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How to Roll Your R

So you want to learn how to roll your R? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Learning a foreign language isn’t all about acquiring vocabulary and understanding grammar, it’s also about sounding correct. Many language have the rolled r, but often English speakers have difficulties rolling their r.

I’ve struggled with this part of the Spanish language for a long time, but after doing research and doing a lot of testing I’ve come up with an easy method that will teach you how to roll your r.

I’m lucky that my native tongue is Dutch, and that Dutch has some uncommon sounds which can be found in Spanish as well. On the other hand I’m unlucky, as I’m from a part of the Netherlands where people do roll their r, but they do it in their throat. People can say what they want, but it’s not correct to use an throat rolled r in, for example, ‘perro’. Some people say it is correct, but it simply isn’t. The only correct rolled r [in Spanish] is the one formed with the tip of your tongue. And this is where it gets ugly, because this is an unknown sound in English. I had the same problem, but mine was that every time I wanted to roll my r correctly, either a sissing sound would come out, or a throat-rolled r. Very frustrating, indeed.

BUT! After weeks of surfing the internet for exercises and doing these exercises (some even made me feeling depressed, so I suggest only using the ones I advice to do) I finally was able to make an rolling sound with the tip of my tongue. Some weeks later I was even able to put the into words (which is quite important, I guess). So, where do you need to start? Read carefully, you might need some of the following techniques to be able to roll a perfect r in the future.

Four easy steps to roll your R

1. Loosen up the tongue
The reason why a lot of people can’t roll their r’s is simple because they’re too stressed, or at least their tongue is. Speakers of American English are actually quite near a rolling r, although most tend to say it’s impossible for them to do. The problem is, however, that they keep their tongue way too far back. The trick is to put your tongue in the front of your mouth, but we’ll get back on that later. First, you want to loosen up your tongue.

Something I found useful is to use a tongue-twister. Three simple words worked to loosen up MY tongue: tee dee va. All I did was saying these words fast and for a long period, in order to loosen up my tongue. First I though it was a bunch of bullsh*t to do, but it actually worked.

2. Try to make short trilling sounds
So, you tongue is ‘loose’ now? Good. After a lot of practicing with the above method I was able to produce short ‘trrr’ and ‘drrr’ sounds. The reason why I could only make the sound with a t or d in front of it, is because you hold your tongue close to the place it should be with and r when producing a t or d.

After the above technique you should be able to produce short rolling sounds as well. It doesn’t matter if the rolling part only is there for a second, as long it’s there. Just take a deep breath and push the air out trying to make a ‘trrr’ or ‘drrr’ sound.

3. Make a an individual rolling r
The next and crucial step it so be able to make a individual rolling r. This can be VERY hard to do, so be sure you practiced a lot with the ‘trrr’/’drrr’ method. When I was learning to roll my r, the first few weeks my individual r’s sounded like a weird sissing sound in the beginning. The good part, however, is that after a while you can make looooong rolling sounds without a sissing part in the beginning. Just practice, practice and practice. It can look hard, maybe impossible, to roll your r correctly, but you WILL succeed. Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve been depressed over the fact I couldn’t roll my r. But I’ve succeeded!

4. Put the rolled r into words
Putting your newly acquired r into words can be really awkward in the beginning. The only way to overcome this is practice A LOT. One thing that helped me was listening to Spanish music and singing along (most people can’t sing, including me, so you might try not to sing too loud), concentrating on the r’s. Just try it, after some days you can confidently roll your r in words, just like any Spanish native-speaker.

Want some examples and instructions on how to place your tongue? Visit this great website.

If you need some extra practice and/or tips, be sure to check out the WikiHow page on rolling your R like a Spaniard.

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A Spanish teacher by trade, Ramses is a true language learning addict. He started Spanish-Only.com and The Language Dojo, and isn't even thinking about quitting language learning; it's in his blood!

Latest posts by Ramses (see all)

140 Comments…

thesmithtopher June 24, 2008 at 3:04 am

I accidentally stumbled upon the rr after years of not being able to do it. This all happened before I ever started studying Spanish. I was imitating a Portuguese guy pronouncing my name and it just happened. As if a magical fairy were floating nearby, I grabbed that in a jar and tried to mimic it again and again. From that point on I had to insert the rr into words, practice again and again, but it’s getting better. I think I’m still on the backswing, ie. my rr’s are too loud and strong and I’m trying to tone them down. It is a magical art, producing it, isn’t it?

Is the Dutch r like the German and French one, that back-of-the-throat roll? I had always thought that that sounded more like the trilled Spanish R rather than the American R. The American R sounds more fluid and curled up.

