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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am a bassoonist, I can already double and triple tongue but the technique that always eludes me is Doodle tonguing. I found an excellent article from a trombone player and have read a few things from sax players and still do not know if I have the technique correct.

I know of only one bassoonist that could do it ( doodle or flubble tongue) when I was in high school and he could not double tongue, ( I am sure that there are others), I believe he used to swipe the tip of his tongue up and down over the tip of the reed. I found that I can do it, but my tongue seems to "hang up" and often stop. I also found that prolonged practice can be painful, literally scraping the tip of the tongue on the reed, its like burning your tongue on hot soup. I actually have made my tongue bleed before.

Is doodle tongue more a air attack like double tonguing or do I have the right idea? It seems to me the sax embouchure is more like bassoon than a trombone, although I think we take in even more reed, I sound like a car horn on Sax because I take in too much reed. Could it simply be having that much more reed in the mouth?

I have read on this forum about some of the posts but still do not quite get it. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for your help,

Great forum by the way!

Best wishes,

Steve Harriswangler
 

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Speaking from a saxophone approach, the trick is to just barely make the slightest bit of contact between the tip of your tongue and the tip of the reed. The slightest touch is usually enough to get the effect you're looking for. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to position your tongue so that it barely swipes the tip of the reed on both the upstroke and downstroke without completely stopping the vibration of the reed. It's also a technique that should be used sparingly. I only use it in cases such as repeated notes at a fast tempo that need to be articulated but not staccato, and sometimes 2, 3, or 4 sequential notes that don't require a clean staccato. You can usually get by with it on a very short series of notes, but try to use it more than that and you probably won't pull it off very convincingly.

On the other hand...I do use it for a matter of effect sometimes. The following clip isn't necessarily the best example...(the effect could have been a little cleaner)...but for the specific effect I was trying to achieve, I was brushing the tip of my tongue in a downstroke against the tip of the reed rather than tonguing the reed from underneath as normal. (I was trying to emulate an effect Paul Desmond used, but I'm sure his technique was probably different).

http://www.coooljazzz.com/music/doodletongue.mp3
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you,
I tried it out after quintet today, that's it. I am really happy to be on the right track. It is a very useful tool on bassoon for repeated low notes, double tongue is too harsh and not reliable. I probably will not need it often, but it is still useful. ie. certain fragments of Rossini operas, low triplet pick-ups etc.

Anyway, thanks again,

Best regards,

Steve
 
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