Improving tongue

Discussion in 'EC Downloading' started by resonator, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. resonator

    resonator New Friend

    36
    0
    Jan 7, 2006
    i just realised that my tongue is holding me back. My attacks are sometimes not smooth enought, my single tongue speed and clarity/legato also need to improve. How can i systematically improve my articilations by college audition time (early march)? THanks
     
  2. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    2,212
    8
    Jul 13, 2005
    NY/CA
    reso,

    Welcome to the forum. There's plenty of time between now and March for your playing to improve dramatically if you're dilegent (I pointed out to my McGill class that a three week Christmas break should equal at least 63 hours of practice -- imagine what that accomplishes)

    Buy yourself a good metronome (one that clicks and doesn't "chirp" a pitch) and put it on your stand. This will serve as your control.

    Do you play the Clarke 2nd Study (or anything similar)? Choose a slow tempo that you can easily manage and play each exercise three ways: slurred, slur two/tongue two, and tongue all. Make certain that your articulated versions flow with the same ease as your slur and concentrate on a clear articulation with an easy, relaxed tongue. Repeat this every day for 20 minutes or so and increase the tempo by one click (and only one click!) every 5th day. You will gain 10 clicks between now and March 1st if you start tomorrow (knock wood).

    Resist the temptation to jump ahead at slow tempi. You're giving repetition to relaxation and clarity, not gaining points. Trust the process -- speed will come if you do.

    Who said "practice doesn't make perfect. . . perfect practice makes perfect"?

    That's the best I can offer without hearing you. Good luck!
    EC
     
  3. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

    109
    2
    Dec 5, 2003
    Maryland
    I have the same problem with clarity. I'm recently going through a embouchure change and although my tonguing in the upper register (C in the staff and above) is clear anything below that sounds fuzzy and cracks.

    I have pretty fast tonging speed but my attacks in my middle register aren't clear.. what are somethings that I can do to fix this?
     
  4. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    2,212
    8
    Jul 13, 2005
    NY/CA
    Jorge,

    I'm afraid to answer without hearing you, but it sounds like you need more milage on your embouchure change (?) Long tones, flow studies, and countless, patient, hours might do the trick. Once you're making a clear, easy, sound in all registers you simply articulate it.

    Which leads me to a point (forgive the generalization for a moment). Often a problem that surfaces in our fundamental technique is caused by something else preceeding it. Remember to balance flow & focus. Easy to say, hard to achieve.

    Cheers,
    EC
     
  5. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

    109
    2
    Dec 5, 2003
    Maryland
    thanks for the advice. you game me the same advice that my teacher gave and the same advice that I gave to my self. I just thought that maybe it was something else that it could of been...

    you know that doing long tones and flow studies get's boring specially after doing them for a long time everyday so it's hard to be patient...

    I guess I'll just have to man up and do what i gotta do..

    thanks for the advice. ttyl.
     
  6. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    2,212
    8
    Jul 13, 2005
    NY/CA
    Jorge,

    I know. . . everyone is looking for the same "golden bullet" -- that trick/backbore/horn that will make everything right (just imagine what the world would be like if you could buy your sound for x thousands of dollars) (shudder).

    Let your knowing ears be your guide in your countless hours of experimentation. The players who have made it have done so, in my opinion, for two reasons: they are receptive to the subtleties of the process and have simply worked harder than most. There are no shortcuts.

    Trust your teacher and manage your practice time. Make those "boring" long tones glow!

    Good luck,
    EC
     

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