Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1087080 Posts in 71982 Topics- by 19233 Members - Latest Member: Midnight1961
Jump to:  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Tongue Motion  (Read 1233 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
cigmar

*
Offline Offline

Location: New Jersey
Joined: Jun 20, 2006
Posts: 361

View Profile
« on: Aug 27, 2017, 05:08AM »

When articulating does your tongue move mostly down, mostly back, or a combination of down and back?
Logged
watermailonman

*
Offline Offline

Location: Sweden
Joined: Aug 1, 2004
Posts: 1421
"Do your best and then do better"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: Aug 27, 2017, 06:57AM »

When articulating does your tongue move mostly down, mostly back, or a combination of down and back?

A combination of down and back (ta or da).

/Tom
Logged

Listen to my playing on soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/user-796193724
Visit my page at https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic/

Instruments: King 2b+, Kanstul 1570, Kanstul 1662. m-pieces: Bach 6 3/4, Hammond 12 ML, Hammond 20 BL
timothy42b
*
Offline Offline

Location: Colonial Heights, Virginia, US
Joined: Dec 7, 2000
Posts: 12299

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: Aug 27, 2017, 08:54AM »

It's hard to know what you really do.

I have believed for a long time that the motion was mostly vertical.  Either the tip of the tongue moves up to touch behind the teeth, or if you are a dorsal tonguer, then the tip stays down and the surface back of the tip moves up. 

The MRI of forum member Doug Yeo clearly proves that wrong.  At least in his case, the motion is forward and back. 

So now I'm back to wondering, and trying to listen hard and get it more clean. 
Logged

Tim Richardson
cigmar

*
Offline Offline

Location: New Jersey
Joined: Jun 20, 2006
Posts: 361

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: Aug 27, 2017, 09:11AM »


I have believed for a long time that the motion was mostly vertical.  Either the tip of the tongue moves up to touch behind the teeth, or if you are a dorsal tonguer, then the tip stays down and the surface back of the tip moves up. 

The MRI of forum member Doug Yeo clearly proves that wrong.  At least in his case, the motion is forward and back. 
 

I had pretty much the same thoughts.  Was mostly trying to use an up and down motion only.  But after seeing Doug's MRI video I began experimenting with a down and back motion.  That seems to bring more presence and resonance to my sound and also improves intonation on certain partials.  What surprises me though, is that in Doug's video it appears he is using only forward and back motion with no upward and downward. 
Logged
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6663

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: Aug 27, 2017, 01:21PM »

That would be the case for people who tongue forward.  I articulate and keep my tongue tip much farther back, so I think my motion is pretty much vertical.  I learned to do that intentionally and it works very well but it took a long time to get there.

I'm kind of surprised Doug Yeo didn't include doodle in his MRI's... I think I've heard him say that he uses doodle sometimes.  It would be interesting to see how different people do it.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
cigmar

*
Offline Offline

Location: New Jersey
Joined: Jun 20, 2006
Posts: 361

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: Aug 27, 2017, 01:42PM »


That would be the case for people who tongue forward. 


Doug,
Not sure what you're referring to with this statement.  Could you please elaborate a bit?
Logged
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6663

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: Aug 27, 2017, 02:50PM »

The bump on the top of my mouth is directly above the gully in the bottom of my mouth.  I tongue on the bump and rest in the gully.  Keeping it well away from the teeth and lips in all ranges.

That was hard to learn but well worth it.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
cigmar

*
Offline Offline

Location: New Jersey
Joined: Jun 20, 2006
Posts: 361

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: Aug 27, 2017, 05:51PM »

The bump on the top of my mouth is directly above the gully in the bottom of my mouth.  I tongue on the bump and rest in the gully.  Keeping it well away from the teeth and lips in all ranges.

That was hard to learn but well worth it.

That's kinda what I thought you meant but wasn't sure.  So you tongue way behind the teeth and then bring it straight down where it would also land if you tongued behind the teeth and then brought it down and back. The end result (location) is the same, just the beginning that's different.

