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Learn How to Roll Your R’s for Singing in 1 minute Guaranteed!

I’m really excited to share with you this quick guide on rolling your R’s. Whether you want to learn how to roll your R’s to sing in Latin, Italian, French, or even English, rolling your R’s is easy if you do it like the native speakers.

When speakers of foreign languages roll their R’s, the tip of their tongue points upwards instead of straight, which is what we do when pronouncing the English R. If you want to roll your R’s, do this:

  1. Rest the tip of your tongue behind your top teeth.
  2. Now slide it back slowly until it reaches the ridge before your hard palate. This is called the alveolar ridge. Take a moment to locate it in the picture and in your mouth.
  3. How to roll your R's for singing

  4. Rest the tip of your tongue on that ridge.
  5. This is where the good part comes. Now push out air as fast as you can.

You’ll probably have to use your abs to do this. Keep pushing air out until you start feeling your tongue to roll. And trust you me, you will! As you push out air, try to keep your tongue and throat relaxed.

Once you have this part down, try to make a sound, always resting the tip of your tongue at the alveolar ridge before your hard palate. It should sound like RRRRRR.

Then, trying to finish your RRRR with “ah.” So, RRRRRAH. Then finish with “oh.” RRRRROh. Then “ee ah,” RRRRR-ee-ah.

Now, let’s put it all together and and say “Gloria!”

Take a minute to try this, and then leave a comment to let me know how it worked for you!


  1. do you breath out you nose or mouth? i didnt understand it that much an it didnt work

    • You breath in through your nose and breath out through your mouth. If your tongue is too taut, try to relax it and spread it across the alveolar ridge. Pronouncing a rolling R is not a matter of trying to consciously move your tongue to the roll. It’s a matter of passing air through your mouth in such a way that makes your tongue vibrate. A good exercise is to keep your lips relaxed and try to breath our through your mouth so that your lips go brrrrrrr…. It should be the same idea with the tongue.

  2. how do u do it

  3. Sorry, but it doesn’t help….
    I fear that your method only works for people who already know how to roll their “R”‘s….
    In my case, when I try your method, my top lip vibrates but not the tongue!

  4. i still can not do it it’s the pushing the air bit i just can’t do it

  5. I can roll m rs sort of using this method but i cant put it with a word

  6. Thank you for commenting everyone! When I first wrote this post, it was meant as a starting point. I will be writing a new and more extensive post soon with more ways to start rolling your R’s. Stay in touch!

  7. I have been trying for years to accomplish this feat, and I’m sorry to say this was not helpful. I would suggest you rescind your guarantee.

    • Olga is absolutely RIGHT! You must tense your tongue. In fact, all the muscles of you face, your tongue and throat MUST BE RELAXED. Just lightly place your tongue or the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Then blow air out HARD. Try this procedure many times. Vry soon you will be getting it. If this isn’t helpful, I would know anything else that can be.
      Anthony. Good job Olga!

      • Olga is absolutely RIGHT! You must NOT tense your tongue. In fact, all the muscles of you face, your tongue and throat MUST BE RELAXED. Just lightly place your tongue or the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Then blow air out HARD. Try this procedure many times. Vry soon you will be getting it. If this isn’t helpful, I would know anything else that can be.
        Anthony. Good job Olga!

        • My second relpy is the valid one. I missed out the “NOT” in my first reply “You must ….. tense your tongue.” I was type tooo fast .
          That’s why I corrected reply ONE in reply TWO.

          Every muscle should be RELAXED (NOT TENSE), with the possible exception of your abs which must expel the air from your lungs HARD.
          SO YOU NEED A SHORT BURST OF AIR to say “buRRRo” It is just a few flaps of that machine-gun like sound of “RRR” or “RRRR”, tho you could keep the “R” going until breathe out all the air in your lungs , but that not speech sound – it is more like a kid imitating the rattle of a machine-gun.

    • Thank you, Caroline. I am a pronunciation fanatic — and I have no hope!

  8. Hi there! I’m very excited to have recently discovered this site as a handy resource. I thought the explanation was pretty good — sorry it didn’t work for everyone.
    I just discovered how to roll an R with my tongue a few months ago, after years of relying solely on the uvular trill. What really worked for me was to simply take the time to explore different positions of my tongue and hear the resultant sounds with a flashlight looking in the bathroom mirror (with some confused and slightly concerned roommates). One tip I pulled from an online tutorial was to take the gesture of the uvular trill (for those who can) and try to transition it to different parts of the tongue. That is, find a different point of contact and vibration with the tongue against the corresponding part of the mouth. (If one can’t do a uvular trill to start, perhaps begin with a gargle too see what part of the back of the mouth is vibrating and work from there.)
    However, although I can now roll my R`s with my tongue, I still can`t seem to do it without an audible breath escaping. The accompanying breathy sound is something approaching [ʂ] or [ç], almost like a whistle but unpitched — the kind that you might hear a “granny” character do against her dentures, or like this familiar gopher (1:35) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7UqHM5bjcY (mine is without such a pronounced whistle; but I think it sounds like the same tongue position and similar higher pitched breath, though technically unpitched, if you know what I mean–the same way that so-called unpitched percussion instruments can sound higher or lower.)
    If I experiment with a flatter tongue and/or increase the airspeed, I almost get [l] along with my rolled r’s, the combination resembling something like [tltltltltl]
    Anyway, hope that my above contribution is useful, and if anyone has any suggestions about my breathy [ʂ] or [ç] problem with rolling my r’s, please offer your suggestions!

