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Spanish trill RR sound

I've been stuck on making the Spanish trill since I ran into perro.

Do you have any advice on how to properly make the trill or rolling Rs?

I've looked at youtube and I am still stuck.

I am at the point where I think I can make my tongue vibrate at the tip but I'm not making sounds. How do I throw in the sound making while maintaining the vibration?

I've got a big tongue and I think it's not idea for trills, but there must be a way to do it.

February 10, 2012



OK, I'll take a stab at this. What you want to do is push the sides of your tongue up and out so they are lightly pressed against your molars on the sides. You want the tongue to be kind of concave. The tip should be slightly curved up and almost touching the edge of your palate just behind your front teeth. Then you exhale with a little force, like you're whistling, and lift the end of the tongue up until it's almost touching the hard palate. It's important that the toungue be rounded and not pointy. You might also have to bring in the corners of your mouth a little. The idea is to almost make a seal between the edges of the whole tongue and the palate/teeth so that the thin flow of air makes it flutter and that creates the rolling sound. You don't have to voice it to get this to happen. You can add the voice later. Does that help?


Worked a treat and scared the cat!


I am tongue-tied but it hasn't affected my speech in English so I never bothered to have the minor surgery to correct it. I had never been able to trill and I always assumed it was due to this impediment. Someone posted this video link on YouTube and by following these instructions, I am now able to do it! Try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKRQMCHlONU. The video is a little long, but definitely worth it.


I was able to finally get the trill and the RR sound with the trill. I have been practising at it off and on since I made my first post.

All the responses were great!

It may help some if I explain what I did when learning. Everything came in steps for me.

First step took me a bit to position my tongue properly but the directions in the fist answer here are great.

Then I needed to figure out how to make the tongue vibrate. Normal breathing exhaling is not the trick. For me I had to close off my throat a bit and push air from my lower diaphragm. Then I just needed to to start testing idea tongue positioning.

I first learned to vibrate my tongue not quite at the tip but slightly back. I was almost a week at that. When I finally learned to vibrate my tongue closer to the the tip where the real trill happens was after an hour an a half session of practice on Duolingo. I think the loosening up of the tongue helped a lot.

I still wasn't able to make sounds with the rolling tongue. On my drive to work (in my car) I started trying to add any sound with the rolling. It worked best for me to go for a high pitch eeeee sound pushed from my lower diaphragm.

I then worked a whole night shift (12h) just doing tongue rolls and tongue rolls with the eeee sound.

Now that I have had some rest I tried to bring the eeeeee sound down a bit in pitch to a deeper sound. I am about 98% there to making proper RRs.

I found this series of youtube video helped a lot as well: http://youtu.be/KWLtmXrx4lg


@twofish LOL! The Romans called it "littera canina" (dog's letter) because it sounds a little like a growl. ;)


I met a language professor once who told me the best way to practice the trill was with the following sentence: compro uno perro para Pedro pero una manzana para el professor! :)


@Netsquash - Thank you so much for posting this series of videos - they are brilliant! As an aside, since I figured out how to do it, I've been practicing in my car too. I thought I was the only one :)

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