So now my next question is, how and why was it well worth it, as you said.
Logged
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6663

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: Aug 27, 2017, 06:39PM »

Actually when I used to tongue farther forward, it didn't end up in the gully.  Tonguing this way opened up my sound because it stays away from my lips and creates a pocket behind them.  On Sarah Willis's MRI video you can hear the sound gradually open up after each articulation, while you watch how long it takes the tongue to settle into a position.  On Doug Yeo's videos you don't see that, partly because he moves it into its resting position much faster, and partly because he cuts the note off and doesn't hold it after his articulation.  You can't observe what might have happened if he had held it longer.

To answer your question, the way I tongue now has a more open sound, allows more volume, and settles into its open sound quickly after the articulation.  It was very uncomfortable at first, it took about 2 years of work before it felt normal.

Someone who likes instant gratification would never stick with it.  I was more stubborn about seeking and seeing the end of the tunnel.  I trusted my teacher who advised me to go this route.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
baileyman
*
Offline Offline

Location: Danvers, MA
Joined: Jan 18, 2007
Posts: 2050

View Profile
« Reply #9 on: Aug 27, 2017, 07:04PM »

When articulating does your tongue move mostly down, mostly back, or a combination of down and back?

What's happening, and this has been changing with continued specific practice, is that the tongue articulates in a way so as to preserve the space it forms behind the teeth, the space which seems to be tuned to the pitch played. 

So, it used to be that some kind of "ta" was what I tried to do.  And I still do, but only on pitches for which "ta" preserves the space behind the teeth.  These are generally second partial and lower for me. 

Above there, as the space tunes smaller, the tongue finds a new articulation motion, flattening out as pitch rises.  Above 7th partial G or so the space becomes noticeably small, and a "ta" by its very formation increases the size of that space.   My interpretation is that the increased size lowers the pitch of the space to the point that it no longer matches the intended pitch.  So "ta" makes me fall off the pitch.  Most irritating.   

What does seem to work in these modestly higher pitches is to articulate by flattening the entire space against the pallet, then bouncing back.  I don't think in English there is a consonant to describe it.  The tongue forms a space that resonates at that pitch.  The tongue collapses that space to the roof of the mouth.  The tongue returns to re-form that space.  A real lazy idiot sounding "tha" against the roof may be close.  Heavy tongue motion. 

So, in sum, there does not appear to be an ideal articulation motion independent of pitch, but rather dependent on pitch. 

Logged
svenlarsson

*
Offline Offline

Location: Enskede, Sweden.
Joined: Sep 15, 2001
Posts: 4560

View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: Aug 28, 2017, 02:52AM »

It is very difficult to know what you do, very often the reality differ from what we believe.
When we say "ta" or "da" we may sound different because since this is a intnernational site whot people with different languga and different dialects.
Very different languages are f.ex. Swedish and Indian.
Even Swedish and English are different, especially when pronauncing ta and da.
Speaking I say ta and da with dorsal tounging, actuall most Swedes do.
I do not use my tongue the same in all ranges or all gengres or all forms of articulation.
Most of the time the tip of my tongue stays with my lower teeth (I believe)the dorsal part of my tongue is the responible part of my articulation. As said, not all the time.
Very interesting to see the clips with Douglas Yeo, my rection was similar to Doug Elliot.
Logged

Kanstul 1662. Bach 45B. Kanstul 1555. Besson Euphonium. Kanstul 66-S Tuba. Sackbuts in F/E/Eb Bb/A
And several horns I should sell.
cigmar

*
Offline Offline

Location: New Jersey
Joined: Jun 20, 2006
Posts: 361

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: Aug 28, 2017, 07:45AM »

Actually when I used to tongue farther forward, it didn't end up in the gully.  Tonguing this way opened up my sound because it stays away from my lips and creates a pocket behind them.  On Sarah Willis's MRI video you can hear the sound gradually open up after each articulation, while you watch how long it takes the tongue to settle into a position.  On Doug Yeo's videos you don't see that, partly because he moves it into its resting position much faster, and partly because he cuts the note off and doesn't hold it after his articulation.  You can't observe what might have happened if he had held it longer.

