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 Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: metalheadsimon (78.147.198.---)
Date:   2011-04-16 00:25

Hey guys,

Im just wondering what experiences you have all had in regards of anchor tonguing, as when working out what im physically doing in regards of tonguing this is what im doing.

Most posts i have seen have encountered problems with not been able to tongue at what most people see as an average speed (semiquavers when crotchet=140) or been able to lightly tongue notes. Both of these problems i have got theories on how to get beyond but was just curious on any other feedback on this method of tonguing.

Any interest would be greatly helpful to both me and my clarinet teacher

Cheers

Simon Cowton

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: Bob Phillips (---.yourt1wifi.com - (Pend Oreille Valley Network) Bonners Ferry, ID United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 05:14

Anchor tonguing is not good technique. It correlates embouchure with articulation when they should be separate functions.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: clarinetguy (---.dsl.sfldmi.sbcglobal.net - (SBC Internet Services) Berkley, MI United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 05:46

As a clarinet player since 1964, I have never used anchor tonguing. It's probably safe to say that most clarinet players today regard this method as completely wrong. In a recent article about clarinet tonguing in the Instrumentalist magazine, the writer had nothing good to say about it.

I have never taught anchor tonguing to any student. Having said that, it's important to recognize that everyone's tongue is different. There are some who have limited tongue flexibility. There are others who have very long tongues. If there is someone who after a lot of effort just cannot tongue in the traditional tip-to-tip way, it might be worth giving anchor tonguing a try.

Many years ago, I studied with Keith Stein. He never discussed anchor tonguing with me, but in his "Art of Clarinet Playing," he does mention it. If this is what you're currently doing and would like to learn more about it, his book does discuss it in some depth. According to Stein, "the French school of playing has successfully incorporated the mid-tongue method to take care of the 'long tongue' problem." (p. 23) I have never heard this from anyone else, but I'll take Stein at his word.

Stein's longtime pupil, David Pino, also discusses anchor tonguing in his book, "The Clarinet and Clarinet Playing." Pino doesn't exactly advocate anchor tonguing, but he doesn't dismiss it either. He mentions it as a solution for those " . . . who have great difficulties using the tip of the tongue on the tip of the reed." (p. 85)

I've never met Howard Klug, but it doesn't appear that he disapproves of anchor tonguing either. Here's a link:
http://music.unt.edu/clarinet/PDF/tipsForTonguing.pdf
On one point he appears to differ from Stein. Klug approves of it if the end of the tongue is anchored "at the base of the bottom teeth," but he disapproves if the tongue is anchored on the lip (although he doesn't say where on the lip). In contrast, Stein discusses a couple alternate methods of anchor tonguing in which the tongue tip or the underside of the tongue tip is placed on the lower lip membrane.

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: EEBaum (---.dsl.irvnca.sbcglobal.net - (SBC Internet Services) Los Angeles, CA United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 07:30

IMHO, it's a case of "only solve the problem if the problem exists." If you're tonguing quickly and lightly with anchor tonguing and it's not causing issues, carry on, and spend your time on more pressing (and more oft neglected) matters, like musicality.

-Alex
www.mostlydifferent.com

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: Lelia Loban (---.washdc.btas.verizon.net - (Verizon Internet Services) Alexandria, VA United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 15:43

>> IMHO, it's a case of "only solve the problem if the problem exists." >>

I agree with that, but for me (adult amateur) the problem did exist for years -- without my realizing it. I anchor-tongued as a beginner. I never had private lessons and I didn't know any better. My band teacher from grammar school through 8th grade played clarinet professionally. He did teach correct tonguing (I know because, little geek that I was at age nine, I took notes), but somewhere along the line I started anchor-tonguing on my own without realizing I'd changed anything. Either he didn't discuss anchor tonguing later or (more likely...) I was doing something else when I should have been listening.

In high school, I became aware of anchor-tonguing as an impediment to speed. Can't remember any more whether I read something or somebody told me something. Anyway, I found it hard to break the anchor-tonguing habit, but I'm glad I did. With tip-tonguing, I could play fast, staccato passages with far less danger of squeaking or tripping over my own tognue and falling apart into those silly-sounding mumbling noises.

Lelia
http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/Lelia_Loban
To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: Ed (---.dhcp.nwtn.ct.charter.com - (Charter Communications) Trumbull, CT United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 16:01

I have known some prominent players who have anchor tongued and sounded just fine. If it causes a problem, then it may be an issue. I support changing embouchure or tonguing if it causes and issue, but not just for the sake of changing.

I anchor tongued in my youth as I just picked it up that way. Speed was not an issue, as I can't tongue all that fast either way!

