steve parker

composer // trombonist // curator

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Slap Tongue

April 30, 2013

Slap tonguing is one my favorite sounds on the trombone.  First, a slow demonstration of the technique:


This sound is produced by simultaneously exhaling into the instrument, and then stopping the air with the tongue.  This action produces a percussive effect with a faint pitch, sounding the fundamental of the instrument (Bb, A, Ab, ... E).

Next, some brief improvisations on the open horn:

...with harmon: 

...and with plunger:

While slap-tonguing is pretty common in reed writing, I've come across only a few examples in brass:

Fractus, for trombone and Super Collider, by Eli Fieldsteel

 Ground Round, for trombone and Max/MSP, by Steve Snowden

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