Saturday, April 26, 2008

Air to Lips

This post has a special secret message at the end.

(Hint: it's "Air to Lips")

In a recent lesson, we began to talk about tongue position in articulation. This student had been told, like many of us, not to put the tongue between the teeth when tonguing.

(Don't worry about that,
just get the air to the lips)

I related a Jay Friedman masterclass I once saw in which he said he tongued between the teeth. This elicited an audible gasp from some in the audience. He said he preferred it because it provided a good path for the air.

(Yeah, like I was saying: Air to Lips)

I don't really like to think about my tonguing. Hey, if isn't broke....still, it doesn't seem to me that my actual "point of contact" is the tip of tongue at all. It seems like it is closer to a spot just above the tip. This spot makes a brief seal just behind the upper teeth.

(Dude, you are so over-thinking this!
Air to Lips!!!)

I'll also admit that, for tonguing pedals, my tongue actually touches the lip, effectively "kick-starting" the note.

(And...did that technique get the
"blank" to the "blanks"???
Probably yes or you wouldn't use it)

The only exception, something I never wanted to admit until Alessi talked about it: for super-smooth legato (esp on double tonguing) I actually pull the tongue back in the mouth so that it lightly grazes the roof of the mouth. Alessi referred to this region of the mouth as the "gulley" a termed coined by Phil Smith if I remember correctly.

(OK, call me crazy but did this happen to
allow that whole smooth "Air to Lips" thing??)

OK, this has been a bit too much analysis and I hope it helps and doesn't mess up people.

(Are we ready for that "secret message")

Whatever you do with the tonguing, remember that the main goal is to deliver...

(...here it comes; drumroll please:)

AIR TO LIPS

(ooh, big surprise)

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