Thursday, January 19, 2006

NAF Playing Tip #7: Flutter Tonguing

Flutter Tonguing is another tonguing technique and is the flute playing equivalent to “Rolling your R’s” in Spanish class. What’s happens when you produce the flutter tongue is that your tongue strikes the palate of your mouth repeatedly as the air rushes past it. Place your tongue against your palate, directly behind your top teeth. Now, slightly relax the tip of your tongue while keeping pressure with the back part of your tongue. Blow. The relaxed part of your tongue should flap up and down against your palate, sounding something like the engine on a motorboat.

NOTE: I have discovered that this technique is very difficult or even impossible for some adults to learn. The key being that if you didn’t learn to “roll your R’s” or make the “motorboat” sound with your tongue early in life, it may not be physiologically possible for you to learn this technique as an adult. Anecdotally, somewhere around 20% of my students can’t do this.

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