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Author Topic: Tongue Motion  (Read 989 times)
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 28, 2017, 02:42PM »

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.

Exactly.
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 28, 2017, 03:12PM »

Exactly.

In further work on this today, I became aware that tongue placement on the attack is somewhat dependent on register.  In the extreme low register my tongue did attack on the teeth.  Then as I ascended the tongue attacked further up until the upper Bb, C, and D it was well behind the teeth/gum meeting point and up on the roof of the mouth.  I recall lessons with Tyronne Breuinger where he mentioned that to determine where the tongue should be for an attack on a particular note, to play that note and then allow the tongue to go to its natural position to stop the note (a means to an end).  Where the tongue fell on the stopped portion is also where the tongue should be positioned for the attack.  This of course is all very analytical and Sam's position of basically "Just play the music and Fuggedabotit" is what we do in performance.  But I also believe that in the practice room we need to consciously be aware of these things in order to implement and solidify the natural order of response when in a performance situation.
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Pre59

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« Reply #22 on: Aug 28, 2017, 03:18PM »


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.


Amen to that.

I've gone back to some of the older exercises from my youth and mixed them up with some newer (?) ideas of my own, and have found that practice has become more satisfying and productive. I don't think that I have any problems in particular, but I wouldn't mind being able to do everything a little better..
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 28, 2017, 03:21PM »

Over the years, I feel like my tongue has settled into the same placement for my whole range.  It used to change before I adopted this.  It feels much simpler and more consistent this way.  That's my goal with everything.
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 28, 2017, 04:05PM »

Isn't this a matter of listening to oneself, with the help of a recording device if necessary (which I never do because I'm too chicken) and then making adjustments? If your tonguing sounds bad, make it sound better. It's a bit like Inner Game of Tennis - the most improvement came from watching and imitating. Some guidance might be helpful but is best applied sparingly.





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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 28, 2017, 10:43PM »

Almost all of the things I teach are things people tell me they never thought of and nobody ever suggested either.

Guidance MIGHT be helpful?  Best applied sparingly?  Depends on the guidance I guess.
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