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#1 2008-03-30 23:09:58

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Hello!  All!    I'd like to hear opinions about the method of taking in air for playing notes.    Certain teachers firmly state breathing through the mouth only,    and I've read other sites where teachers state only breathe through the nose.   Is this all just a matter of where the teacher has learned their technique from,   and do a lot of performers, teachers, players, do a combination of whatever works for them?       I'm not including the method  circular breathing, just the everyday techniques of the members in the forum........


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#2 2008-03-30 23:53:09

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

mrwuwu wrote:

Hello!  All!    I'd like to hear opinions about the method of taking in air for playing notes.    Certain teachers firmly state breathing through the mouth only,    and I've read other sites where teachers state only breathe through the nose.   Is this all just a matter of where the teacher has learned their technique from,   and do a lot of performers, teachers, players, do a combination of whatever works for them?       I'm not including the method  circular breathing, just the everyday techniques of the members in the forum........

I don't have much experience with lessons in shakuhachi, but I do with silver flute. There you generally breath through the mouth, and you'll hear the term "open throat" a lot. This link describes it OK, http://www.jennifercluff.com/breathe.htm , do a find on "open throat" to find the stuff pertinent to this discussion. (BTW, I don't agree with some other things talked about in that link, specifically the "belt trick".)

Personally, I like to circular breath sometimes, and I'll often take a breath through the nose even if I'm not circular breathing. However, I'd find it impractical to always breath through the nose. You obviously can't breath as quickly through the nose, and maybe it's just me during allergy season, but my nose doesn't always function to it's full capacity and taking every breath through the nose would start making wierd sniffing noises.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#3 2008-03-31 04:00:08

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Mrwuwu, from my experience, it was taught that ideally one wants to breath through the the nose.  I think the idea here is that the simple mechanics of breathing through the mouth causes you to change your mouth configuration from that of the configuration used to properly and effectively blow into the shakuhachi and that may be the cause for not hitting notes after a breath or at least for an inconsistency in sound.  I remember Yokoyama Katsuya sensei saying in a workshop that one should breath through the nose, but he didn't because his nose didn't work so well.
I personally tend to do both (nose and mouth) depending on the situation.  My teacher has never corrected me or attempted to have me do any different other than his original instruction that I should breath through the nose.  I also don't do any more than that with my students.
I suspect that this is pretty much the norm, though it would be interesting to hear if it isn't.

Last edited by Jeff Cairns (2008-03-31 04:01:45)


shakuhachi flute
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with holes in my bones

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#4 2008-03-31 16:38:15

Ambi
Member
From: Leeds UK
Registered: 2006-06-22
Posts: 108

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Hi, - I wonder how much it relates to chi\Ki theory rather than physiology?
In through the nose out through the mouth seems to relate to tip of the tongue on roof of mouth just behind front teeth?


"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."

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#5 2008-03-31 22:28:58

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Ambi wrote:

Hi, - I wonder how much it relates to chi\Ki theory rather than physiology?
In through the nose out through the mouth seems to relate to tip of the tongue on roof of mouth just behind front teeth?

Sometimes, subtler things are more easily related to in a gross fashion...a kind of pragmatic approach that doesn't step on anyone's toes or challenge belief systems, or more simply just related to using the common conventions at hand.  These things may be one in the same.

This is probably not necessary, but in my previous post on this topic, by 'breath' I meant inhale.


...I said some mumbo-jumbo then, and told him he was going to sleep.


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

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#6 2010-07-03 22:42:20

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

mrwuwu wrote:

Hello!  All!    I'd like to hear opinions about the method of taking in air for playing notes.    Certain teachers firmly state breathing through the mouth only,    and I've read other sites where teachers state only breathe through the nose.   Is this all just a matter of where the teacher has learned their technique from,   and do a lot of performers, teachers, players, do a combination of whatever works for them?       I'm not including the method  circular breathing, just the everyday techniques of the members in the forum........

Mrwuwu, now that we are back here at the barbecue I hate to bring up discussions from back in the biker bar, but you had mentioned there that you thought you'd have to take up some kind of aerobic exercise that you don't have the time for in order to build up lung capacity. You don't need aerobic exercise to build your lung capacity. There are plenty of exercises that will work, many are yoga exercises. Playing long tones on the shakuhachi helps too, it's part of the reason long tones are always recommended as part of a practice session. Another source of some very good exercises for building lung capacity and control can be found on this old DVD from Riley Lee. http://www.amazon.com/Riley-Lee-Breathe … amp;sr=8-6


And, a bit more on topic, I'm reading Masayuki Koga's "Extract of the Master Techniques for Shakuhachi" and it seems like he's saying that the inhale should be with the soft palate relaxed so that air can be drawn in through the nose and mouth simultaneously. The soft palate is the thing way back on the roof of your mouth that you subconsciously close when you want to breath through your mouth and open when you want to breath through your nose. Since it's generally manipulated subconsciously it can take a bit of trying to identify what it feels like in the different positions to move it consciously.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#7 2010-07-04 08:15:42