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GoodOleSouthernAmericanBoy August 7, 2008 at 3:13 am

Thanks a lot! That whole Tee dee va thing actually did help me a lot. I thought it would be BS like so many other things i have tried. But as of late I am beginning to realize that different advice is helpful to different people simply because of their native language or dialect. So I am from the the south of the U.S. (virginia) & this helped me out, for any other readers who read this

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Ramses August 7, 2008 at 12:56 pm

No, thank you! :) Great to hear that it work’s out for you. Well, I actually thought that the ‘tee dee va’ thing was BS as well, until I just kept doing it and after a while I was able to make short rolling sounds.

Good luck with Spanish, a world opens as soon as you’re fluent (it opened a new for me :)).

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Bubbles October 29, 2008 at 6:43 pm

heyya,
im one of those wierd random people that cant roll their r’s and its killing me not being able to do it.!!! Everyone in my family can do it and i cant! they keep telling me whre to put my tounge an that but i just cant do it however much i try that tee dee va thing didnt work nd ive been on about 10million different sites trying to find a way that works please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANKYOU IF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS EMAIL ME ::cheekymonkeybeth@yahoo.co.uk thanks!!!

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Ramses October 29, 2008 at 7:13 pm

How long have you been ‘tee dee va’-ing? Have you tried step 2?

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Beth Butler November 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I LOVE all of your tips and hope you don’t mind me sharing these with my workshop attendees here in the United States. See, for a long while, I have been telling my workshop attendees the tricks for rolling your r’s is to do one of two things:

1) Pretend you are hopping on a Harley Davidson bike and start your engine by going “Rrrroooom, rrroooom, rrrooom!”
or if they don’t get excited about riding a motorcycle
2) Get dressed up for a night out on the town and prior to leaving the house, look into your vanity mirror and purr at yourself as if you are THE hottest looking babe from South America (or wherever!!) and purr like this, “RRRRrrrrraaah, rrrrrrraaah!!!”

Now Señor Ramses I have more sound tips to provide these Anglo gals hoping to get some native pronunciation going on! Love your blog!

Happy Educating! ¡Sea feliz educando!

Beth Butler
Founder of the Boca Beth Program

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Ramses November 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. Please, do share these tips to break the myth English speakers can’t roll their tongue.

You might find this site interesting as well: http://www.wikihow.com/Roll-Your-%22R%22s

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Abigail February 23, 2010 at 3:22 am

This wiki-how site you've posted helped so much! The German "R" – in the back of my throat – comes naturally to me, and about halfway down the page it suggests starting with a German R, then with a large gust of air pushing that R to your tongue. It worked! A little bit… I'm still having trouble putting it into my words, but thank you for all your help and tips!

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Jennifer December 15, 2008 at 9:03 pm

i was looking up how to roll my rs and i came across this article ^^ within and hour i was able to roll my tongue :D yaaaaaaay, just thought you might want to know oh and that other link to how to roll your tongue is also very helpful ^^

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Matt December 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I being a native Spanish speaker found after learning english fluently at a young age that rolling my r’s became difficult for a while. I went from speaking spanish all the time to speaking english all the time. I tried your little tutorial(right word?) and I would say it is very good even though I could roll my r’s before reading it. Listening to reggaeton is probably the best way to practice rolling your r’s after you thing you have them down somewhat. A great song is “noche de entierro” by daddy yankee. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phqP5xzWoU8 at about 1:34 he (Tiny I think) rolls his r’s in entierro perfect. Check it out.

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KJ December 30, 2008 at 4:13 am

I’d like to note that many English accents have rolled R’s also its very prominant in the Glasgow accent

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Ramses January 3, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Many? No, just a few. The overwhelming majority hasn’t a rolled R.

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Darren January 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Hi, I’ve been trying to learn to roll my r’s for a few days now, but haven’t made any progress. I was just wondering, how long are most people in the “tee-dee-va” stage for? And how fast do you say it? Twice a second?
Thanks.

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Ramses January 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Hey Darren,
Some people learn it fast, some slow. Because you can’t do it within a few days doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. Me for example; it took me WEEKS in order to learn it and then MONTHS to make it natural to me. Now, it’s natural as I’ve done it all my life.

About the tee-dee-va thing; do what you like. Start slowly and then increase your speed. It’s just fitness :).

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Matt February 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Hey,

I came across your page, like many, discouraged because I couldn't/still can't roll my R. I'm in Spain now studying abroad, but it hurts me that I can't make the sound, especially when its so critical when speaking to distinguish words. I've seen that Tee Dee Va on a few websites, so I hope that it works for me too. Anyway, thanks for posting a page that has hints and tips! Wish me luck!

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Stacey February 11, 2009 at 4:24 am

i’m going to start practicing tee dee va right away :) thanks for the tips they are really encouraging, i’ve been trying to say “dracula” for the longest time and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere.

