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Discussion Starter #1
I have been struggling to learn dooden tonguing for years now, finally starting to get it. But I'm wondering if after a certain speed, or when you play 16th notes, do you continue muting/side-tonguing every other note? Or do you switch to every 4th note? I can't figure out how people get so fast at this otherwise. My tongue muscles do not move that fast! And my ears are not good enough to hear what's going on at breakneck speeds.
 

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https://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-dooden-tonguing

"Doing the Dood’n

With dooden tonguing, the tongue is placed very lightly against the tip of the reed and held there while you blow, so that the note is partially stopped. It sounds choked or damped so that some air is allowed to escape mostly around the sides) of the tongue but some may escape past the end depending on how lightly you hold it. You will get a rough idea vocally if you place your tongue and hold it against the bottom of your top teeth, and say a prolonged “th” syllable."

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?232073-Practicing-Dood-n-tonguing
 

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Discussion Starter #3
https://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-dooden-tonguing

"Doing the Dood’n

With dooden tonguing, the tongue is placed very lightly against the tip of the reed and held there while you blow, so that the note is partially stopped. It sounds choked or damped so that some air is allowed to escape mostly around the sides) of the tongue but some may escape past the end depending on how lightly you hold it. You will get a rough idea vocally if you place your tongue and hold it against the bottom of your top teeth, and say a prolonged “th” syllable."

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?232073-Practicing-Dood-n-tonguing
I can't get a dampening sound touching the tip. It stops the reed completely. I play with my tongue to the side of the reed, bouncing against the corner of the tip lightly. I found multiple videos of people saying that's how it's done, and looking at the position of the mouthpiece and their jaw I am sure that's what they are doing. I just can't figure out how to get as fast as they are at it.
 

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Tongue to the side of the reed? I guess everyone has their preference but this is not typically "how it's done". Watch videos of S. Stitt. He doesn't have the mouthpiece hanging out of the side of his mouth like Chad LB who recently posted an interesting video on dooden.

Of course I can't tongue nearly as fast as Mr. Stitt but I do jazz articulation exercises everyday and just like any other technique, you start slow and repeat a ton if you want results.
 

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Cool. I didn't know this articulation had a name.

I find it more intuitive to just articulate as if I'm scat singing the line rather than analyze and copy exactly how someone else plays. The doodens just happen naturally. If you have to go faster than your tongue can move, you need to double or triple tongue, an altogether different technique and sound.

But if you're using the side of your tongue, you're doing it wrong. Like click said, it's more of a "thuh" sound and motion, but instead of touching your top teeth, you touch under the tip of the reed with a spot about half a cm back on your tongue. Since your tongue is touching mostly from below the reed and not blocking the tip entirely, you can still blow through and make it vibrate while only dampening it with your tongue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cool. I didn't know this articulation had a name.

I find it more intuitive to just articulate as if I'm scat singing the line rather than analyze and copy exactly how someone else plays. The doodens just happen naturally. If you have to go faster than your tongue can move, you need to double or triple tongue, an altogether different technique and sound.

But if you're using the side of your tongue, you're doing it wrong. Like click said, it's more of a "thuh" sound and motion, but instead of touching your top teeth, you touch under the tip of the reed with a spot about half a cm back on your tongue. Since your tongue is touching mostly from below the reed and not blocking the tip entirely, you can still blow through and make it vibrate while only dampening it with your tongue.
Huh. Well I have tried it that way for years and can't make it work. I'm trying it right now and still choking off the reed or getting a loud explosion, an unpredictable response like I've struggled with for years. I wish I could put a camera in your mouth to see what you're talking about because I can't figure it out, and I've put a lot of effort into it for years. The best I can do is a kind of "fake dooden" by muffling the note with my diaphram. I've only gotten a real dooden sound recently when I started bumping the corner of the reed with the side of my tongue.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cool. I didn't know this articulation had a name.

I find it more intuitive to just articulate as if I'm scat singing the line rather than analyze and copy exactly how someone else plays. The doodens just happen naturally. If you have to go faster than your tongue can move, you need to double or triple tongue, an altogether different technique and sound.

