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Thread: Flutter tongue

  1. #1
    tMP Friend in Training
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    Flutter tongue

    Hi there, after getting back to playing last year after 11 years off I'm doing okay apart from my nemesis....flutter tonguing. I can't roll my r's at all and am totally struggling with it although I can double and triple tongue . As the piece we are playing for the Scottish Challenge shield has ff flutter tonguing trombone bit in it I am determined to do it properly. Any suggestions or hints would be much appreciated. My daughter has just started to play euphonium and can hardly play a thing but she can flutter tongue (grrrr) so humiliation beckons.

    Thanks
    Fiona

  2. #2
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    Growl instead?

    I find that flutter tounging is all to do with the tip of your tongue, if you stick your tongue out, is it pointed or rounded?I am unfortunate enough to have a rounded tongue and I can not flutter tongue to save my life. The only suggestion I can think of is to actually growl when blowing, using the back part of your tongue with the top of your mouth. Be careful though, as the sound can be raucus and is not always appropriate!Basically you either got it or you ain't!

  3. #3
    tMP Prime Friend Laserbeam bass's Avatar
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    I can't roll my R's either, so I simulate the purring of a cat, and that does the trick for me
    Nothing to see

  4. #4
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    Wink

    Thanks for that. I think my tongue is rounded but as I'm in a soft play I'm not examining it too closely. I will give the growling a go and with my surname it is very apt lol. As for raucous....that ship has sailed. This is so frustrating as you know...just tested the other 2 kids and middle one (girl can do it but the youngest (boy 4) can't, I'm so cruel. The big ones tongue is round so maybe I'll examine how she does it but she can't really explain it properly being 12(mum its so easy!)

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the cat suggestion too although I'm getting strange looks now in the soft play as I growl and purr. Haakon better be worth this .

  6. #6
    tMP Prime Friend BigHorn's Avatar
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    Personally with me flutter tonguing is nothing like a rolling of the R. The best way I can describe what I do is, reverting back to my childhood days when we played army. The sound we made as kids to simulate a machine gun is exactly what I do when flutter tonguing. Pressing the whole of the tongue hard against the roof of the mouth and blowing through it.
    A Smile Is a Curve That Straightens Things Out

  7. #7
    tMP Friend in Training
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    Thanks for that as well. I'm like a dog with a bone with this I will flutter tongue. Last night however I sounded vaguely like a demented horse so I'm obviously a rubbish pupil. I'll keep trying though....at least my efforts are keeping the bass troms entertained.

  8. #8
    tMP Friend in Training JRH's Avatar
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    I don't have any way to confirm this, but I've heard more than one person say that some small percentage of people almost literally can not flutter tongue. Something about their physical makeup makes it almost impossible. I'm not a doctor, and do not know exactly /why/ this might be, but before thinking it's your fault for not doing something right, might be worth considering.

  9. #9
    tMP Master Friend Independent Silver Band's Avatar
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    I, also cannot trill R's, but I fluttertongue by using the back prt of my tongue, as the more gutteral German r's.
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  10. #10
    tMP Friend in Training
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    Thanks to you American folks. I can understand why people may not be physically able to flutter tongue. As for the back part of the tongue suggestion I think you may have cracked it for me as I have just produced a second of vibration which is a first. I haven't got my mouthpiece handy but will have a go tomorrow at church band. I did study German many years ago so I get what you mean. Happy days!

  11. #11
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    I have the same problem as you. I just put a valve tremolo on the notes in question, and it sounds quite similar.

  12. #12
    tMP Friend in Training
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    I started playing at the age of 9 and could not flutter tongue or roll my Rs. I relied on the back of throat "Grrr" which was not that bad. Qualifying for the 1985 Europeans (aged 25) with "Royal Parks" as the test piece I was determined to do it properly.

    For weeks I tried to roll my Rs whilst walking down the street "R . . .", "R . . . .", "R . . ." and eventually it just happenmed "Rrrrrrrrr"! From there it was a small step to flutter tonguing. Can't really explain it - but it can be done, so keep on trying.

    PS whilst we didn't win overall, of the set piece Harold Lloyd said it was the "definitive performance"!

  13. #13
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    Thanks to everyone. I am now more of a growler than real flutter tonguing but I now have hope. D-day beckons on Saturday so we'll see. I am no longer so bothered about it as the battle cry bar is so hilarious that my 'problem' pales into insignificance. We have almost twice as many females as males doing it, 3 of whom are pregnant so you can imagine the effect.

  14. #14
    tMP Friend for Life Will the Sec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackocorn
    PS whilst we didn't win overall, of the set piece Harold Lloyd said it was the "definitive performance"!
    Was he hanging from a clock arm 200 feet above Manhattan at the time?
    Will Elsom

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  15. #15
    tMP Friend in Training
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    Hi again, thanks to your ideas/hints it went fine and I did my job. We were happy with our placing and performed from The Battle of Rastarkalv onwards at a Christmas concert with Dreghorn Choral Society and we played a blinder for that so Happy Days. Bring on Cross Patonce,although I am finding this much easier although I think I'm in a minority of one. That's the joy of playing 2nd trombone. Happy New Year when it comes and Happy Banding

    Fiona x

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