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Flutter Tongue.

compound

Member
Messages
457
Hi all,
Do all you R/R, R/B, and Blues player's have any luck with the Flutter Tongue? I have never come close to getting it right, and it's such a great technique and so effective. I know of two ways of doing it, the rolling tongue, and using the gargle technique which gives a quieter version. I can do them both easy till the mouthpiece goes in then nothing.Pete explains how to do it, so does John Laughter ie practise with just mouthpiece and reed, but still no luck. Anybody managed it yet. Loads of guys on SOTW can't do it, i'm wondering if it's got something to do with the shape of your mouth, any ideas?
Rob.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,924
Hi Rob,

I can't do the flutter tone. It's done by doing a rollin "R" with you toungue aginst the roof of the mouth cavity. I can't do it, the mouthpice is in the way. I do an ordinary growl instead. Less effective!!

From what I've seen players who are doing it well, they are very good at playing altissimos. And most players are playing classic saxophone as well. So overtone excersises maybe is the secret? I think a flutter tone should be bright.

Thomas
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
Hi Thomas,
You could be right, but what ever is needed is completely eluding me. I'll just have to keep trying.
Rob,
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,994
Wot Zoot sed. Some people just can't. I can but my flautist brother cannot.

Don't worry about it - just growl instead. I'm not sure I really like the effect - it's a bit gross.
 

John Laughter

Member
Messages
389
compound, Maybe this will help. I can't recall if I sent this to you;

The Flutter Tongue/Tone

I do not know when the flutter effect started being used on the saxophone. An explanation of the technique appears in a 1926 publication titled SAX-ACROBATIX by Henri Weber;

http://www.petethomas.co.uk/sax-acrobatix.html

I first became aware of it in 1956 when I heard Honky Tonk Part 2 by Bill Doggett. Clifford Scott used it in his 4th solo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxFiSrZRo4Y

It was also featured on the 1958 recording of Tequila when Chuck Rio used it while repeating the main melody.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWT3y2CZXVQ

In 1965 Jr. Walker performed the effect on his high C in Shotgun. Joel C. Peskin added it to his solo on a more recent 1989 Top 40 hit titled With Every Beat of My Heart by Taylor Dayne.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMs9NudasVI
Also listen to the second phrase of Bobby Keys’ solo on Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones (1971).

Perhaps it was developed and introduced by blues artists when they wanted to play a real “down and dirty” sounding solo. It really lends itself well to blues and rock music. A combination of the growl, flutter tone and note bending will put you well on your way to playing some very suggestive sounds!

This technique produces the same sound that is made by singing close to a desk fan. It causes the tone to flutter by separating the air stream.

To learn this effect, I suggest that you use only the neckpiece and mouthpiece in the beginning to get control of it, and then attach the neck to the horn.

Before you play the neckpiece, try to make the sound that is similar to a small motorboat engine by blowing lightly and at the same time raising the tip of the tongue gently against the front portion of the roof of your mouth just behind the front teeth. Although you can lightly touch the roof area do not press the tongue into the roof. Just raise it enough to make a rapid flutter between the tip and the skin of the roof. The effect is also similar to the sound of a “cat purr.” However, there is no need to make a sound or hum anything while fluttering the tongue. Once you learn to develop this sound it will transfer to the m/p.

● Courtesy of a SOTW member; “A “HEEEEEE” formation of the tongue shape puts your tongue in a high arch and will draw the tip of your tongue away from the mouthpiece. Many players consider variations on the “EEE” vowel shape to be preferable for general tone production. Vowel shapes such as “Uhh” and “Ooooh” leave the tongue in a low position that does bad things for your air stream.”

With the m/p in the mouth do the same thing as above but DO NOT TOUCH THE REED while the tongue flutters back and forth towards the roof of the mouth. The tip portion of the tongue should flutter in the roof area in front of the tip of the m/p. If your tongue touches the m/p tip opening it will stop the effect.

If you continue to have a problem getting the sound, try doing the flutter without using the m/p. Get a good strong sound then use just the m/p with the neck without the horn attached. Remember that the tongue does not go up and down. It is normally very close to the roof of the mouth and the upper side of the tongue (just behind the tip) is making the motions which indent the air stream to make the flutter sound. And you can do this with a small amount of m/p in the mouth. It may take time to find the physical action that works best for you. You may also experience a problem in loosing too much air while blowing. This is normal because some people have to exhale very fast to get the flutter effect. This causes a quick loss of air. However, in time you will develop more control and will use less air.

Everyone has a different jaw structure and tongue shape. What works for me my not work for you. Experiment with all of the basic ideas and the technique will eventually develop depending on your own physical structure.