But if you're using the side of your tongue, you're doing it wrong. Like click said, it's more of a "thuh" sound and motion, but instead of touching your top teeth, you touch under the tip of the reed with a spot about half a cm back on your tongue. Since your tongue is touching mostly from below the reed and not blocking the tip entirely, you can still blow through and make it vibrate while only dampening it with your tongue.
I don't think that's real dooden tonguing. I know how to fake that sound by muffling the short 8th notes in various ways but it's not the real thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tongue to the side of the reed? I guess everyone has their preference but this is not typically "how it's done". Watch videos of S. Stitt. He doesn't have the mouthpiece hanging out of the side of his mouth like Chad LB who recently posted an interesting video on dooden.

Of course I can't tongue nearly as fast as Mr. Stitt but I do jazz articulation exercises everyday and just like any other technique, you start slow and repeat a ton if you want results.
I don't have my mouthpiece "hanging out the side of my mouth." I just have my tongue in the side of my mouth and my jaw displaced a little, looks like horse-chewing. Not really even that dramatic-looking either. By "side of my toungue" I didn't mean the actual side, I meant the side of the top of my tongue about 1-2cm back from the tip. This is the guy that suggested tapping the corner of the reed, which finally worked for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwADmSeMawM

Yeah I know how to practice too. I've put a lot of work into this and still struggle with it. Most of my colleagues were able to pick it up much more quickly with a lot less effort. I think there's something about my muscles that just don't work as fast as most people's. My scales top out slower than most players no matter how much I practice them. I've been able to get faster the last few years by limiting how far I let my keys lift from the tone holes, and keeping my fingertips firmly on the pearls at all times. And also by building bup my palm keys with plumber's epoxy until they are literally touching my hand at all times. But I still can't get as fast as most of my colleagues.

Thank you for your suggestions.
 

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I don't think that's real dooden tonguing. I know how to fake that sound by muffling the short 8th notes in various ways but it's not the real thing.
Can you find and post an example on youtube of what you're talking about then? What I'm doing and describing is exactly what Pete does on the page Click linked in the second post and what the guy in your link does, which is what I've always described as ghosting.

Try this. Take a deep breath and blow a note with your tongue relaxed. Now reach up under the reed, further down than the tip of the reed, with the tip of your tongue while you're blowing. Slowly flatten out your tongue until you get the dampening effect. That's the spot you want to hit.

As far as constantly using it on every other note, I've never heard anyone actually do that. Most bop players just lightly articulate every other 8th and ghost (dooden) to de-emphasize only certain notes or groups of notes.
 

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Can you find and post an example on youtube of what you're talking about then? What I'm doing and describing is exactly what Pete does on the page Click linked in the second post, which is what I've always described as ghosting.

Try this. Take a deep breath and blow a note with your tongue relaxed. Now reach up under the reed, further down than the tip of the reed, with the tip of your tongue while you're blowing. Slowly flatten out your tongue until you get the dampening effect. That's the spot you want to hit.

As far as constantly using it on every other note, I've never heard anyone actually do that. Most bop players just lightly articulate every other 8th and ghost (dooden) to de-emphasize only certain notes or groups of notes.
Well maybe we are talking about the same thing. What I thought you were talking about is what I call "fake dooden" wich is muffling the short notes without touching your tongue to the reed, which I taught myself to do in various ways (diaphram, closing my mouth more, etc) because I couldn't figure out the dooden technique as it was described. I think there's a lot of bad information out there on this subject in general. For a long time I was confused about it because people told me it was just "tonguing the short notes," which is definitely not it and sounds really awkward and square IMO. I think it's like music theory, a lot of instructors out there understand it well but are not good at describing it to others. And the dooden thing specifically, it's hard to describe the mechanics of it, and there's a lot of variation in what works for some but not others.
 

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Sometimes it's not about how someone describes it in words but how they describe it with their horn. In hindsight it was listening closely and transcribing that illuminated the technique for me not some explanation from a youtube vid. But hey, whatever works... or doesn't.
 

