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He's teaching anchor tonguing as the preferred method of tonguing. It was not the way I was taught tonguing by my teacher Joe Allard, who wanted the tongue to be almost an extension of the reed (held on the same plane as the reed) so as to guide the air into the mouthpiece.
 

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I watched the video and I'm not sold on this. To call it the "correct" way to tongue is going a bit far, imo. I don't think about exactly how I tongue when doing it because it has become second nature, so I picked up the horn and focused on what I'm doing, then tried the anchored method demonstrated in the video. It turns out I don't tongue the very tip of the reed (the reed opening), so I agree that's not the best way; instead I tongue just below the tip of the reed which accomplishes the purpose. I still allow the tip of the tongue to move, rather than anchor it against my lower teeth; that feels very awkward and does work well for me. It also doesn't result in a better sound as it appears to do for the guy in the video. Other players might have different results.

I don't think there is any ONE way to do these things; you have to discover what works best for you.
 

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What are the advantages/disadvantages of each technique ?
I learned anchor tonguing and used that method until my first year of college. So for 7 years. No one taught it to me but that is just how I learned to tongue on my own. When I got to college my sax teacher could immediately hear that something was off with my tonguing. I was really heavy sounding and "thuddy". It had a thick sound to it and I was a lot slower with my speed of articulation than the rest of the saxophone students. He asked me some questions and figured out that I was anchor tonguing. He taught me how to tongue correctly and it made a world of difference to me. It was hard work and took me a few months to transition but once I did my tonguing was much faster, had more clarity, sounded cleaner and was more precise. I would never go back to anchor tonguing. The guy in the video has made it work for him and I would probably sound similar if I had kept anchor tonguing all my life but I do not agree that it is the "correct" way to tongue on the sax. In high school, I won a ton of competitions and did well on the sax so you can sound great and still be anchor tonguing. I will just say that the benefits that I experienced after I switched to "correct" tonguing were so huge to me that I am a firm believer in tonguing the correct way and trying not to anchor tongue.
 

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Most sax and/or clarinet teachers would say that anchor tonguing is incorrect/bad technique (as would I). I think the player in the video you referenced probably has a larger than normal tongue so finds that anchor tonguing helps keep the back of his tongue from obstructing the air. There is a poster here who recommends taking less mouthpiece in as the size of the sax gets bigger instead of positioning the lower lip at the break , which I think is less than optimal but an accommodation to a larger than normal tongue (but the opposite accommodation - using the tip of the tongue to articulate but having a more forward tongue position to keep the airway clear as opposed to tonguing much farther back on the tongue to keep the airway clear). There's usually a reason that technique becomes codified over time and I think I would try the tried and true method first before a method that has limited adherents. That being said, every ones physiognomy is different so if you are markedly different from the norm the standard techniques might not work for you. That's why I try not to be too dogmatic in my own teaching.
 

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I saw this video a couple of weeks ago. I can't do it that way, just like some people can't roll their tongue, I can't flick my tongue the way he does. I'm of the tu tu tu or da da da school of tonguing. Learned 50 years ago as a young clarinet player. On sax I think I touch the reed maybe a 1/4 inch farther back on my tongue than on clarinet. On clarinet it's more on the tip. I don't know if that's the "correct" way but it's how I was taught, more like 58 years ago, now that I think about it.

He does a video on vibrato that's different from how others teach it. Some of what he does is unorthodox but it seems to work for him.
 

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He does a video on vibrato that's different from how others teach it. Some of what he does is unorthodox but it seems to work for him.
My only criticism is that he presents the anchor tongue technique as the one and only "correct" way to tongue. It would be far better if he presented it as an option that works for him and might, or might not, work for others.
 

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Larry Teal in "The Art of Saxophone Playing" describes on p.79 the three general types of tonguing as: 1. Tip of the tongue to tip of the reed. 2. Slightly back of tip of tongue to tip of reed. 3. Anchoring the tip of tongue on lower teeth and bending the tongue to the tip of the reed. He writes:
"The method used should be determined by the shape and size of the player's tongue and oral cavity. The important consideration in the use of the tongue is that the point of the reed be contacted, regardless of the portion of the tongue used. Persons with a large oral cavity and short tongue will find that tip-to-tip tonguing is advantageous, while if the cavity is small and the tongue long, the third method works best. The great majority of players find that the best results are produced by touching the tip of the reed with the top part of the tongue at a point slightly back from its tip."
 

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There is a poster here who recommends taking less mouthpiece in as the size of the sax gets bigger instead of positioning the lower lip at the break , which I think is less than optimal but an accommodation to a larger than normal tongue (but the opposite accommodation - using the tip of the tongue to articulate but having a more forward tongue position to keep the airway clear as opposed to tonguing much farther back on the tongue to keep the airway clear).
I hope you aren't referring to me, although I actually do that. But I don't go out of my way to recommend it, ie I never tell people they should do that, I just say it's something I do.

I don't advocate positioning the lower lip at the break. Not saying it's wrong, just something I don't find necessary for good sound and control.


