or weird things to happen. When in doubt of how the tongue works, whistle or sing "ahhhh eeeeee ahhhhh eeeeee" and you will feel the change and form.

Air and tongue balance is important. Too much tongue and the air will decrease too much stopping the vibration of the lips and therefore the sound. Too much air and you get louder, not higher.

Yes, your voice should increase and change pitch off the trumpet. When you sing tahh have a low voice, tuuu a midrange voice and eeee a high voice. The vocal chords are not used in trumpet playing, but the information they send to our brain does help to change the aperture and air stream so we can get the right note. Singers and brass players have A LOT in common 🙂 I recommend you watch this video for more on that. I recommend to watch the first 6 minutes:




Steffen Schröder Topic starter 03/08/2021 8:12 pm

@trumpetheadquarters Hey Estela,
I so appreciate your work here for us members. Thank you so much for you help! It's not only a comment, it's giving us your knowledge. Thank you 😊

Let me see if I can work with this informations. If not I'll text you again 👍👌

TrumpetHeadquarters 04/08/2021 1:28 am

Sounds good Steffen, I'm rooting for you!


I think it is best Estela answer this question I think I am causing you more confusion. Great question and good luck.


Interesting question my tongue changes positions as I go higher or lower but is hard to describe what it actually does. I don't really think about saying syllables I just think about compressing the airstream. I am not really that much of a high note player so hopefully the high note players here will give their thoughts.



Steffen Schröder Topic starter 01/08/2021 9:50 am

@roger1982 hey, thanks for your answer. Maybe it will help me to think more in a practical way. As you said you think in compression and not in syllables.

I will try it this way. I will train my tongue by saying the different syllabils like ahhhh ehhh ihhh in front of a mirror and listen to the voice if this is still clear and not disturbed by closing the throat with the backsite of the tongue. When playing I will start to think in compression as this is closer to the real situation.

It is also hard sometime not to compress with the throat, but I am sure if I practice the breathing exercises from Estela I will get rid of it

SAVE 20-40% • ENDS 2/17

Maximize Your Trumpet Playing For Free

Download the THQ Warmup Guide to learn eye-opening tips and lessons that will take your playing to the next level.