Several examples can be heard on YouTube. Cut and paste these titles;

REBEL ROUSER—DUANE EDDY—GIL BERNAL—TENOR

THE STROLL—DIAMONDS—KING CURTIS—TENOR

TWISTIN’ THE NIGHT AWAY—SAM COOKE—JACKIE KELSO—TENOR

URGENT—FOREIGNER—JR. WALKER—TENOR


Other links for the flutter tone;

http://www.petethomas.co.uk/saxophone-fluttertongue.html

http://www.nuoboe.com/html/fluttertongue.html

http://www.halleonard.com/item_deta...r=search&type=product&keywords=john+laughter+

http://www.musicroom.com/se/ID_No/025107/details.html

http://www.hornplace.com/SX008.html

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Rock-Sax-Scott-Page/dp/B00004CRHZ

http://www.amazon.com/Blues-Saxophone-Depth-Styles-Masters/dp/0634026208

http://www.hornplace.com/SX005.html

http://userpages.umbc.edu/~emrich/chapter4-6.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo5Pxano9mEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo5Pxano9mE
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,924
Hi Thomas,
You could be right, but what ever is needed is completely eluding me. I'll just have to keep trying.
Rob,

Yes. I think you should give it a try and learn the flutter tongue. It's a cool effect. I can't do it because I take a lot of mouthpice. I've develope a loud way to play, with a thick & greasy sound, over the the years. I use a Rovner Deep-V with tenor mpc with Plasticover baritone reeds #4 or 5. >:) Right now #5 because I'm playing much. Did I tell you my housegod is Clarence "Big Man" Clemons!?!?!

In the last issue of Saxophone Journal Andrew Clark is doing a masterclass called "Advanced Concepts In Rock Saxophone" and he plays and in the style of King Curtis, Jr Walker and Clarence Clemons.

Thomas
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
Hi Thomas,
I thought your idol was Red Prysock and Curtis, but Clarence great sound. Number 5 reed! god makes my eyes water just thinkng about it. Like you said I'll keep on trying it's such a good technique. I've been listening to some Ace Cannon stuff, not bad. Also Jackie Kelso who played on load's of session's. Listening to his own recordings on Spotify i was amazed at how much he sounds like Earl Bostic, very similar.Regarding Flutter Tongue Jackie Kelso says it was Clifford Scott he learned it from, for his Tenor solo on Sam Cookes "Twisting the Night away".
Rob.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,537
i think you have to be able to roll your r's something i could never do , i think its a genetic thing some can some cant

It may be slightly genetic in that some people can do it much more easily than others, but I think it's possible for anyone.

It used to be I could not roll my Rs at all, I just parctised that for a while, walking down the street growling away to myself.

I kept trying with the mouthpiece in my mouth but found it extremely difficult, until eventually I could get a flutter on some notes.

I'm still not very proficient, but I know if I worked at it a bit more I could do it reasonably well.
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
It's not genetic. Any Spanish child can do it.

Edit: Re-reading what I posted, it might be argued that the Spanish nation has a particular genetic make-up. However, I also remember hearing that very young children have the ability to form the sounds used in any language; subsequently, the ability to produce sounds not used in the child's primary language drops off.
 
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dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,421
I can do it all day long with a flute against my gob, to a limited extent with the sax but as others have said, it's a bit OTT for my taste and I find the growl more controllable and effective. Fair play to anyone who can explain how it's done - as a technique I've used on flute since I was about 12, I couldn't even begin to put it into words!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
It's not genetic. Any Spanish child can do it.

Edit: Re-reading what I posted, it might be argued that the Spanish nation has a particular genetic make-up. However, I also remember hearing that very young children have the ability to form the sounds used in any language; subsequently, the ability to produce sounds not used in the child's primary language drops off.

Yes, it's because you didn't learn early. Much harder/impossible later as you'll find out if you try to learn a foreign language as an adult. Good example is Chinese/Japanese with R/L.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
It's easy enough for me, butI first learnt it on the trumpet - did it yesterday on my Alto for the first time. I'm with the "WyverThruster" in that I do not like it on sax, but don't really like it on trumpet either - rather Harmon mutes on trumpet anyday!

Kind regards
Tom
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
Hi Tom,
Thank's for the reply, it's something i just can't do yet, and the music i play needs a bit of flutter every now and again. Just have to keep on trying. Keep well.
Rob.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,695
I've always found it pretty straightforward- have you tried fluttering your tongue with a pen stuck in your mouth- just to prepare yourself for doing it with a full mouthpiece? I've noticed when I do it that my tongue's fairly far back in t' gob....
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Unfortunately it isn't something that I can do and too be honest, I can't really hear it when played. The growl on the other hand is something that I'm getting and is an effect I can hear clear whilst playing or listening to others.
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
I've always found it pretty straightforward- have you tried fluttering your tongue with a pen stuck in your mouth- just to prepare yourself for doing it with a full mouthpiece? I've noticed when I do it that my tongue's fairly far back in t' gob....

Jules, I'll give it a go mate.
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
Unfortunately it isn't something that I can do and too be honest, I can't really hear it when played. The growl on the other hand is something that I'm getting and is an effect I can hear clear whilst playing or listening to others.
Paul, go on Spotify and listen to junior walker, you will soon hear the flutter tongue.
 
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