Poulenc, Double Tongueing and Gbs - all the good stuff...

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Poulenc, Double Tongueing and Gbs - all the good stuff...

Post by sarah_and_flute »

I'm currently working on the first movement of the Poulenc Sonata, and all is good - except the double tonguing section. I'm alright with the double tonguing part, it's just the fact that it's an upper-register Gb and it has to be played piano. No matter what I do, I have to play it loudly otherwise the Gb just splits. I think this might be a problem with my flute, as Gb is always very difficult to play and I have to get a load of air behind it at the best of times, more than the other notes in the upper register (except perhaps the B and C.) It's been in for services though, and nothing's changed. Perhaps I have a loose screw?

So... how on earth am I supposed to double tongue Gb, piano, without it splitting?! Any help would be much appreciated :D

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Post by embum79 »

I love that piece! I was just playing it the other day.

As for the Gb, I think it's just one of those notes that is awful on the flute, and it will still be that way even if your flute is in perfect shape. That's not to say that all flutes will be equal in regard to the bad notes, but I think some notes, especially Gb are just always notoriously evil. :twisted:

I wish I could give you an easy answer.. although I think practicing harmonics might help (the overtones of the notes). There are some books that talk about harmonics, there might even be stuff online about it. If you get better at reaching that note, it might be easier to play it softly. And actually it's much easier to play softly when doing harmonics.

And just practicing your double-tonguing slow, slow, slow. You could also try mixing up the notes a bit, like taking that passage and starting with the Gb, for example:
Gb-Eb-Gb-Bb Gb-D-Gb-Bb and so on.
Or playing it backwards.. anything so that your fingers don't get locked up on playing the same thing over and over.

Hope that answers your question a bit. Maybe other people will have some ideas.

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Post by Sneeble »

That's a tough note - and a tough passage. I agree, the best way to conquer it is to go through it slowly. Also, work on that note individually; do harmonics and practice until you can control the note by itself; then work on controlling the volume on the passage.

If all else fails, that passage goes by so quickly, it'll be difficult to even notice. You can always ask the pianist to play a little more forte so that you can "mask" the note a bit. :lol:

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Post by eslyssa »

Am working on the same issue right now, though my problem's not the Gb. When I play it fast enough and soft enough my double tongueing gets quite spitty.

As for the Gb, my suggestion is to practice it singletongued as well, and try a broader tongue - Doo-goo rather than Da-Ga or Ta-ka, or whatever you're using..

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

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Double Tongue Stuff

Post by riponmotz »

I am working on my double tongue technique as well in the Poulenc Flute Sonata. I have no problems with the notes, only the double tongued sections. For some reason my tongue does not want to do it. It wimps out on me. I have tried using different syllables to see if that helps but nothing really seems to be helping. My recital is in 2 months and I am worried I won't get it in time. Anybody have any suggestions??????

Please help!

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Post by MeLizzard »

Often, our multiple-tonguing problems have more to do with air than our tongues. Be sure to give your tongue a nice, steady airstream on which to act.

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Post by us_army_flutist »

Dumb question perhaps, but are you using your thumb B-flat on the G-flat? It won't come out right if you do that.

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