“The Magic is in the U”

Hi flutists! This video is about an easy way of teaching/practicing clean, clear and efficient single, double, and triple detaché (described by flutists as “tonguing”) on the flute. Video is suitable for students and teachers.

  1. Gayle Heimer

    Thank you for this excellent video about tonguing. You said “you always want to keep your tongue anchored against the molars.” Do you mean for all tonguing–single, double, triple? On the “ku”, does the middle of the tongue touch the roof of the mouth, setting up a kind of rocking motion with the tongue? When using vowel sounds like ah, oo, ay, etc., do the sides of the tongue stay against the molars and the back of the tongue moves with the vowel sound? Perhaps a future video could explain how tongue positions affect our flute tone and technique.

    Thanks again, Ai!

  2. Ai Goldsmith

    Dear Gayle,

    Thanks so much for the detailed question. I seem to have the tongue anchored at all times. However, when I say anchored, it is lightly anchored. It is just to stabilize the tongue, to prevent the entire thing from wobbling around.
    The K syllable, is kind of like a “qu”. So yes, the back of the tongue does touch the “roof” but I feel it more in the back, not so much at the highest peak of the “roof”. The actual position may differ from person to person. It does involve experimentation. It also changes a little depending on what register pitches you are playing.

    I hope this sheds some light on the subject.
    Wishing you all the very best!

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