Legato is played without tonguing.
Lower register
Upper register


Non Legato

Each individual note is tongued and separated.
Lower register
Upper register



Short and separated notes (all tongued).
Lower register
Upper register



Very short tongued notes. Sometimes notated as staccato notes with the word staccatissimo (or staccatiss.) written above.
Lower register
Upper register

legato staccato

Tenuto and other markings

Notes with a line are sometimes called "tenuto". Nots with both dots and slurs, or lines and slurs, vary in interpretation, but are somewhere between legato and non legato. Opinions vary widely as to the meaning of these symbols!
Legato staccato:

double and triple tonguing

Double & Triple Tonguing

Partial tonguing in groups of two or three (e.g. on syllables ta-ka, or ta-ka-ka) to give a very rapid articulation. Triple tonguing in particular is very tiring on the tuba. Do not write for long periods.
All about tonguing:
Double and triple tonguing:



A rolled 'r' tonguing. A very demanding technique on the tuba. Use sparsely.

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at] bathspa.ac.uk