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I know this description will get some snickering, but try to lick the length of the reed with the tip of your tongue as you play, as if there is something tasty on it you want to get off. As some point as you draw your tongue back in, you'll hit the spot that gives you the dampening effect without stopping the vibration completely.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I know this description will get some snickering, but try to lick the length of the reed with the tip of your tongue as you play, as if there is something tasty on it you want to get off. As some point as you draw your tongue back in, you'll hit the spot that gives you the dampening effect without stopping the vibration completely.
OK, did that and I found a spot that doesn't choke it off, but still having a lot of trouble touching it lightly enough to get the "slightly dampened" effect rather than a ghost note effect. That's what you want, right? Slightly muted? Because if you dampen it too much it doesn't sound like the dooden effect I hear most people doing. My sweet spot still seems to be the side/corner of the reed with the side of the tip of my tongue. Maybe that's just what works for me, IDK. But I did find another interesting alternative to explore. In doing your suggestion I found that if I touch the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth in front of the reed rather than the reed itself I do get a good dooden effect. Still not sure if it will be faster than the other way I do it. I'll report back after I work on it a while.

Overall I am excitied that i'm finally making progress on this. It's been a very frustrating battle for me!
 

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OK, did that and I found a spot that doesn't choke it off, but still having a lot of trouble touching it lightly enough to get the "slightly dampened" effect rather than a ghost note effect. That's what you want, right? Slightly muted? Because if you dampen it too much it doesn't sound like the dooden effect I hear most people doing. My sweet spot still seems to be the side/corner of the reed with the side of the tip of my tongue. Maybe that's just what works for me, IDK. But I did find another interesting alternative to explore. In doing your suggestion I found that if I touch the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth in front of the reed rather than the reed itself I do get a good dooden effect. Still not sure if it will be faster than the other way I do it. I'll report back after I work on it a while.

Overall I am excitied that i'm finally making progress on this. It's been a very frustrating battle for me!
I think the best way for people to help you is to post a recording (or even better, a video) of you attempting the technique. There could be a number of reasons why this is tricky for you - bad equipment, inadequacies in basic air support/tone production, etc. It will be much easier to get to the root of the issue if you can show us how you're approaching it. Pick your favorite lick and record it on your phone or computer - it doesn't have to be super high quality, just enough for us to hear what's going on.
 

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In addition to what Blue Trane said, I think you should keep striving to do the traditional method rather than tonguing on the roof of your mouth because that method is going to be harder to mix in with normal tonguing and to do quickly. Transitioning from normal tonguing to dooden is a very small motion, whereas transitioning to touching the roof of your moth is a much bigger motion and is also a big interruption in the air stream that should be avoided.

Same goes for the side. It's a more complex and less efficient motion to go from just moving the tongue up and down slightly to adding another axis of motion. I don't know about you, but I can move my tongue up and down a heck of a lot faster than I can move it side to side.

This is a really interesting problem to me because I've never had to analyze it before or teach anyone how to do this. I just say, ghost that note or those notes, and my students do it without thinking. The biggest issue is that since this didn't come naturally, you established some habits that now need to be overcome (side and roof tonguing) before you can learn the correct technique.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In addition to what Blue Trane said, I think you should keep striving to do the traditional method rather than tonguing on the roof of your mouth because that method is going to be harder to mix in with normal tonguing and to do quickly. Transitioning from normal tonguing to dooden is a very small motion, whereas transitioning to touching the roof of your moth is a much bigger motion and is also a big interruption in the air stream that should be avoided.

Same goes for the side. It's a more complex and less efficient motion to go from just moving the tongue up and down slightly to adding another axis of motion. I don't know about you, but I can move my tongue up and down a heck of a lot faster than I can move it side to side.

This is a really interesting problem to me because I've never had to analyze it before or teach anyone how to do this. I just say, ghost that note or those notes, and my students do it without thinking. The biggest issue is that since this didn't come naturally, you established some habits that now need to be overcome (side and roof tonguing) before you can learn the correct technique.
I agree, I'd love to be able to do it right. Honestly I've been trying to do it for 2 decades. For whatever reason I can't. I don't think my side tonguing is that far off from the normal way either. I'm not literally using the side of my tounge, but the edge of the top of my tongue, on the corner/side of the top of the reed. I am finally getting it so I guess I'm going to explore that for a while, even if it is "wrong." Thanks for your help though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think the best way for people to help you is to post a recording (or even better, a video) of you attempting the technique. There could be a number of reasons why this is tricky for you - bad equipment, inadequacies in basic air support/tone production, etc. It will be much easier to get to the root of the issue if you can show us how you're approaching it. Pick your favorite lick and record it on your phone or computer - it doesn't have to be super high quality, just enough for us to hear what's going on.
you can upload a recording on this forum? I'm kind of technically challenged but I'll try it.
 
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