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Stephen August 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm

I studied spanish in school for a few years, never being able to roll my tongue. I slowly got away from speaking spanish until I met my wife. Some of her family can't speak any english and so I have been studying spanish again so I'm able to communicate with them. The only thing I have had trouble with, that my wife wasn't able to help me, was rolling my rr's. But, believe it or not, I was reading through your instructions and after trying the "drrrrr" exercise my tongue finally got the vibrating down. I think I have the right sound, my wife said I sounded great when I called and told her. Thank you so much for the tutorial!

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Ramses August 12, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Great to hear this technique is working for more and more people :-). Now you can truly excel at Spanish ;-).

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Taylor August 17, 2009 at 12:49 am

alright so i am just learning spanish, and it is incredibly annoying that all of my friends an family can roll their r's and i cant… there is like a tongue rolling that i can do, but it requires a LOT of air, and everyone that i show it to says that it is wrong. i dont understand how one tongue rolling can be different from another, but apparently it is… and i was wondering— for the tee dee va, when i say it out loud i cant really tell the difference from my tees and dees. is it really important to emphasize the difference? thanks for your help!

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Ramses August 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm

The only thing you want is touching the alveolar ridge with your tongue when you pronounce the D and T, because that's the place your tongue touches when rolling your R.

See this image, the alveolar ridge is located between number 4 and 5.

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Jeff September 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Hola!

does saying "tee-dee-va" for two weeks is already a good thing? Filipino language has a rolled r too, but I think I'm the only one who can't do it. T_T

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Alex September 24, 2009 at 10:16 am

When teaching Russian kids who cannot pronounce our also rolled R properly, our logopedists ask the trainee to produce a continuous stream of d-d-d-d-d-d-ds, and use a soft-rubber-covered stick (a pen with rubber cap will do) do force the tip of the tongue vibrate sideways. It really helps

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Seth December 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Is there any way that someone could explain Alex's method in depth? I don't really see what to do with the pen cap.

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Ramses December 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I have an idea on how it works, but I guess it's best to do with a speech therapist. If you're alone and training your rolled R, I'd simply stick to the program I put together. It may take some more time for some people, but in 99% of the cases it works.

If not, going to a speech therapist isn't a shame.

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Alex December 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm

1) Put the tip of your tongue to the humps on your upper palate right behind your teeth.
2) say a D. then again, and again, and again
3) insert the above-mentioned soft-ended stick between your cheek and the side of your tongue, approximately 1/3-1/2-tongue-deep
4) (keep saying those Ds)
5) abruptly move the stick to the other side of your mouth
6) (keep saying those Ds)
7) move the stick back.
8) repeat 4-7, gradually increasing speed

Does it make more sense?

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Anna October 29, 2009 at 3:24 pm

For those who advise others to make a purring or motor sound: If I could make those sounds, I could make the "rr", they really aren't so different!

Tee dee va gets me closer than anything else, but I still can't do it after years of trying (I heard the tee-dee-va thing at the beginning of my search). I'm just glad I can do a single "r" correctly. Just avoiding a strong American "r" helps a *lot* with how you are perceived.

I won't give up on tee-dee-va, though. Loosening up my tongue and playing around with it, I'm sure I'll stumble onto "rr" one of these days.

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Ramses October 30, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Anna: it's no shame to go to a speech therapist if you really struggle with certain sounds. I refused to do that and just practiced my butt off, but that doesn't always work, unfortunately.

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Madonna December 31, 2009 at 5:43 am

Hola como estan? I am american from Virginia, I speak fluent spanish and english. I work at a bank translating and I aslo am teaching a friend how to speak spanish and she has a really hard time with the rr. I am going to tell her about this to see how well it goes thanks alot! Buena suerte!

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Leo January 11, 2010 at 4:43 am

I just got the beginning "rr" rolled by accident. Here's how. I had been learning about better Spanish pronunciation, and how "r" is really more like "tt" or "dd" ("pot o' tea" ~= "para ti") and "g"/"j"/"x" have a stronger h sound than the American versions, in a way that sounds Scottish or German. So while practicing this (and having practiced "tee dee vah" a bit too, not sure if that matters) I tried saying "Argentina". I said it something like "ah-dah-hh-enn-tee-nah." But the "d" came out as a short rolled "rr": apparently the puff of air from the harder "h" and the tightening of the throat were what I was missing. I can't roll it for long, and sometimes I miss rolling it and it sounds something like "otter", but I'm getting better.

Another tip: when practicing "tee dee vah" (which I still don't know if it actually made a difference), I found it a bit more entertaining to say quickly if I sung it, using it as notes in a song.

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Ramses January 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

Hm, I don't exactly understand what you mean by the 'rr' actually being a 'dd'. In Spanish the d is more a voiced dental fricative (as in th in this), and not a voiced alveolar plosive (as in d in dig), so I don't know if it's even possible to get a rolled r from that…

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Patrick February 10, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Hey. I'm 21 and I am studying in Spain. When I got here I couldn't roll my r's. 3 weeks later I can do it, just need to work on taming it.

