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Beginner Flutter Tonguing

Marvan

Member
Messages
67
Locality
On the banks of the Tay, UK
I cannot do this
I have read some people just cannot learn this
Has anyone any advice?
Cheers
Marvan
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,320
Locality
leicester
I've never had much luck, either... fluttering my tongue and forming a seal around a mouthpiece seems impossible
 

Marvan

Member
Messages
67
Locality
On the banks of the Tay, UK
Is it down to my genetic programming? or can anyone learn to do it?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Café Supporter
Messages
6,089
Locality
Minster On Sea
I think it's genetic or something. I can. My brother (flautist) can't despite trying for the last 40 something years. I wouldn't worry about it - it's hardly necessary.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
9,156
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Some people can and some people can't. I am one of those who can't. I can't roll an "r" either. I have had countless people demonstrate and tell me to just say rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. When I try it just comes out thither,thither,thither,thirthr. A reasonable substitute on the saxophone is to play with a growl which is done by humming and blowing at the same time. I have never met anyone who could not be taught to do that.
 

Marvan

Member
Messages
67
Locality
On the banks of the Tay, UK
I will give it a go and report back
Thanks!
Thanks for the encouragement
 

John Laughter

Member
Messages
468
Locality
Macon,GA
Here are a few notes that may, or may not be of any help;

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.

It was also featured on the 1958 recording of Tequila when Chuck Rio used it while repeating the main melody.

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.

Also listen to the second phrase of Bobby Keys’ solo on Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones.

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 effective sounds!

The flutter 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. Try to 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.jodyjazz.com/article.interesting.improviser.html

http://www.halleonard.com/item_deta...er=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

Also check YouTube for illustrations.
 

Marvan

Member
Messages
67
Locality
On the banks of the Tay, UK
Here are a few notes that may, or may not be of any help;

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;

Saxophone Effects

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.

It was also featured on the 1958 recording of Tequila when Chuck Rio used it while repeating the main melody.

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.

Also listen to the second phrase of Bobby Keys’ solo on Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones.

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 effective sounds!

The flutter 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. Try to 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;
Saxophone Fluttertongue | Taming The Saxophone

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

http://www.jodyjazz.com/article.interesting.improviser.html

http://www.halleonard.com/item_detail.jsp?itemid=277&order=1&catcode=00&refer=search&type=product&keywords=john laughter+

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

HOT ROCK SAX

Star Licks Saxophone Tutor: Beginning - Rock Sax [VHS]:Amazon.co.uk:Video

Blues Saxophone: An In-Depth Look at the Styles of the Masters:Amazon:Books

Boots Randolf ROCK AND ROLL SAXOPHONE

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

Also check YouTube for illustrations.

Hi John
Thanks for the magnificent reply
I will go to school on it
Cheers
 
Last edited:

John Laughter

Member
Messages
468
Locality
Macon,GA
Well thanks Marvan! Hope it helps. I have a 13 page list of various effects if anyone can use it. The above info came from that list and it has input from many people. Just send a PM with your email address.
 

Marvan

Member
Messages
67
Locality
On the banks of the Tay, UK
Hi John
You are a Gent
This forum is a wonderful community
PM sent
Cheers
Marv
 

Marvan

Member
Messages
67
Locality
On the banks of the Tay, UK
Hi John
Lots of food for thought
Its is a great study and great advice
Many thanks once again
I shall report back on my progress
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,177
Locality
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Hi again everyone,
A far simpler way to produce the "Tequila" rasp, is to clear your throat (hkkkkkkk sound) while blowing (it sounds disgusting, but works!). In 1958, while gigging for Reg Calvert, along the south coast from Brighton to Bournmouth (you're too young to remember him Pete), that was my interpretation of how it was done, and boy how the audience loved it!!!!
Last week, I told another guy how to do it, and he had it straight away!

Keeeeep Rockin'
Johnboy
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,378
Locality
Just north of Munich
Hi again everyone,
A far simpler way to produce the "Tequila" rasp, is to clear your throat (hkkkkkkk sound) while blowing (it sounds disgusting, but works!). In 1958, while gigging for Reg Calvert, along the south coast from Brighton to Bournmouth (you're too young to remember him Pete), that was my interpretation of how it was done, and boy how the audience loved it!!!!
Last week, I told another guy how to do it, and he had it straight away!

Keeeeep Rockin'
Johnboy
Really tickles your throat, though. I end up in a coughing fit doing it.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,177
Locality
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Hi Kev,
It's not deep in the throat, it's really in the area of the tonsils, and the roof of the mouth.
Say "Quack" and hold your jaw and toung in the "w", "a" part of it. Now breath out. The vibration is actually in the rooth of the mouth.
 
Last edited:

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,170
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Hi Kev,
It's not deep in the throat, it's really in the area of the tonsils, and the roof of the mouth.
Say "Quack" and hold your jaw and toung in the "w", "a" part of it. Now breath out. The vibration is actually in the rooth of the mouth.
Why am I sitting here making strange noises whilst the dogs look at me?
 
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