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Flute/Tonguing with the back of the tongue


I've played the flute for a few years now and I've always tongued with "ku ku ku" instead of a "tu tu tu". I use the back part of my tongue. You can't tell at all from hearing me play, and I can double tongue "tu ku tu ku" just fine. Should I stop single tonguing "ku ku ku" and switch to "tu tu tu"? Tonguing with a "ku" syllable sounds a lot better to me.

Hi, Aaron!
I come from the old school way of doing things.  But I have learned to collect as many "tools" for enhancing the expression of one's music, as possible.

Here are some of the syllables in my toolbox, that I use to tongue.  "Lu, Du, Ah, tukka, Tu, Tut, and of course, your favorite, KU."

My advice in answer to your question would be this.  Learn tu tu tu, and keep it in your toolbox of skills.  A teacher or band director may require this at sometime, and you will have it.  You may need to use it a little at other times, for making a sharper sounding attack on notes requiring emphasis.  

Joy and Happiness to you as you play that flute, sir.


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Denise J. Sipe


These are the topics I CAN answer... How to play, from beginner to professional. Tips and tricks, breathing, auxilliary fingering techniques Tone Quality Listening--Developing your ears Technique --Bringing the notes up and off of the page, and making them "your own music". Playing solo, small groups, bands, orchestras Digitally reproduced, vs live accompaniment Accompanying vocalists, dancers, other instrumentals.


Soloist, small groups, large marching bands, symphony orchestras, stage bands and orchestras, theater, church music, jazz, classical, folk music

I'm independent. But professionals have often hired me to play in their groups. Giving back to the community where I played in the High School Band, I am a former member of Williamsport, MD Community Band, a current member of New Horizons Band in Hagerstown, MD, and Bass Flute Player for the TOOT UNCOMMON FLUTES flute choir of Williamsport, MD. I often perform solo as "Toot Uncommon" and had a web-based business where I sold flutes of all sizes, shapes, and colors. The show is uncommon. The locations are often uncommon. And the variety of musical instruments is definitely uncommon! I am a member of NFA, the National Flute Association.

I didn't write for any publications. I leave that up to the more elite musicians.

This should have been my career. I am an engineer,and a trained professional clown. But my music is my passion. Flute is my favorite, though I also play many woodwinds and some brass. I am currently playing percussion in a volunteer concert band, and have drum corps experience, where I often played marching bass drum. I am totally self-taught. But I have often played in groups made up mostly of professionals. All in all I am still the area's best-kept secret.

Awards and Honors
Biggest honor of my career was playing an emotional piece, and looking out over the audience. Two big, tough construction workers had tears rolling down their cheeks.

Past/Present Clients
I've been teaching beginning and intermediate flute/piccolo students of all ages in MD and PA since the early 1970s.

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