I think my problem was I was trying to put my tounge against the aveoli ridge. Really, its just under it. You need to be breathing out while you do it.

I had practiced the tee-dee-va stuff for a few hours a week and the vision dream method too. But really You just got feel out the tounge location and stuff.

Good luck!

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Nate February 25, 2010 at 12:14 am

Muchas gracias for the advice in this article. I was able to attain an ok trill within an hour of practicing saying 'tr'. Now I'm able to say 'el perro corre en el ferrocarril' with relative ease.
I had tried the vision dream method (among many others) with no luck, but then i stumbled upon this website.

– native english speaker who never rolled an r in his life until a couple days ago

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Michael May 15, 2010 at 6:47 am

So you've posted a "how-to" for people who don't know how to roll their Rs and all you say is to try a tongue twister and then attempt to roll your R. HELLO! If you don't know how to roll your R a tongue twister won't help. It has to do with technique and where your tongue is, this is one of the stupidest "how to's" I've seen. It's the equivalent of trying to teach a toddler how to ride a bike and saying "The secret to riding a bike is to say out loud that you can ride a bike. Now, after you've said that ride your bike"/ The toddler doesn't even know where to begin so he's going to fall on his face.

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micah March 10, 2011 at 5:26 am

wow.. i know you wrote this a while ago but that was really rude…. :/ he has great details and i have been trying and i havent gotten it yet but im learning… its helping me so it cant be that stupid…

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Taylor March 17, 2011 at 6:21 am

I agree Micah! Also, I learned how to do it recently after five years of trying. This site helped.

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Ramses April 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Did you read the article? It's all about making your tongue stronger, and I DO tell where to place your tongue (step 2, put a D in front of the R because that's where you want your tongue to be).

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Ramses May 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Michael, did you even read the article? Did you click the link at the end of the post? This is exactly how I learned how to roll my tongue, and I know many people who learned it this way as well.

Yes, I'm teaching some tongue twisters, but those I teach to get to the correct sound. If you go to a speech therapist s/he will teach you some tongue twisters as well to get you produce the correct sound.

My method is not flawless, but it does help many. If it doesn't help you, I'm sure there are many other methods that will help. If you're angry because this outlined method doesn't work for you, you either have to keep practicing or find another method that will help you.

Please, only comment if you have something useful to say, and not just to start a flamewar.

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David July 16, 2010 at 2:07 am

Hello, I seem to be stricken with a similar conundrum as the one you experienced – I am french, and so my rolled r's refuse to leave my throat – it seems to me impossible to transmit that to my tongue. My question, therefore, is how did you manage to project that RR from your throat to the tip of your tongue? Do you breathe out while rolling a guttural R in your throat? Essentially, what physical steps did you take after the Tee Dee Vaa's. And also, incidentally, what has been your experience of the singular r as in 'raro' or 'caro' which seems to be even more frustratingly difficult.
Thanks in advance

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Bryan July 27, 2010 at 6:02 am

hey everyone — I'm so glad to see this page, because I thought I was the only one who was so passionately determined to learn the trill. I thought I was taking it too seriously, but now I see it's nothing unusual! I've always attributed my incapability to the fact that my tongue is is not very dextrous (I physically cannot point the tip of my tongue upward) and to my being American, but now I'm feeling hopeful that I can get it with a lot of practice. I am fluent in French, and it's always been nice how that language doesn't require a trill (I can do the German "r" fine as well), but now I'm determined to learn the trill so that when trying Spanish, Portuguese, or Russian, I would sound a little more legit.

I bookmarked this page and will visit it every day until I can roll my R; when I do, I will let you know!

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Alexis August 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I can say single words like this, but I think when I do I'm using the "D" method. When I try to speak whole sentences and do a lot of it at once though, I can't. And I can't do the purring or motor sounds….yet. But I really want too. I've been doing the "tee dee va" thing for awhile, but I still haven't got it. I don't understand… How will I be able to get the purring sound down?

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Alexis August 9, 2010 at 9:40 pm

And also, I can't say words that START with an R. I can't even say start.. haha But I can say Dracula. And I can almost say 'three' correctly. I think that's because I am using the "D" method.

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Jay August 26, 2010 at 1:21 am

I've only recently learned how to "roll my 'R's" and I still struggle with it at times. This is what has helped me:

1. Repeating this tongue twister: "Que rápido corren los carros de ferrocarril"

2. Repeating the English word "little" rapidly. You should eventually be able to say "little" with a little breath behind it to begin trilling

Remember that a single "r" at the beginning of a word is pronounced "rr". Also, breath support (almost an "h" sound at the beginning of the trill) is quite helpful, although I'm not sure about its correctness. Hope this helps!

