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DZY92
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« on: Jan 29, 2007, 05:33AM »

hi guys! i recently came across a trombone score that requires the trombonist to flutter-tongue one part of the song...so now my questions are what is actually flutter tongue and how does it work?secondly, is there a possible way to practise flutter-tongue?and thirdly, is flutter-tongue common in trombone pieces?thanks for all ur advice!
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David
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2007, 07:11AM »

I think it's easier to play a flutter tongue than to describe it, but here goes.

Flutter tongue is when you keep the air stream moving but the tongue oscillates to alternately block and open the airstream.

There is a cultural aspect in being able to do this.  Scots and Latins, who "roll" their r's have little trouble with this technique.  Orientals, who almost never use rolled r's, have great difficulty.

I personally have been able to create a flutter tongue by trying to "roll an r" while playing a note.  Other people seem to find this approach either very bizarre or unattainable.

As to commonplace?  There are a few very major examples in symphonic literature from the early 20th century ("Rhapsody in Blue" immediately springs to mind).  Big Band literature has a lot of use for this technique as well.

My recommendation?  Find somebody who can fluttertongue and have them demonstrate it.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2007, 10:25AM »

i can do it via growling somewhat

maybe someone can explain this better...
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Wildkiger

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« Reply #3 on: Jan 29, 2007, 08:27PM »

My teacher explained it as rolling an 'r' while playing a note. She said I was very odd because I can pick up a flutter-tongue after playing a note, but I couldn't start it before I played.  I guess most people are the other way around.  Just play around with it and practice it. Once you get it down, it will be easy.  And when you're really good, you can flutter-tongue pedal tones.  :D

And it's really fun to use to get back at noisy neighbors.   =:)
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 30, 2007, 10:31AM »

An inabliity to flutter tounge can be the dirty little secret of brass players :-)

I studied 30 years ago with a few very well known symphony trombonists in the upper midwest including one who has a scholarship named after him.

I was struggling with flutter tounging at the time and asked for advice. I got a red faced look from him and an admission. He had never been able to do it either in his career and frankly had founda way to "growl" appropriately when required.

There is apparently some biology to the issue of flutter tounging and some people can do it natively, some work a little and it pops and some NEVER can find a way to do it correctly.

I am unfortunately number 3, I learned to growl appropriately :-)
 
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 03, 2007, 02:49AM »

I got a good explanation form my techer couple of years ago, sine i'm norwegian i had no problems understanding it.
But if you ever have heard a norwegian say "r", it ends with a rolling sound where the tounge just flaps around in the uper part of the mouth.
So if you know how that sound is, you could try it ;-)
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tony001
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 08, 2007, 03:26PM »

just say and sustain the double 'r' in arriba (spanish) Sing it!.  then just transfer that sound to your instrument.  i'm guessing it's easier for people who speak languages that use these sounds?
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Sebastian

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« Reply #7 on: Feb 09, 2007, 11:05AM »

Yeah, the Spanish example is just as good as mine, the same sound :)

Yeah, I think that they who use that r in their language got it easier than those who don't use it as much. I had no problem learning flutter tongue, i was able to use it the time my teacher learnt it to me.
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 09, 2007, 11:58AM »

Growing up, while you were riding your bike, did you ever make a "motor" (engine) sound kinda like a motorcyle? It's almost like that, or pronouncing the letter "D"...leave your tongue on the roof of your mouth, and exhale. Your tongue should start to flutter against the roof of your mouth. That's the way I produce it on my horn.
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 09, 2007, 04:14PM »

Make a machine gun sound with your tongue.

That's the only way I can explain it.
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« Reply #10 on: Feb 14, 2007, 10:09AM »

There seems to be two techniques:

1. Simulate rolling "R"s when you play, that is what I do.

2. Growl the flutter, my daughter couldn't get the rolling R thing going so while I played a note with flutter tounging, sustaining it as long as I could, she figured out how to match the sound with a growl from the back of the throat.     

I think that most can make one of the options work with some practice.
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Jim J

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« Reply #11 on: Feb 14, 2007, 02:09PM »

I was only able to flutter tongue after I took Spanish... :D
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« Reply #12 on: Feb 15, 2007, 02:14AM »

just like rolling your tongue flutter tonguing is genetically impossible for some people, myself included. I usually just growl.
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WaltTrombone
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« Reply #13 on: Feb 15, 2007, 05:13AM »

I don't buy the genetically impossible argument. If it were true, shouldn't there then be an entire subset of Spanish/Italian/Norwegian people who cannot roll their Rs? I think it falls more into the category of learned behaviors. Do Chinese people show a genetic marker for being unable to pronounce an R, or more likely, is it that their language doesn't use that sound, so they never learn it. When I visited South Africa, I couldn't pronounce any of the clicks used in Xhosa, either. Genes, or learning?
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« Reply #14 on: Feb 15, 2007, 09:17AM »

That's exactly why I originally said there's a cultural aspect rather than a genetic aspect.  Oriental languages (especially Chinese) do not use rolled r's.  Many American dialects do not use rolled r's.  Spanish dialects do use rolled r's.

Anybody can learn to roll r's.  It's just more difficult for some people.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #15 on: Feb 15, 2007, 06:42PM »

I used to blindly accept the genetic argument but finally thought it through and realized it makes no sense.  For all of you attempting to learn to flutter tongue if you can roll R's then use that technique, otherwise you have to determine if it's easier for you to learn to roll R's or growl the flutter, then practice it.
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Jim J

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« Reply #16 on: Feb 16, 2007, 06:54PM »

i can't roll my r's (why am i in spanish?) but i found a way to do a passable flutter tounge. you have to youse the back of your tounge and make a throat clearing noise with it, (not your throat, your tounge) it works for a growl as well, i used it on a porgy+bess solo and it worked well.
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jmoore88
« Reply #17 on: Feb 16, 2007, 07:19PM »

So when you roll you r's it is the front of the tongue doing the work, correct? At least that's how it seems when I do it. Has anybody ever experimented with using the back part of the tongue instead? Somewhat similar to using a ka syllable vs. ta one (as in double tonguing) I was just messing thought about it and it seems pretty easy to do free buzzing, I wonder what it would sound like on the horn though. maybe I'll post again after I've been able to try it out on the horn tomorrow.
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