My only criticism is that he presents the anchor tongue technique as the one and only "correct" way to tongue. It would be far better if he presented it as an option that works for him and might, or might not, work for others.
Yes, I always find it rather arrogant when people say this is how it must be done when there are viable and well known alternatives. Unless they can give examples of how it is superior and show real results.

I understand if there is a teacher who has a specific method and only takes students on the understanding they would use that method - that's the way I have taught, so I would have said to a student something along the lines of:

"this is how I will teach you, there are other methods that may or may not be as good, and you are free to develop them but in that case I suggest you try somebody else if you need instruction on it"

So if someone came to me and they could already articulate well using anchor tonguing, I'd be fine with that, but if they did that and asked me to help them improve their tonguing I'd have to say "I can probably only if you stop doing it like that"

Larry Teal in "The Art of Saxophone Playing" describes on p.79 the three general types of tonguing as: 1. Tip of the tongue to tip of the reed. 2. Slightly back of tip of tongue to tip of reed. 3. Anchoring the tip of tongue on lower teeth and bending the tongue to the tip of the reed. He writes:

I totally agree with that, well done Mr Teal
 

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My only criticism is that he presents the anchor tongue technique as the one and only "correct" way to tongue. It would be far better if he presented it as an option that works for him and might, or might not, work for others.

I agree. It is best to try variations to find the method that gives the best results, changing from passage and phrase and back, as needed.
 

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I have mandibular tori which are bony growths just below my lower front teeth. They keep me from being able to anchor my tongue. Couldn't do it if I wanted to. This isn't me but mine look very similar. Anybody else have weird things like that going on?


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... Anybody else have weird things like that going on?
Since birth I've had have a lingual frenulum (tongue tie) which prevents me from sticking my tongue out as far as most people; my tongue goes out barely beyond the bottom teeth. This doesn't affect speech, swallowing, or the ability to tongue the reed.

I actually like the tied tongue.
 

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Since birth I've had have a lingual frenulum (tongue tie) which prevents me from sticking my tongue out as far as most people; my tongue goes out barely beyond the bottom teeth. This doesn't affect speech, swallowing, or the ability to tongue the reed.

I actually like the tied tongue.
I thought they could fix it easily, it's just a snip I was told as a kid and you go home after another 30 min. But if you like it! Of course "Earth Girls Are Easy" comes to mind LOL
 

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Larry Teal in "The Art of Saxophone Playing" describes on p.79 the three general types of tonguing as: 1. Tip of the tongue to tip of the reed. 2. Slightly back of tip of tongue to tip of reed. 3. Anchoring the tip of tongue on lower teeth and bending the tongue to the tip of the reed. He writes:
And I find myself alternating, depending what style of music I play and what type of sax, i.e. sop, alto, tenor etc. But it's mostly between 1 and 2 and even "a sliding scale" between them. And I appreciate Scott's videos, I learned a lot from them but he tends to be a bit dogmatic where it is not really necessary.
 

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I thought they could fix it easily, it's just a snip I was told as a kid and you go home after another 30 min. But if you like it! ...
Yes, the "fix" is easy, but my parents elected not to do it (most likely did not want to spend any money). But I'm very happy with its restricted movement.
 

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I don't know... I usually touch some part of my tongue somewhere near the tip of the reed. It depends on what horn, and what effect I'm going for.
No one way is the only way for most reed players.
 

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I don't even think about the method of tonguing I use, I am pretty sure if you use whatever method is comfortable for you, and if you practice regularly especially with a metronome, anybody will become as fast and as proficient as they want,
as for tone production as with anything else I think the amount of time spent working on it will produce directly related results , with whatever method is used.
as for the video IMO when learning this you pick up and work with whatever method is most comfortable for yourself, and as we progress, I would think we don't even think about it and it becomes second nature,
 

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OK, I admit I didn't watch the video, but I do think it's presumptuous to state that a non-standard technique (fixing the tip of the tongue behind the lower teeth and arching the tongue up to touch the reed) is "the correct way". At least, you should present it accurately, which is something like "the standard technique that works for the majority of players is to touch the tip or near the tip of the tongue to near the tip of the reed; and then there are these variants that may be helpful to those who have trouble with the standard".

I have trouble understanding how the average person with the average physiology could be benefited, in the task of developing flexibility of articulation and a variety of different tonguings, by starting out from a position that REDUCES the flexibility of the tongue.

Personally I use a wide range of tonguing effects (as do the vast majority of jazz saxophonists) and I need that thing loose and ready to touch the reed wherever, however, is needed.

It reminds me of the flute teacher who tried for a couple years to convert me to the "spitting grains of rice" method of tonguing, when I had never had any issues with ordinary flute tonguing. I tried it; it TOTALLY screwed up my double tonguing that I had spent years developing; I never could get a clean tonguing sound; and as soon as I went back to ordinary flute tonguing I sounded just fine. maybe it worked for him but there was no way it was going to work for me.
 
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