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Heezen August 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Dear all,
After months of trying I can *FINALLY* make the purring RRR sound, altough I am not that fluent in using it in words ( But I can do it!).
I've virtually all existing methods, I've watched all utube videos about this, have looked on tons of sites etc etc. Many methods haven't worked for me. But now I've found the ultimate method, or better said, I've found out what I was doing wrong!
I KNOW how it feels that 6-year old kids can do it, but u can't, I know how difficult it is. But if there's anyone who hasn't yet figured it out, I can tell you the ultimate method.
My method in a nutshell: You must first KNOW how to make the sound,- presuming u got ur tongue at the right place etc etc, u must not "just" blow air through, but do it in such a way that it comes from ur throat(not sure about the actual terminology). However, u should blow air through ur mouth like when u say "L''.
Well, put ur head in ur neck, lean back, let gravity help you. Ur tongue tip at the right place,- keep in mind HOW to blow air though, and BLOW, as in a sudden burst.
You *MUST* get the trill, even for just a split second. If u get that trill, even if its just a split second and fades away after 0.2 seconds, you've DONE IT!
After lots of trying( Indeed, you'll still have to practice it a lot!) you'll be able to make the RRR sound till u run out of breath.
Just write here a comment about whether it worked,- I'll be notified by it.

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Kay August 26, 2011 at 1:08 am

OMG thank you so much! I can roll my R's now!! It took a lot of effort… but THANK YOU!

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Carrie March 1, 2012 at 8:36 am

Yes ! FINALLY a method that WORKS!! Thanks :)

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Leon April 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I'm 15 years old, my parents are Mexican and I've never rolled an r before. You can imagine how embarrassing it is and how much I get made fun of because of it. All I can say is THANK YOUUU! Kudos to you my friend!

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Michael December 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Ramses, thanks very much for the advice – I had given up trying. Tonight, in the taxi home, I started with the tee-dee-va and when I got home, checked out this site and the wikihow site you link.

Within twenty minutes, I was rolling R's – ¡estupendo! They're raw for now but I'm sure with time I'll be ordering burritos with ease. The key for me was loosening the tongue (but just for a few minutes), then the 'Tiger Method' on the Wikihow site. Good luck to all still trying.

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Ramses December 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Don't worry, my R's were also "raw" in the beginning, but with practice this will get sorted out in time. Good to hear you're one step closer to fluency! :-D

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Michael December 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Thanks mate. Great site by the way – I've enjoyed following over the past year. First heard of Anki here in February and that was 40,000 reps ago – a little each day adds adds up! Holidays coming up now so it's time for me to step the immersion up before a planned stay in Colombia next year. Keep up the good work.

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Annie January 2, 2011 at 3:33 am

Hi Ramses!
This is really helpful, except i don't get the 'trr' and 'drr' thing, and i don't know how hard to blow. It's stressful, having a seven year old sister who can roll her r's perfectly, and being a 11 year old who isn't even close to doing it. I know where to put my tongue but the pressure on blowing , i haven't gotten it yet. When i get to middle school, i want to take Spanish class. Let's say i love tacos and burritos (and i do), and i plan on ordering in Spanish, but in 'burrito' i think you have to roll your r's. I practice with my mom, but it doesn't work. :/

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Ramses January 3, 2011 at 11:15 am

Annie, try to do some more "tee dee va"-ing, because clearly the tip of your tongue isn't strong enough yet. You don't need a whole lot of air to be able to produce a "trrr" sound, just a tongue that's strong enough.

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Saintt January 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. How many weeks did you practice the tee dee va exercise and how long each time? Thanks so much for helping me see there is hope!

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Ramses January 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I did it all day long, for maybe 2-3 weeks. Yes, several hours per day! Imagine how "weak" my tongue was :-)

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Taylor January 22, 2011 at 1:13 am

Ramses, did you practice the "tee dee va" exclusively for three weeks and then move to the "trrr" exclusively? Or would you do a few hours of "tee dee va" a day and then later that day do the "trrr"? I have been only doing "tee dee va" for about three hours straight a day. I have only been practicing for a week but was wondering should you start practicing the "trr" right after hours of "tee dee va"? I hope this question makes sense. Thanks so much for post.

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Ramses April 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm

At first I couldn't even do the drrrrrr thing, so I was doing the "tee dee va" thing only. As soon as I was able to do the drrrr sound I would only do that. Try to produce the trrr/drrr sound every day. As soon as you can make it you should produce it as much as you can (instead of "tee dee va"-ing).

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Hannah April 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I’ve been trying for weeks now and all I get is a funny sort of clicking sound. Can anyone help?

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Ramses April 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Clicking? Try to practice some more, it took me several weeks to even start rolling my R, let alone mastering it (which took me several MONTHS).

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eduardo June 1, 2011 at 3:56 am

Crazy little Gift to you: Ending Rolling r's Trouble. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9mMvuRGKY8

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Eduardo Valdéz June 15, 2011 at 5:47 am

by the way this is my blog
http://radicalspanishlearning.com
and this is my try to explain how to roll your rs in a video tutorial, hope it is helpful.
Saludos desde México !