To answer your question, the way I tongue now has a more open sound, allows more volume, and settles into its open sound quickly after the articulation.  It was very uncomfortable at first, it took about 2 years of work before it felt normal.

Someone who likes instant gratification would never stick with it.  I was more stubborn about seeking and seeing the end of the tunnel.  I trusted my teacher who advised me to go this route.

Doug,

That's very interesting.  As an experiment I tried tonguing in the manner I believe you describe.  I placed the tip of my tongue on the roof of my mouth about a half inch behind where the front teeth and gum meet, then brought the tongue pretty much straight down.  To my surprise, this felt much more natural to me than initially placing the tongue on the upper teeth and then bringing it down and back.  It also allowed the pitch to sustain after the initial attack.  Tonguing on the teeth caused the pitch to waver and drop slightly after the initial attack.  I remember the one, and unfortunately only, lesson I had with Reinhardt in the mid 70s.  At one point he mentioned I had a large and long tongue and said at some point later we were going to switch to what he called an "anchor tongue".  As I was unable to have any follow up lessons I never pursued this.  But maybe I need to change my tonguing to further behind the teeth.
Logged
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5423
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: Aug 28, 2017, 08:21AM »

=========================================

Q: When articulating does your tongue move mostly down, mostly back, or a combination of down and back?

A: Yes.

=========================================

Not a wisecrack.

Ok...maybe a little...

But true nonetheless.

Quote
Different ranges

Different volumes

Different articulations

Different tonguing patterns.

Too many to accurately categorize when in performance mode.

Which brings us back to "Song and Wind," to "Tongue and Blow." If it sounds right, it is right. I am not at all sure that we can ever fully control what the tongue does when we are playing. Yes, these MRIs give us hints, but...they are such an artificial situation compared to what we are doing when we stand up and play to the best of our abilities. And when we play to the best of our abilities...at least the following is the case with me, and I believe it to be the case with pretty much every serious player on any instrument...when we play to the best of our abilities, we do not have the capability of "observing" what we are doing. Every effort to "observe" backs us off of really playing. This is not just the case w/the tongue, either. We can observe preparation...stance, in-breath, prepared attack, m'pce and embouchure etting, slide grip, horn grip etc...but once the music is set in motion? There is not enough brain power in the world to be able to play and "think" at the same time. Not in my brain there isn't, and my lifelong observation of people who try to do that a great deal tells me that they all lack some extra element of musicality in their playing.

Virtuosi? Yes. Maybe. Sometimes. Often, even. Great musicians on an artistic level, players who communicate on a very high emotional level? None of which I know. I have spoken with many great players about this, and have yet to find one that claims to be "thinking" about anything except the music, once it starts.

Now...can a mind on the Heifetz or Mozart or Charlie Parker or J. S. Bach level do this?

Maybe.

Not having that level of talent, I do not know on an experiential level. I do now that the great cellist Pablo Casals...an artist if ever there was one...spoke, taught and wrote a great deal about total concentration on the music, even if the technique suffered somewhat.

That has been my experience as well.

When playing on my highest level, I am in a state where I do not "think" at all. There is nothing but the music, and if I try to somehow analyze or fix what I am doing physically while at that level, the whole musical balloon bursts. Most of the audience might not notice it...I mean, really. How seriously are most of them listening? But I notice it.

Long story short...analysis of tongue positions only goes so far. It is preparatory work done to make those positions as reflexive as possible, just like all the rest of physical practice. But in the heat of battle? There's no telling what is happening, and no machine to measure it that does not seriously affect the actions themselves.

The Schroedinger's Cat idea.

Measure the subject and the subject is no longer the same as it was before the measurement.

So it goes...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5423
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: Aug 28, 2017, 09:07AM »

What's happening, and this has been changing with continued specific practice, is that the tongue articulates in a way so as to preserve the space it forms behind the teeth, the space which seems to be tuned to the pitch played.

