Single & Double Tongue Techniques for the Saxophone

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Single and double tongue techniques for the saxophone are very important to learn for the woodwind players' arsenal of techniques. Work on your tonguing techniques for the saxophone with tips from a Broadway musician and private teacher in this free video on playing the saxophone.

Part of the Video Series: Saxophone Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Phil Baldino of the Woodwind Teaching Studio, and in this segment, we're going to discuss tonguing. Tonguing is a very important part of woodwind players' arsenal of technique. We need to first, as single reed players, understand the tongue position. We're going to talk about basically three components: tongue position, the use of the air and embouchure formation. They should be taken for granted that there is already a basic embouchure formation that is fairly well established. Secondly, the tongue position. There's basically three areas of the tongue that we generally use, at least with most players. Tip of the reed, my index finger is the tongue. Tip of the tongue to the tip of the reed. And it should also be noted that it's always a vertical stroke, not a side-to-side or a forward-backward motion. Also the same with the jaw. It should be stationary. The second position, slightly back from the back of the tongue. And thirdly, the tip of the tongue behind the bottom teeth articulating, or tonguing, with more of the back part of the tip of the tongue, slightly back from position number two. We call that an anchor tongue. When you first try these tones in articulation, think first in long notes. Think a half note, two beats, two long beats. We're going to use the second position, slightly back from the tip of the tongue. Thinking slow, long, two. At the end of two, my tongue comes up and stops three. And you continue that for several notes or octave. Secondly, play the same passage and do it in a straight quarter note, stopping the sound, keeping the air cone pushing. Do not start and stop the air with the up and down stroke of the tongue. The air should always be forward. Embouchure course is well formed. No dropping of the jaw. When the quarter note feels comfortable, increase it to an eighth note, to triplets, to sixteenths. I'm Phil Baldino of the Woodwind Teaching Studio, and those are some tips on tonguing.

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