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What’s generally worked OK for me is to use a “Da” syllable for the more gentle approach. Its obviously similar to “Tu”, but because the tongue is flatter, the release of air is nowhere as abrupt. Thinking about it, “Na” or “Nu” is the most gentle, as it just interrupts the airflow, and I would use it for soft articulation during a passage. BUT that doesn’t really help with the very first note in the passage. For that about the softest I can suggest is “Da” which is just a little less pointed.

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