YES!!!

Bingo!!!

We are to some degree "whistling" the pitches that we are playing. I can whistle three completely different ways...the normal melodic whistling where a roundish hole can be seen in he middle of the puckered lips, a very shrill, powerful whistle where the lips are somewhat rolled in and the edges of the tongue meet the rolled-in lips and a sort of "secret" whistle because I have a gap between my upper front two teeth. (I used to delight in driving my school teachers crazy with it because my mouth looks pretty much normal when I'm doing it. Evil Evil Evil) With all of these whistles, the pitch is almost totally controlled by the tongue. In the first one, both the tip and mid-to-back of the tongue are involved; in the second and third the front of the tongue is fairly stationary while the mid-back of the tongue changes the pitch.

Ditto when I am buzzing. When no tongue attacks are used...all glisses (Easy on a m'pce, a cutoff rim or freebuzzing.)...the front and mid-back are working very simply, pretty much in parallel. That is to say, the higher I go from say middle Bb up to about 16th partal F, the tip and mid-back move in much the same direction...up to go higher, down to go lower. This is not a truly "parallel" motion because the mid-back moves further than does the tip. Above that range the tip pretty much locks down on the lower teeth while the mid-back continues climbing. "Arching" might be a better word. That same mid-range set of motions continues until around say 2nd partial C#, where the tip pretty much locks down into the well (Good word, Doug. Thanks.), and the back/mid-back of the tongue takes over. This goes right on down to the lowest notes I can freebuzz...sub-sub-sub-pedals. (I usually lose count, to tell you the truth. Tuned horse-lip flapping. Whatever...)

Now...that is what my tongue does, in totally non-musical (thus easier to observe) situations. I would wager that in an MRI the above would all be plain to see, although lying on my back somewhat changes things...it would still the same general set of motions, though.

Add "normal" articulations? The tip of the tongue gets very busy. It has to articulate and then get the hell out of the way, back to the place where the given note sounds (whistles?) the best.

So, it used to be that some kind of "ta" was what I tried to do.  And I still do, but only on pitches for which "ta" preserves the space behind the teeth.  These are generally second partial and lower for me. 

Quote
Above there, as the space tunes smaller, the tongue finds a new articulation motion, flattening out as pitch rises.  Above 7th partial G or so the space becomes noticeably small, and a "ta" by its very formation increases the size of that space.   My interpretation is that the increased size lowers the pitch of the space to the point that it no longer matches the intended pitch.  So "ta" makes me fall off the pitch.  Most irritating.   

What does seem to work in these modestly higher pitches is to articulate by flattening the entire space against the pallet, then bouncing back.  I don't think in English there is a consonant to describe it.  The tongue forms a space that resonates at that pitch.  The tongue collapses that space to the roof of the mouth.  The tongue returns to re-form that space.  A real lazy idiot sounding "tha" against the roof may be close.  Heavy tongue motion. 

So, in sum, there does not appear to be an ideal articulation motion independent of pitch, but rather dependent on pitch.

Keep looking, John.

And then of course...

Fuhgeddaboudit!!!

And go on playing.






Later...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
Pre59

*
Offline Offline

Location: Devon UK
Joined: May 26, 2015
Posts: 582

View Profile
« Reply #14 on: Aug 28, 2017, 09:41AM »

So where does this leave playing without any tongue whatsoever?

If it's possible to play over a large part of the tbn range without any tongue attacks, and with a "passive" tongue be able to move it from side to side and even a "rolling" tongue whilst playing. I know this to be a fact, the former is part of my daily ritual and I've just tried the latter.
In my reality the tongue is a valve and range is an adjustment of the "pucker" or "aperture", and air.

I'll get my coat..
Logged

In my reality..
timothy42b
*
Offline Offline

Location: Colonial Heights, Virginia, US
Joined: Dec 7, 2000
Posts: 12299

View Profile
« Reply #15 on: Aug 28, 2017, 10:04AM »

The first time I saw mention of the tongue level in relation to pitch was in Roger Spaulding's 1968 book.  (I think I probably read that in the late 90s.) 