    • Your comment stuck out to me. Today is a very exciting day because I just figured out how to trill my r’s after a frustrating period of practicing. Originally, I was able to do the uvular “gargle” trill. For a while, I had no idea that everybody else used his tongue to trill. I actually did try to shift where the vibrating happened to different parts of my tongue, and I was convinced that the sensation was, in fact, the trill. But no. I finished my first year as a vocal major, and when my professor heard my “trill”, he said it was wrong, and that I should try to find a speech therapist. However, speech therapy seems out of my reach. Most places that I inquire after cannot teach it. Those that teach it are expensive. I have devoted hours this summer to asking different persons their techniques.
      One thing I found helpful, today in fact, is WHERE one “pushes out” air. I asked my mother, “Does the air go anywhere? Does it go around the tongue? Over the tongue?” She said,

      “My tongue [pressed up against the alveolar ridge] blocks the flow of air; and so, I push the air over my tongue while I continue to push my tongue against the roof of my mouth.”

      I tried it, and the magic happened! It’s sort of like the arabesque in ballet or yin and yang. Opposing forces that create a vibrant sound. I cannot make much of a sound, but my tongue is vibrating! I am so excited and I will do anything to trill my r’s. Now that I know that I have the muscles, I expect to have this down by the time I graduate.

  9. Tongue rolling is the shit!!!!

  10. This works for me! But I have to push it out real fast and it sounds weird when I put it in a word, like I’m emphasising too much on the r.

  11. I just got really dizzy and felt faint :/

  12. When I get up to the pushing air part I just make a ‘t’ sound or a rough ‘th’ sound. I can’t do that part. :(

  13. ‘R’s in French are *not* rolled.

    It doesn’t sound anything like the spanish one, there’s no “trill” (vibration of the tongue).
    It’s from the back of the mouth, rather like the spanish ‘jota’, but softer.

  14. thanks. Yea, your instructions help to trill the r, which I love doing. How about when the R is at the end of a word as in
    What would you recommend for singing this word, which means, Light?

    • Muy buena historia Rodrigo, es real?, de serlo hoeeatsmnnte te admiro (si no lo es, admiro a tu personaje), hombres así requiere la sociedad, y aunque no lo creas, hombres así son instrumentos de Dios, vuelve a El, te espera. Que pasó con los niños?, cómo te recuerdan?. Un abrazo

  15. I’ve never really thought of the fact that rolling R’s is hard for people that’ve never learned it. I’m from the westcoast of Norway, and I’ve used rolling R’s my whole life.
    I make the sound in the back of my mouth, I think. At least that’s where it vibrates, not my tounge. In fact, my tounge doesn’t move at all. How come it rolls anyway?

  16. This technique didn’t work for me. While I can get my tongue to vibrate by positioning it on the alveolar ridge, I can’t add the “R” to it, at least not in any musical way. I sound like a Mac trunk engine! So guess it’s back to flipping my R’s or substituting a D for the R . . .

  17. This totally works! And truly in less than a minute at that. The part which helped me is when I had to use my ab muscles to push the air out. For me the the force from it is what helped roll my ‘r’. I notice that to make it work I have to pull my stomach in in time to rolling the ‘r’. I hope that helps some of you folks as well. And thank you, Olga! :)

  18. Omg!!! It did help me out!! After many, many years of trying to learn how to roll my R’s and never succeeding. I read this and I learned that I have been misplacing my tongue. Omg I’m soooo happy!! Thank you sooo much! :)

  19. If i do that then it is as if i say a t in-front of the r, how can i change that?

  20. or it sounds like an s an the the r comes out

  21. I have been practicing this ever since I started learning Russian and I can do it, but I feel that even while I do it, it sounds a little breathy still at the end of a phrase or word. For example, every time I say “чёрный” I roll the r and tend to have it sounding somewhat airy, whereas my friends who speak Russian flawlessly don’t have that problem. I’ve asked them, but they have provided very little help. Any suggestions?

  22. it did not work for me and ive tried a lot of different sites and videos on youtube which still did not help

  23. YESSS! Thank you >so< much! I haven't gotten to try any techniques yet, (since my geometry classmates are just going to stare as I make [relatively] strange noises ^u^') but this seems like it'll work! As a Wisconsinite trying to sing Schubert's Mass No. 2 in G for a HUGE concert, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  24. I found this very helpful actually. Thanks!

  25. it don’t work

  26. Americans swallow the R when speaking. This is a definite block to producing a rolled R. English R is toward the back of the throat, rolled R is very forward. The main problems stems from attempting to sing an American R at the same time as rolling the R. Forget the English sound and feel of R. LEAVE THE SOUND OF THE R OUT and just roll the R. Still takes practice — don’t give up.

  27. Gayle Ollington

    I have read SO MANY articles on how to roll your r’s. Unfortunately I cannot curl my tongue – therefore the air just moves to the side and I end up making a weird wind sound. I have been learning to speak spanish since my son moved to Mexico and I love traveling there, but I hate sounding like such a tourist when I visit. Is there any tips you can offer to help me with this?

  28. Does not work for me. I just get a “TL” sound, not the actual “R” sound.
    It is extremely frustrating, I am Italian and I have never been able to roll my R’s.
    My dentist told me that my mouth and tongue are OK, so that is not the issue.
    I have been trying for months and still can’t do it, why???

  29. i sorta got it but when i try to speak my voice goes higher and funnyer

  30. eventually mastered it, but found it much easier to rest the tongue on the ridge and say Gloria that worked for me.

  31. It doesn’t work at all. I don’t know why I can’t do it.

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