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Sean April 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Oh my god this actually helped me. It has been 7 fuking months and I have been trying to roll R's in Russian and this is helping me. Suck it slovic language.

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Brent July 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Hello, thanks for your sharing.
one day after reading this, I can Rolling my toung with a "D" sound at the begining like "Drrrrr". but now the problem is i cannot roll it without a "D" sound. How can I get rid of that D sound at the begin?
thank you very much.

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Brent July 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm

still can't get it, so frustrating :((((. How do you transfer your D to R sound? I even try to start with L but failed.
thanks

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Ramses July 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm

How long have you been trying? It took me WEEKS to get from "drrr" to just "rrr". Just practice some more, that's all I can say…

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Brent July 3, 2011 at 8:31 pm

ohhhhh. i learned it 3 days ago…………alright, i'll do it day and night. Thanks again.

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Ramses July 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Good luck. Keep me updated!

lexi August 20, 2012 at 4:34 am

well what you can do is sound like a cat it helps me sometime

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Csabi August 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Hi! Very useful article, but man, im at the point of giving up that whole shit.. I started to practise it 4 days ago, i think i said pe dee va, put it on, and pot of tea a million times, but i just cant make a single roll with my tounge. I dont know where i screw up everytime.. What should i do? What time did it take to you to make a roll with your tounge? I’d give anything just to manage to do it, but im just saying sssss all the time.. Where do i make mistake?..

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Ramses August 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Hey man, I don't think you're making any mistakes but that you just need some more time instead (also: it's TEE dee va, not pee), It took me about a MONTH to get a rolled R, so keep going; your tongue just needs to become stronger I think.

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Bill Bert September 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Put your tongue to the top of your mouth like when u make a dr sound and breath out hard while pronouncing.

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Csabi August 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I see buddy, and thanks for your help, but i dont know.. I just cant imagine how it will be rolling, i mean when i practise it nowadays, i just see that the air coming out my throat “blows” up the bottom of my tounge, and the tip of it becomes much “harder” – so it just forgets the pancake stuff everyone talks about.. How did you make it roll at the very first time? You did always the same for weeks, just blowing out air without any good experiences, and then one day it rolled?

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Charlotte August 28, 2011 at 2:43 am

story of my life!
I'm Dutch and I get made fun of sooo much when I try to pronounce stuff in spanish.
Thank you!

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dutchkid123 August 28, 2011 at 3:14 am

(two fingers in the air at nose height) you sound beautiful! (moves hand) ohh…hm.

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olddutchman August 28, 2011 at 3:20 am

you know, i had the same problem! Luckily i had a really nice friend who was learning spanish at the time and although he was a starter i still listened to him because he was LEARNING. THE. LANGUAGE. when you learn a language you are taught how to pronounce these words the proper way. that is all. cheerio!

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Charlotte September 1, 2011 at 9:31 am

you suck robbie.

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Melissa October 11, 2011 at 4:05 am

i have tried and tried but i just cant seem to grasp the concept. im going into Spanish 2 and my teacher gets mad if i don't roll my r's. I don't think my tongue is strong enough so i'll practice tongue twisters, if that doesn't work i don't know what will. i have read almost all the posts on this and none seem to work… is there any other ways to get my tongue stronger??

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Ramses October 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Did you check out this page? http://www.wikihow.com/Roll-Your-%22R%22s

Also, your teacher shouldn't get mad, he should help you. Just tell him that. If he refuses, he should be ashamed to call himself a teacher.

Reply

James October 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

Spanish people aren't the only ones who can roll there r's. The Khmer (Cambodian) does also.

Reply

Russell December 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Who cares, I've just wasted my time reading that comment

Reply

Kita November 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I just recently learned how to roll my R's just recently, so I may be able to help some of you guys. First of all, some people just aren't able to roll their R's and that is fine, while others may be able to. The author is right, it is all about tongue looseness, but it's also about tongue placement. Now say "A lot of". For Americans it may sounds like "Alotta" with how fast we say it. Now, where the tongue is situated where you say it is where the tongue has to be placed to roll your R's. Close your mouth first (This is for people who can't get their tongue to vibrate) and keep your tongue where it was when you said the L in "Alotta". Don't have it pressed too hard, just have it there enough that it's at least touching the roof of your mouth gently. Now blow and try not to make any sounds at first while doing this. It'll sound weird/ impossible to do at first but you have to keep trying.

Now, once you can get your tongue to start vibrating just make the Rrrr sound. How? Well, first of all Say "Rah Rah Rah" Like in the cheering. You see how your mouth is open? You have to keep it open when you speak since it's not like our "rs" where your mouth will be closed. Then just try saying certain rr words when making your tongue vibrate, remember to keep your mouth open! Try "Carro" or "Tierra" first since they're some of the easiest words to say. Feel for your throat to make sure you're not vibrating it in there but on your tongue, your throat will shake a little due to speaking but not a lot. Also, try not to think too hard about it. When you do you'll most likely mess up.