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: Ed Palanker (---.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net - (Verizon Internet Services) Cockeysville, MD United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 16:38

First let me say that I doubt that the Average clarinet player can tongue 16th notes at 140 for any length of time. Sure, there are many players that can do that but certainly not the Average player. With that said, I think clarinetguy gave you very good advise. In Perter Hadcock's book The Working Clarinetists, he tells how he always anchor tongued as well as tonguing the "proper" way. It is true that most teachers will change a student to tongue the "proper" way and that is probably a good thing for most students because anchor has it's limitations with most students. With that said, if you can anchor tongue well but have limitations you should learn to tongue the "proper" way as well and if necessary use both techniques as the passage calls for. The most important thing is to make the music sound musical regardless of how you accomplish it.
Some players that have long or thick tongues have to use alternate ways of tonguing like double tonguing to play certain passages correctly. I have some suggestions on tonguing on my clarinet pages on my website if you're interested but I do not cover anchor tonguing. ESP http://eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: Ken Shaw (---.dyn.optonline.net - (Optimum Online (Cablevision Systems)) Brooklyn, NY United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 18:56

If you can anchor-tongue fast and light enough, there's no reason not to do it. Mitchell Lurie and Karl Leister both used it.

I started with anchoring but changed because tip-to-tip tonguing worked better. It wasn't easy. My anchored tongue supported my lower lip, and doing without that support was tough. I'm glad I worked through it, though.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: gsurosey (---.rochester.res.rr.com - (Road Runner) Fairport, NY United States)
Date:   2011-04-16 20:12

What is anchor tonguing exactly? I've never heard of it.

----------
Rachel

Bb/A: Buffet R13
Eb/Bass: Bundy

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: metalheadsimon (78.147.197.---)
Date:   2011-04-16 20:25

Rachel,

Instead of touching the tip of the reed with the tip of the tongue, you position the tip of the tongue behind your bottom lip, then move the tongue in an up and down motion to stop the reed using a further back part of the tongue.

From what i have found, there is less room for error than tip for tongue and you have to be a lot more accurate, however for me this works providing clean and accurate and fast articulation. As your tongue arches further back as you ascend into the higher registers, this provides less room between the reed and the part of the tongue used during anchor tonguing, however by altering the angle of which the clarinet is with the body slightly, you can provide more room, and therefore the same quality can be produced.

Its only become a point of interest as my teacher and i have been trying to work on my tonguing speed and to do this we needed to figure out what was going on inside my mouth. I was surprised to find that a fair few of my fellow students, out of 15 of us there were 6 that positioned the tongue behind the bottom lip

Hope this is of help and of interest

Simon Cowton

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: Lelia Loban (---.washdc.btas.verizon.net - (Verizon Internet Services) Arlington, VA United States)
Date:   2011-04-17 11:39

>> What is anchor tonguing exactly? >>

Conventional tonguing puts the tongue in the position to say "tah." Anchor tonguing puts the tongue in the position to say "gah."

Lelia
http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/Lelia_Loban
To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: Chetclarinet (173.226.156.---)
Date:   2011-04-17 12:50

I have anchor tongued for 47 plus years and say "tah" in addition to other sylables easily. My tongue is lightly anchored below the lip, and at times is on the lip. I can of course tongue easily in a conventional tip to tip manner also. Out of choice, I prefer a shallow anchor tongue for playing bass clarinet particularly. It allows more room for the air to addres the reed without impedence from the tongue stroke. I can tongue quickly , play the Mendelsson Scherzo at 88 and have really had no serious professional tonguing problems over my career. I do teach tip to tip tonguing to my students, but also allow differences in tonguing style. My teacher,Stanley Hasty, strongly preferred tip to tip articulation and he and I worked hard when I was a student at Eastman to do tip to tip tonguing. One day, I was tonguing with a shallow anchor and asked him if it was clean and to his likeing and he sad yes. Somehow, it works for me!



Post Edited (2011-04-17 12:52)

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: EEBaum (---.dsl.irvnca.sbcglobal.net - (SBC Internet Services) Los Angeles, CA United States)
Date:   2011-04-17 15:40

>>Conventional tonguing puts the tongue in the position to say "tah." Anchor tonguing puts the tongue in the position to say "gah."<<

That depends on how you pronounce those syllables. I'd call anchor tonguing "tuh". I can't anchor tongue in the "gah" position, as it draws my tongue too far back. I'd consider "tah" and "gah" to be double-tongue components of the same tongue placement.

-Alex
www.mostlydifferent.com

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 Re: Anchor tonguing? really the wrong way to go?
Author: JAS (---.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net - (SBC Internet Services) Elmhurst, IL United States)
Date:   2011-04-17 17:26

I used to anchor tongue so well that the people i studied with actually didn't notice. It was a very light, precise stroke and i was getting pretty fast with it too.
Then I actually asked people if what I was doing was wrong, and everyone I talked to was skeptical. I decided that I was going to get rid of anchor tonguing going into my first year of college (about a year ago) and it improved several aspects of my sound, but I couldn't tongue faster than 100 BPM for weeks. I'm still struggling to get faster than 125 or so in my freshman year of college, which is rough, but it certainly beats what I was doing before. I would never go back to anchor tonguing, although what didn't work for me might work for someone else.
Most of us know that Peter Hadcock would have said about it...

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