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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:01 am 
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Hi all!

I've been following the recent hread about tonguing the Irish flute with very much interest. The consensus seemed to be, that tonguing is not so common regarding the traditional style - something one can maybe add to one's style later, but should be avoided at the beginning. Glottal stops und "huh"s are to be preferred.

Now, I'm very much used to tongue every initial note after taking a breath on the whistle, and quite struggling a bit getting rid of this habit on the flute. I think it would be much easier to substitute tonguing with another technique, rather than completely going without any articulation, if you know what I mean.

So my question is this: What would be the best/most common way to give attack to the initial notes after breathing - glottal stops, huffing, or something entirely different? Or really not articulating those notes at all? I think most flute players do something, but I really can't recognize their techniques by just listening.
For example The Gabe, whose style I much admire, has a *very* hard attack on these notes, which really does sound like tonguing sometimes (or does he actually tongue...?).

Thank you all in advance!

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Last edited by megapop on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:16 am 
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My most concentrated listening over the years has been focused on Mike Rafferty --- my overall favorite player. His articulations are clear, straightforward and neatly executed, but I don't particularly hear him doing much special on the first notes of his phrases.

Of course, Mike's way is not the only one. Still, to my ear, a fresh opening note riding a good breath is emphasis enough.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:51 am 
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Sometimes I use a either a gentle 'huh' o 'hhh' with the throat/lungs if i want to emphasis it but usually just let the air out using the diaphragm which seemed the natural way when I was starting (but then I've never tongued).
I did a workshop with Jean-Michel Veillon where he was talking about how he uses different parts of the throat to get different effects with articulations.

There may be some useful stuff here -

http://users.skynet.be/berkenhage/

who's The Gabe ?


Last edited by JohnB on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:40 am 
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Spend a few bucks and buy a tutor. Either June's or Rocky's. Or both.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Attack on initial notes??? Normally, it takes at least a whole A part before anyone attacks me.


... oh wait ...


Anny-hoo ... I agree with this:

crookedtune wrote:
a fresh opening note riding a good breath is emphasis enough.

I'd add though that the effect of doing a really good opening breath is pretty much the same as to do some sort of "huh" in any case. Or so it seems to me. Mind, I'm relatively new to this stuff myself, being 4 years into flute. It's such a gorgeous instrument, I wish I'd taken it up decades before.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Huh?
:twisted:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:41 pm 
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he's going for the perpetual noob award...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Denny wrote:
he's going for the perpetual noob award...


This merits a new thread. Poll or strictly self-nominations?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:24 pm 
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megapop wrote:
The consensus seemed to be, that tonguing is not so common regarding the traditional style -

Yes, traditional Irish style does not place any emphasis on tonguing.

Beyond tradition, however, as a musician you are at liberty to interpret a melody, for the sake of the melody.

In other words, if a tongued attack on a tone sounds right, then do it!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:41 am 
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the hardest thing for me when i started getting into ITM playing about 12 years ago was to drop the tonguing...........now i don't think i could bring myself to do it and i never feel the need, though i tongue all the time when playing the whistle.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:20 am 
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Thanks a lot everybody! So there's nothing like a "general" articulation of initial notes - like tonguing on the whistle - except for some "Huh?" maybe... :)
That was exactly what I wanted to know, crookedtune, JohnB and benhall.1! (Gabriel O'Sullivan, BTW)

Julia Delaney wrote:
Spend a few bucks and buy a tutor.

Yes, that's what I probably should do - I thought I could get around this so far, you know, playing the whistle and hanging about at C&F. You recommend June's or Rocky's? Well then...

Denny wrote:
he's going for the perpetual noob award...

:party:

O'Muirgheasain wrote:
Beyond tradition, however, as a musician you are at liberty to interpret a melody, for the sake of the melody.

In other words, if a tongued attack on a tone sounds right, then do it!

Thanks, but before developing things like that "beyond tradition", I want to learn a traditional style right.

eilam wrote:
now i don't think i could bring myself to do it and i never feel the need, though i tongue all the time when playing the whistle.

Well, I myself don't tongue so much on the whistle, it's just the ingrained automatism of doing a dental articulation on, you know, initial notes.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:06 am 
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Beyond tradition, however, as a musician you are at liberty to interpret a melody, for the sake of the melody.

I don't know what you mean by "Beyond tradition." The people we most respect are all playing within the tradition. People who go "beyond tradition" aren't always a lot of fun for traditional musicians to play with.
What do you mean by "for the sake of the melody?" There is no melody unless it is played. With so many great fluters to learn from it is misplaced ego to "interpret a melody" without regard to those greats who have played the melody before you.

Both tutors-- June's and Conol's -- come with CDs. There is enough there to last you for years and will be much less expensive than private lessons or a week in a workshop. Listen to the CDs and try as best you can to capture the sounds they present. June's tutor is pure June and she's wonderful. Conol's is both himself and several other players - he comments on their styles. They are all wonderful players. I personally would start with June's and then move on to include Conol's after a year or so, when you know better what you are about. But you'd not go wrong starting with either.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:50 am 
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That's the best advice you'll find in these forums. June's and Conal's learning materials are far and away the best things out there, (in my opinion). I wasted way too much time and effort (for years) before finally biting the bullet and getting them both. It was money very well spent. I've made more progress in the last two years than in the prior five. Do yourself a big favor!

For convenience:

http://www.draiochtmusic.com/

http://www.conalograda.com/

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:25 pm 
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megapop wrote:
...before developing things like that "beyond tradition", I want to learn a traditional style right.

I agree with that. In this game there are 2 kinds of "beyond": from the inside, and from the forever outside. I'd say that the preferable choice is apparent enough.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
megapop wrote:
...before developing things like that "beyond tradition", I want to learn a traditional style right.

I agree with that. In this game there are 2 kinds of "beyond": from the inside, and from the forever outside. I'd say that the preferable choice is apparent enough.

Well, I did begin by acknowledging tradition. But there also is the fun of "playing" a flute, and tonguing can be used to emphasize the timing, or the beat, of a tune. In that sense, it could be fun to experiment.

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