After you get to there try to say "Tengo un carro caro." (I have an expensive car) or even "Tengo un perro in mi carro caro." (I have a dog in my expensive car.)
Remember to try and not focus too hard on it, once you do the double R sound a few times you will unconsciously do it, just try not to think "Okay, tongue goes here and etc." Just do it. Eventually you'll be rolling your Rr's more frequently, although it'll take a lot of practice so don't get discourage.

Lol, sorry if this isn't helpful, I'm not very good at explaining stuff. I'm also still kinda a beginner.

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Kita November 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Also, this is Kita again and sorry for the double post, but this example is just some more information just in case if you're not understanding what the author says. x~x Honestly, it's all about just finding the right technique for yourself, I'm not trying to just…Idk. Lol. I'm mainly just trying to help. xD''

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Paul January 25, 2012 at 9:19 am

very helpful, I spend months in France and could never roll the R. Not getting it quite yet, but feel I have made some progress quickly with your tips.

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Michael February 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I started to roll my R's after saying tee dee va for 10 minutes. After that I said Tengo un perro en mi carro caro and it worked.

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Hayleigh32 November 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm

okaaay, ive been trying to do this for months now, everyone i know can do it and i just can not grasp it, anything else i can do? because im not one to give up … :(

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jessi December 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

awesome website!!! very helpful! my rrs r drastically improved ( but they still need a little practice) after reading ur advice i was able to go from barely rolling an r at all to being able to sustain tje rolling sound for about a second. (before that i would always fake it by pronouncing a d). some of your readers seem hung up on the tee dee va thing. i would stress to them thats like the stretching that comes before the exercise. u dont do tee dee va then stop. u do it then immediately try the next exercise because ur tongue is now loosened up.

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Guillermo December 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm

My friend is trying this, and im sorry but its Hilarious hearing her say "tee, dee, va" all day XD
and im spanish :P

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Darren December 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I would like to correct your English prose! :-)

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Jenny January 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thank you very much. This is helping me. The Tee dee va thing has helped loosen my tongue. When I try to say trr or drr I think I hear a little trilling sound. Should I keep saying tee dee va and for how long? I don't know how to make a stronger trilling sound.

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Adrianna January 21, 2012 at 3:54 am

Ugh! All of my friends and family can roll their R and I'm the only one who can't! My sister's friend taught her how! So why do people keep saying it's genetic?? I just don't understand how!

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Karen July 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm

It's not a matter of genetics, it's a matter of whether your native language has the sound or not. Some people are easily able to overcome this, and others like us have to work at it ;)

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Kitty February 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Thanks! I will keep trying, I'm trying to learn Spanish and the rolling r part is really hard

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Nim April 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Omg this really works! I just spent 1/2 hr on it and I’m getting something. It’s tru it’s a tongue thing. Mine had never moved in that way ever. What did the trick for me was to lift my chin a bit so my head is on an angle pointing up and that cleared the airflow or something cuz I’m trilling!! I gave up learning Spanish cuz I couldn’t do it and to me I sounded so stupid and embarrassed speaking without trilling my rr’s. Omg this is amazing. I can’t believe I’m doing it. This was a huge thing for me!!!!

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SpanishFailurrr April 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm

this was not very helpful for me. i have a test in 2 days and this doesnt really explain how to do it

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Jack Zdoumagne January 6, 2013 at 6:36 am

dude push your tongue back so much that you can’t breath with your nose then put the tip of your tongue on the back of your teeth and say “errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” try to make it vibrate

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anon May 12, 2012 at 12:21 am

Thankfully, I learned to do this when I was 8 (even though I never learned to speak Spanish). My older brother was just trilling his tongue for fun and it looked fun so I decided to join in and I was able to get it nearly instantaneously. As an OCD thing, I trill my tongue for fun, even though I'm not trying to learn Spanish. We tried to teach our younger sister, though, and she's never got it. I don't even think she can do it today.

I guess psychology is important; I just thought it was fun-looking and so could get it immediately, but I guess our sister just felt pushed to do it so she developed that psychological block.

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Melissa May 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm

OMG OMG OMG i can finally do it! I can finally say words likke carro, perro, ferro, carril, and more while rolling my rs!!!! i AM SO HAPPY!