Since then I've become aware of a few others talking about tongue position and pitch, especially high range, like Claude Gordon, Herbert Clark, Don Reinhardt.

Sam and Doug on this forum have both commented on it to some extent, also some others. 

So I think it might be premature to reject the idea.   
Logged

Tim Richardson
timothy42b
*
Offline Offline

Location: Colonial Heights, Virginia, US
Joined: Dec 7, 2000
Posts: 12299

View Profile
« Reply #16 on: Aug 28, 2017, 10:30AM »

Now I'm really confused.

I wish I hadn't watched this video again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWcOwgWsPHA#t=457

(Sarah Willis on MRI)

because I noticed something at 7:15 that I hadn't seen before. 

To me, tongue arch means the tip is low, the back is low, the middle is high.

But clearly Sarah raises the side edges of the tongue to create a narrow channel down the middle. 

I have never tried to do that, nor would I have thought of it. 
Logged

Tim Richardson
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5423
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #17 on: Aug 28, 2017, 10:43AM »

Now I'm really confused.

I wish I hadn't watched this video again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWcOwgWsPHA#t=457

(Sarah Willis on MRI)

because I noticed something at 7:15 that I hadn't seen before. 

To me, tongue arch means the tip is low, the back is low, the middle is high.

But clearly Sarah raises the side edges of the tongue to create a narrow channel down the middle. 

I have never tried to do that, nor would I have thought of it. 

Some people simply cannot make that "channel" down the middle of the tongue. It is called "folding the tongue" I believe, and I researched it when I was trying to learn how to whistle really loudly as a boy. I found that I could do it and soon thereafter had a whistle that would stop a taxi 2 blocks away. I have experimented with using it on brass instruments, but it has never much affected how I play in any register.

Once again, of course...for me.

For others?

Who knows...?

Wouldn't it be nice to know that Maynard Ferguson and others' seemingly superhuman high ranges were the result of being able to focus the air by folding their tongues down the middle, thus providing great focus?

Like I said, though...who knows?

Not me.

Later...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
Pre59

*
Offline Offline

Location: Devon UK
Joined: May 26, 2015
Posts: 582

View Profile
« Reply #18 on: Aug 28, 2017, 12:04PM »

The first time I saw mention of the tongue level in relation to pitch was in Roger Spaulding's 1968 book.  (I think I probably read that in the late 90s.) 

Since then I've become aware of a few others talking about tongue position and pitch, especially high range, like Claude Gordon, Herbert Clark, Don Reinhardt.

Sam and Doug on this forum have both commented on it to some extent, also some others. 

So I think it might be premature to reject the idea.   

I'm not rejecting the tongue position idea so much as wondering that If changing the tongue shape is going to work for an individual, won't it just happen naturally with practice and time?
Logged

In my reality..
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5423
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: Aug 28, 2017, 12:19PM »

I'm not rejecting the tongue position idea so much as wondering that If changing the tongue shape is going to work for an individual, won't it just happen naturally with practice and time?

That's the idea, of course...but it is a slow and steady way of going about things. Sometimes too slow and too steady.

There's a very thin line between over-analysis and purposeful ignorance. In everything, not just brass playing. If we learn how to walk that line, things happen more quickly and more efficiently.

That's my take on it, anyway.

I've been an dedicated experimenter about playing brass instruments since my original, fairly good "natural" way of playing deserted me...actually, I kinda chased it away by overwork/not enough practice/too wild a life...as a young pro in NYC. I took Carmine Caruso's principles and used them as a kind of safety net. I expanded them in any number of ways, knowing that if I started to get in trouble I could easily right myself by simply going back to exactly what Carmine had taught me.

So far, so good.

As long as you don't forget about the "FUHGEDDABOUDIT!!!" meme when it's time to really play, if you have a good, basic system upon which to build, the sky's the limit.

Later...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
Print
Jump to: