Triple Tonguing Trumpeters

Aside from developing an “embouchure” (lip muscle), the toughest challenge for a trumpeter is the ‘triple tongue’. One of the ‘Big Band’ era favorites was Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights. He featured his trumpet section quite often as his “Triple Tonguing Trumpeters”.  Those guys could play those horns!  Triple tongue was taught by breathing “tukatatukata” into the mouth piece. Not easy (cup YOUR thumb and forefinger around your ‘buzzing’ lips and say “tookahtahtookahtah” three times).  It takes a lot of practice to do this well.  (A good example is the trumpet call prior to a horse race)  It’s a shame that there are so many easy abuses of our tongues.  I  have volunteered to write the daily devotions for Harvest Community Church. Our Pastor’s Bible Message is the scripture reference for each week.  We are in the book of James and his passage in James 3 cuts deeply into my heart.  (So often my ‘tongue’ has thwrted my Christian witness). Here’s what James says:

James 3New International Version (NIV)

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 

Even when I attempt to ‘hold my tongue’, the urge is simply too great, donchaknow.   Only when I ‘release the reins’ over to the HOLY SPIRIT does that ‘peace that passeth understanding’ come.  Only then does this poor waterwalker reach the utmost moment of joy when GOD fills my soul with a ‘clean heart’.  At that supreme moment, a destructive fire is prevented. THANK YOU, GOD!    All of James 3 should be planted deeply into our very being.  It would beat “LIghting One Little Candle”.   AMEN

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