Guys, if you cant do it, dont be depressed because evryone can do it. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENECTICS!!!! Some people might tell you that and it is not true at all!!! THe problem most people have is that they put their tongue too far back! Try as hard as u can to keep that tongue forward ( but no too far where it touches your teeth ). also, they might try and press their tongue too hard ont the top of you mouth! make sure it is soft and keep the tongue loose! (continued in next comment)

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Melissa May 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Dont give up hope! You will succeed! It took me over a year to learn to do this and I have succeeded! it doesnt matter that you can roll your rs like crazy for 20+ seconds! Youre not going to be using that in words! its just not natural for people to be going "Tengo un perrrrrrro en mi carrrrrrro caro" People are going to think your weirder doing that than even not rolling your rs at all!!! You just need to be able to slightly roll it for like 0.2 seconds! (COntinued in next comment)

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Melissa May 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Just keep practicing and you will get it at one point! i know it can be frustrating when you see people walking around going "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!" at ease! some people just get it sooner than others ( and that can be very frustrating to see)

Here is one time where I got so mad that i COundnt rolll my rs:

One day in 4th hour…..

Kid 1: rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….. (randomly rolling rs)

kid 2: i cant do that!

Me (in my head): Yesssss!!! I'm not the only one who cant!!!!

Kid 1:You cant roll your rs like, rrrrrrrrrrrr?

Kid 2: let me try. rrrrrrrrrrrr…. (Rolling rs perfectly on 1st try!!!!!!!)

Me (in my head): AAAAAHHHHHH I WANNA DIE!

THE END

But now i know everyone can do it if you just keep practicing! I know Ive said that like a million times but it is so true!

Hope this helped guys!

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livonor July 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm

the 3th kid is me, huahuahua

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Ramses July 13, 2012 at 6:27 am

Hahahaha I used to be like that, now I sometimes even roll my Rs in Dutch. Now it's easy, it just sounds natural. Indeed, everyone can learn it, some people just need a bit longer to make their tongue strong.

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Livonor August 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

yeah, it just a matter of time

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Imo April 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I know exactly what you mean! One of my friends is just obsessed with randomly going “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” in the middle of maths or something, and it’s so frustrating because she doesn’t even like Spanish, and I love it but I still can’t do the “r” sound. But I am determined that ONE day, it is going to work. (Hopefully)

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Aurora August 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

nothing has helped me ive done everything and still cant roll my R's :,(

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lexi August 20, 2012 at 4:32 am

well it worked but how can i teach my little sister… she doesnt understand how so… how can i put it so she will understand???

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Jack Zdoumagne January 6, 2013 at 6:30 am

You’re awesome man! I got it in 3 minutes! Now I’m the only one in my Spanish class that can roll my “r”! But I’m not sure if I’m doing it right though.

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Jack Zdoumagne January 6, 2013 at 6:41 am

I always pronounce “rr” into “dr” like perro into pedro

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Jo January 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm

This is awesome!! I thought I could never roll my r’s and just did in 5 min. Sure, I could use some more practice though. Thank you! :)

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Imo April 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Ok so i am trying so hard and it’s still not really working! I tried the “tee-dee-va” thing and after I’ve done that for a little while, I can sort of pronounce the “drrr” or the “trrr” or even sometimes “brrr” and “prrr”. But if I try and do it without a consonant, I can only get it by having a sort of English (as opposed to like a guttural sound) “h” sound at the beginning. Is this right or not?

I also just want to ask a couple of questions about the method – just before you’re about to start rolling, should the tip of your tongue be touching the roof of your mouth? Should your mouth be wide open, a little bit open, or closed? And where exactly is the alveolal ridge – is it right next to the back of your teeth or further back in the mouth?

I realise this is quite an old article but I would appreciate it so much if anybody could help!

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David July 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Hi,

I’m a native Spanish speaker. I could help you with your pronunciation if you wish. By having read the comments above, I’m afraid some of my advices would differ greatly from the ones posted here.

As for your questions… if you say a word that starts with R, yes, the tip of your tongue should be touching the roof of your mouth before you speak. Your mouth should be relaxed, so most of the time it will be a little open. I can roll my R’s from an almost closed mouth to a wide open mouth. I’m also able to pronounce R’s with the tip of my tongue touching my teeth and as far back in the roof of my mouth as possible.

Great site, by the way.

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Simi May 23, 2013 at 12:01 am

Oh my gosh! I can do it! For the first time in my life. For some reason i could only roll my “r” in Spanish when there was a single “r” at the beginning of the word (like “ropa”), but the tutorial in the article and the comments really helped! Thank you :)

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Katelyn November 20, 2013 at 3:59 am

I tried the “tee dee va”. It’s starting to work… I still can’t get it though! And I’m even Hispanic! Almost all my family members can do it not me! Thanks for the help though

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Livonor July 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm

I just totally did it, I tought it would be impossibru and super difficult, I’m disappointed

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Me August 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

This is amazing. My husband, who has never been able to roll his r’s, was able to do it in under a minute just with the “tee dee va” exercise. Thanks a ton! Now he’s purring away like a cat.

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I’m jealous… It took me months, haha! Congrats :)

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