Spanish Language Learning – I want to learn to roll ‘r’s – all I can do is the cat machine gun noise, is that feeling relevant?

I’ve looked at a lot of videos, and I still can’t figure out what to do.

I can do the cat machine gun thing (tdhthdthdhtdhtdht), and I’m wondering if I can somehow transition that to a trill? I’m not sure if I can do an alveolar tap properly either, but I think I can. And I can’t do cat machine gun with tongue in that position.

I’m still not entirely sure what it’s meant to sound like precisely too…

I’m not learning Spanish btw, but I’d like it for other languages and singing.

I’m British, so butter sounds like butter, not buddrrrrr.


Any advice?





I’m a British Chinese person with no exposure to rolled ‘r’s, so I’m starting from just as bad a place as anyone else I’m sure (not even the “butter” tip works for me).

I think I did it. Do all of these exercises and tell me if it works. It took me a few days.


Step 1 and Step 2 from this video (making brrrrrrs). Step 3 is too hard for me.



Watch this video, and then say ‘sera’ all day.


Use this site to listen to other people say ‘sera’



From the video above, copy her ‘vor-rei’ thing.

Do this all day too. You probably still won’t get it.




Watch this video and review the soft tap-r.



Same video. Next, we try breathing out. As the guy says, try making a “sigh” while your tongue is in the tap-r position.

If you know how to do the machine gun, incorporate that in.

You’re trying to make a cat purr. After you can do the cat purr, add a bit of vocal exhalation to it too so you can change the pitch (eg, go upwards while you are cat purring).



Finally, combine both methods and do this

vor~pause, cat purr sigh~rei

And think about your tongue going to the tap-r place, and also imagine you’re pronouncing a ‘d’.

Also listen to ‘vorrei’ a lot here – it should help. When you have it borderline, listening to it while practising increased the chance of landing it for me.




While you are practicing that, switch to this too to mix it up a little.

The exercise is to say “dracula” as if you are dracula, like this:



the r there being the alveolar tap

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