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I don't have pics, but I'll take a stab in writing.


Flutter tongue is the same thing you do when you roll your R's. As in Rrrrrufffles have Rrrrridges.

There are two ways to roll your Rs. There is the 'Scot', where you roll R's with the tip of your tongue on the hard pallet. Then there is the French R, where the back of the tongue does the same sort of thing on the soft pallet. The difference is that you do this into your horn. (If the throat gets involved, then it is called a 'growl'.)

Slap Tongue is when you use your tongue to close off the reed. Then you tongue harder than normal to make the reed bounce off the mouthpiece, giving a characteristic 'thump' to the sound. (Oddly enough, I've had plenty of beginning students do this naturally).
 

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A great way to get you Flutter going is by rolling your r's while whistling, this way you don't need to be near your sax and once you can whistle it, you can play it!
 

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Just last week I started working on flutter tonguing. I found that when I roll my r's in a language, the tip of my tongue is behind my top front teeth. Obviously this doesn't work with the saxophone because the of the mouthpiece's location in your mouth. I experimented with different places in my mouth to roll the r's. I found that for me it worked to roll them against the roof of mouth, farther away from the mouthpiece. When I produce what I believe is the correct flutter tongue sound it feels as though my tongue is very close or almost above the mouthpiece.

I'm not sure if this is the correct way to do it or not. It seems to produce an okay sound, but a good deal of air escapes through the sides of my mouth (which doesn't happen when I normally play). Also, my dynamic range is limited. I've heard jazz players flutter tongue at very loud dynamics which makes me wonder if I'm am doing something incorrectly. I also really have to practice a regular note before I can attempt to play it flutter tongued. It is almost like I have to find a slightly different position to place my tongue for different notes (like voicings).

Does anyone have experience with flutter tonguing to comment, give suggestions and tips?
 

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Here is a reply I gave to a post last year:

Slap tongue can be a frustrating thing to learn and I wasted a lot of useful practice time working on the silly technique. Some people just can't do it; others may discover it by accident. Either way ...

I recommend starting with just a reed. Lay it flat on your tongue and flex the tongue to "cup" the reed in a suction grip. Now lean over and see if the reed falls out of your mouth. Once you get the hang of keeping it on your tongue, stick it on the mouthpiece.

Form your embouchure as usual. Apply the same suction technique, pull on the reed, and release. The sound of slap-tongue (fundamentally) is the reed bouncing back to hit the mouthpiece. Some think it is easier to add a short burst of air to the technique at first to make getting the "pop" easier. One day, it'll hit you like a ton of bricks and you'll be able to do it forever. Good luck!

--- My only edit is to say that for me it was easier to start by fingering low notes (Bb, B, C) when first getting the hang of this. The resultant "pop" is likely to be more powerful.
 

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I can't roll my R's but can approximate the effect by bouncing my tonsils off of the back of my tongue just like you do when gargling. IMO, it's a perfectly acceptable substitute for sax and flute.
 

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Agent27 said:
I can't roll my R's but can approximate the effect by bouncing my tonsils off of the back of my tongue just like you do when gargling. IMO, it's a perfectly acceptable substitute for sax and flute.

Agreed. Been playing flute with a flutter tone that way for 30 years. Took a little practice to transfer it to tenor, but finally was able to loosen up my embouchure enough to get a flutter tone using a throat gargle on any note I want.

The gargle actually starts in the throat, but then transfers to the back of the mouth in my experience.
 
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