Tonguing technique

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Gary90
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Tonguing technique

Post by Gary90 »

Hi folks, i have been learning from the instant tin whistle irish edition and in some songs there may be the same notr repeated 2 or 3 times. I have been trying the tongue technique. Saying To and T to see which works for me but i get shrill if i do it fast or if i slow down to do it quiet and keep the same level it just doesn't sound right. Is there any advice anyone could give me?
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Beeox »

Hi Gary90. Brother Steve offers an invaluable resource on tonguing (and more) at https://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/ ... guing.html Well worth a look.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by pancelticpiper »

Tonguing is one of those things that gets better with practice.

You can experiment with different "points of articulation" as they're called in linguistics.

"T" is done furthest forward in the oral cavity. I think players use T because it tends to be the clearest or crispest stop.

"K" is done further back in the oral cavity and tend to be a bit softer/gentler or less crisp.

So you could try playing a tune using "too" for tonguing, then play the same tune using "koo" for tonguing, and see how they sound and feel.

Even further back in the oral cavity is the Glottal Stop, for which English doesn't have a letter. Often an apostrophe ' is used to symbolise a glottal stop.

Think of somebody saying bottle as bo'le with the ' standing for the glottal stop that replaces medial t with many English speakers.

You can practice the same tune three times using too, koo, and ' for the stops, and hear and feel the different effect you get each time.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Peter Duggan »

pancelticpiper wrote:"T" is done furthest forward in the oral cavity. I think players use T because it tends to be the clearest or crispest stop.
'D' is also good. Often recommended for recorder because it's like a less explosive 'T', and appropriate to whistles for the same reason.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Gary90 »

Thanks for the replys guys. I will definitely have a read at the article that was posted. Maybe i am thinking into this too much but when tonguing to seperate 2 off the same note am i looking for a brief pause inbetween the same notes, like a split second off a pause? I have a cd off the song im trying to play but i just can't seem to replicate it. I know practice is the only way to get it but i would like to learn as much about this technique. Sometimes i can hear myself say too through the whistle rather than the actuall effect i should be getting if that makes sense.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Peter Duggan »

Gary90 wrote:Sometimes i can hear myself say too through the whistle rather than the actuall effect i should be getting if that makes sense.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Katharine »

Maybe it would help to think of it, rather than as saying "too/tu," to think of tapping your tongue against the roof of your mouth, silently. Practice it away from the instrument. Practice it on a single note. Practice it on notes you don't have to "think" about too much, like scales.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by pkev »

Hi There

It may be worth considering trying Luh as opposed to tuh, L softens the attack more than tuh or kuh or duh

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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by pancelticpiper »

Peter Duggan wrote: 'D' is also good. Often recommended for recorder because it's like a less explosive 'T', and appropriate to whistles for the same reason.
T and D have the same point of articulation (the alveolar ridge) in English, the only difference is that T is voiceless and D is voiced. ("Voiced" means the vocal cords are vibrating, "voiceless" means that they are not.) Thus T is a voiceless alveolar stop and D is a voiced alveolar stop. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alveolar_stop

K and G have the same point of articulation, K being voiceless and G being voiced.

Using D and G would mean the vocal cords vibrating while playing flute or whistle, singing and playing simultaneously, which is heard in Jazz but not usually heard in Irish trad.

Since the vocal cords usually aren't vibrating when playing Irish flute or whistle T and K are used.

Here is playing flute while the vocal cords are vibrating https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49BZYibMiw
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by StevieJ »

Gary90 wrote:when tonguing to seperate 2 off the same note am i looking for a brief pause inbetween the same notes, like a split second off a pause.
You could be onto something there. For years I couldn't understand why I couldn't get students to produce the articulation I wanted with tonguing in certain places. Particularly using the tongue to articulate two consecutive notes, a technique that many Irish players, including Mary Bergin, use a lot in jigs when the second and third note of a group of three are the same note.

The lightbulb moment came when I realized that you are not only using the tongue to start the second of these notes, you are also using it to stop the first in a separate motion before you tongue the second note. This is what allows you to shorten the first of these two notes and create the split-second gap that is essential to the phrasing you want. Maybe this is what you are aiming for.

This is not just useful with repeated notes in jigs. It is very handy for producing very precise phrasing in other tune types, including reels.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Gary90 »

StevieJ wrote:
Gary90 wrote:when tonguing to seperate 2 off the same note am i looking for a brief pause inbetween the same notes, like a split second off a pause.
You could be onto something there. For years I couldn't understand why I couldn't get students to produce the articulation I wanted with tonguing in certain places. Particularly using the tongue to articulate two consecutive notes, a technique that many Irish players, including Mary Bergin, use a lot in jigs when the second and third note of a group of three are the same note.

The lightbulb moment came when I realized that you are not only using the tongue to start the second of these notes, you are also using it to stop the first in a separate motion before you tongue the second note. This is what allows you to shorten the first of these two notes and create the split-second gap that is essential to the phrasing you want. Maybe this is what you are aiming for.

This is not just useful with repeated notes in jigs. It is very handy for producing very precise phrasing in other tune types, including reels.
I didn't realise how bad my grammar was lol. That quote you sent should of been "when tonguing two notes that are the same" lol glad you got something out off it lol.
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Gary90 »

Guys im finding "kuh" working for me more times than not. As it isn't as aggressive. Cheers for the suggestions i will practice both kuh and T
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by Peter Duggan »

pancelticpiper wrote:T and D have the same point of articulation (the alveolar ridge) in English
Yes, but D feels like a slightly gentler push, which is why it's often recommended for low-pressure woodwinds.
Using D and G would mean the vocal cords vibrating while playing flute or whistle, singing and playing simultaneously
Not necessarily true; I'm not singing and playing simultaneously when tonguing when D and G!
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by swizzlestick »

The discussion about fast tonguing made me realize that I often alternate from T to K articulation and back when trying for speed.

Is this a common practice or just something I have developed?
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Re: Tonguing technique

Post by StevieJ »

Gary90 wrote:I didn't realise how bad my grammar was lol. That quote you sent should of been "when tonguing two notes that are the same" lol glad you got something out off it lol.
Yes, I understood perfectly well what you were saying. Did you understand my answer though? :)
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