Advanced Technique, Performance Questions, Auditions, Recording, etc.

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Post by embum79 »

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone has any tips on flutter-tonguing, for a girl who can't roll her "R"s!!

I've never been able to do that tongue roll thing.. I would be terrible at learning Spanish.. but anyway, does anyone have any tips?? I know there's some way people do it without rolling the tongue, but I can't figure it out.

Thanks for any help!!!

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Post by Collin »

Rolling the tounge is the only way that I know how to flutter-tounge! :P
Music is prayer without words.

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Post by ick27 »

There is another way. By "growling" with the back of your mouth you can make a sound on the flute very much like flutter tonguing (often called "uvular flutter tonguing".) One of my former teachers cannot roll her r's and uses this method for flutter tonguing. It's a bit tricky to learn by reading about without someone showing you. Maybe check out this webpage http://personal.zcloud.net/timzart/fluttertongue.htm

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Post by embum79 »

Ouch, hurts my throat!!

Oh well, I will keep trying.

Thank you so much for the info!!

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Re: Flutter-tonguing

Post by Kim »

I cannot Flutter tongue but my daughter can. It is kind of strange and gross how she learned but I will go ahead and share in case it may help you.

To make long story short, my daughter has had lots of sinus problems and it causes lots of sinus drainage that caused her to clear her throat quite often. She found that the action in the throat when trying to clear it made flutter tonguing easier. Similar to the action when you gargle.

It may be worth a try for you :)


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Post by zephyrr »

My only advice is.. learn Spanish! =D

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Post by Kendall »

hahahhahaha oh dear Lord that made me lagh for literally 2 minutes straight

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Post by bandnerd »

Question- when is flutter tonguing necessary? I have never heard of it.

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Post by Mango »

My friend Olivia, who plays sax, needed it for jazz. She's the one that introduced it to me. We then spent many days of marching band trying to actually do it with the instruments in our mouths. It's much harder to roll your tongue with something in your mouth.

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Post by MeLizzard »

Flutter-tonguing is required in some contemporary solos, jazz and pop music, and even in some orchestral parts. A main purpose of the Karg-Elert caprices (over 100 years old), which include a couple examples of flutter, is exploration and instruction of unusual techniques and difficult interval patterns required for newly-composed flute music of the era. The composer explains this in the preface of the etude collection, as orchestral music was growing increasingly complicated in the late nineteenth century. :) It's in Ravel's La Valse and the Milhaud Sonatine, and lots of other pieces.

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Post by eslyssa »

Being someone who cannot flutter-tongue with my tongue, I was lucky enough that uvular flutter tongueing came very naturally - in fact in one of my first flute lessons, I started doing it without knowing what it was. My teach was rather surprised, of course...

My suggestion is to gargle - it seems to be good for building up the right muscle. Gargle heaps.

As for how to actually do it, well. It's hard to explain. I'm playing a couple of pieces which require it, and I'm trying to analyse what I'm actually doing.

The tongue seems flattened to the bottom of the mouth. I find it easier to do by tightening up the sides of my lips, sort of into a repressed smile. It's like making pigeon noises, or purring - except into a flute. When I flutter, I can feel it strongest with my finger on the bottom of my chin, close to my neck.

Hope some of that helps.
Flute: n., a sophisticated pea shooter with a range of up to 500 yards, blown transversely to confuse the enemy.

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Post by Jim_P »

I cannot flutter-tongue either...I am tongue-tied (literally, it's called an ankylotic tongue). Rolling the R is also impossible for me, but I can roll a D...not a skill that helps in flute playing though.

There is a technique I sometimes use which involves a rapid flutter of the throat muscles, like an ultra-fast, very light vibrato. On simple-system flutes, I sometimes use this in listening pieces on the long notes where flattament (fingered vibrato) cannot be used such as the bell note.

It's not equivalent in sound but is a useful technique in its own right, especially when playing airs.


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Re: Flutter-tonguing

Post by Claiken »

Kim wrote:Similar to the action when you gargle.
i was just experimenting with it rite now, and thats what i naturally did, lol. it kinda hurts but it works... i wonder what it does to the sound....

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Post by Jessika »

I don't know if this will help, but maybe trying different aproaches to the traditional method will work for you or someone else who reads this. I taught someone in my band to flutter tongue by not thinking about it as rolling r's, but instead having the tip of your tongue lightly at the top of your mouth and blowing past it. That's all the advice I really have.

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