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Hello, RadiOgnome,  Thanks for all your suggestions.       The reason for my initial query is that my teacher teaches mouth breathing only, and I am severely reprimanded if I am seen doing otherwise, i.e. sneaking in some air through the nose.   This was more than a year ago, so now I am trained that way and am accustomed to it.      I do practice long notes on a regular daily basis, and I do not know what is a norm, but for example I can blow Ro as a long tone max on a really good day for 21 secs and on bad days usually about 12 secs.    Yet when I play long phrases I cannot usually finish them as stated in the breath marks.    So I am either losing air somewhere or not using my embouchure efficiently,  or it could just be tension or panic at the thought of not reaching the end of the phrase with good volume, tone, and pitch..           I have been repeatedly taught the technique of picking good spots within the phrase to blend in smaller breaths to finish a phrase,  but it is personally frustrating to run out of air just a note or two before the mark.    So therein the other choice besides more practice or even longer tones which slow to come  is possibly increasing the efficiency of the lungs, as do the monks on their shugyo,  but on a less extreme basis.           Running is a nice cross exercise to the swimming.           I did buy the Riley Breathe DVD, so we'll see what happens.            We actually have the option of yoga twice a week at work early in the morning , but my rigid shakuhachi practice is at the same time, and I practice everyday,  so after that the sand clock runs out.           By the way, after tons of reading , no one ever mentions the time in seconds a beginner, mid-range , accomplished, and dai-shihan level player, on how long their long tones are practiced .    Just for our edification,  can the forum members mention their average lengths of long tones so we can tell if we are on track or desperately need practice and improvement?    Thank you.


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#8 2010-07-04 10:20:25

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Hi mrwuwu,
I say try reducing your volume, and/or speed up a bit. A balance of those two. To keep the phrases intact. Maybe try that and see how you feel about that. Sometimes these changes can be less disruptive to the piece than changing the phrasing (i.e. where you breathe).

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#9 2010-07-04 11:38:30

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

mrwuwu wrote:

I do practice long notes on a regular daily basis, and I do not know what is a norm, but for example I can blow Ro as a long tone max on a really good day for 21 secs and on bad days usually about 12 secs.

I just picked up my flute cold, played a handful off notes just to gain my bearings, and timed a few full sounding but not maxed out Ro. 20 seconds was about average.   

mrwuwu wrote:

Yet when I play long phrases I cannot usually finish them as stated in the breath marks.    So I am either losing air somewhere or not using my embouchure efficiently,

OK, that would be a possible technical reason.

mrwuwu wrote:

or it could just be tension or panic at the thought of not reaching the end of the phrase with good volume, tone, and pitch..

For me, tension and panic cause my breath to become weak, I compensate by adjusting my embouchure for a weaker breath, and I end up being able to hold notes longer because I'm using less air. It doesn't sound as good though.     

mrwuwu wrote:

I have been repeatedly taught the technique of picking good spots within the phrase to blend in smaller breaths to finish a phrase,  but it is personally frustrating to run out of air just a note or two before the mark.

Taking quick, small breaths in a manner not to break the line of music is extremely difficult. In the silver flute world, where the instrument has evolved to require more breath, playing some older periods of music require that skill. And it's a good skill to learn because it can sound very good, almost like an ornament, the listener doesn't really hear the missing note (or part of a note). It's an advanced musical technique, a necessity for making it to the end of long phrases for whatever reason, but not really a beginner technique.     

I'm not sure what the context is of what you are playing, but it sounds like you are using a metronome set at a dictated speed. You could always move the speed up some, that could be a problem because it might break the "practice slow so you don't practice mistakes" rule. It's a common problem with wind instruments. Try this, for practice only, for only a little on the days after the metronome just isn't helping, go to the other extreme and toss out the concept of timing all together and play it with the primary goal being to get every note as expressive as possible, timing being way down on the list of priorities.

What should actually happen is that when you take away the metronome you'll just play what's in your head and it'll be in perfect time. But that's in the future, for only a few minutes just enjoy the great music you're making without worrying about the timing. Then turn the metronome back on and observe. Some problems may have magically disappeared, but more importantly you'll probably get better insight to the reasons your breathing isn't working.   

mrwuwu wrote:

So therein the other choice besides more practice or even longer tones which slow to come  is possibly increasing the efficiency of the lungs,

Keep in mind there are many long tone exercises. In my opinion it's the ones that you end up blowing the loudest that build up the strength and stamina. 

mrwuwu wrote:

I did buy the Riley Breathe DVD, so we'll see what happens.

Yes, the exercises on the DVD are awesome. I know they weren't targeting a shakuhachi playing demographic, the presentation is a little unusual with some starry eyed young adults participating in the exercises. But the last exercise is to breath along with his shakuhachi playing, taking breaths when he does.   

mrwuwu wrote:

By the way, after tons of reading , no one ever mentions the time in seconds a beginner, mid-range , accomplished, and dai-shihan level player, on how long their long tones are practiced .    Just for our edification,  can the forum members mention their average lengths of long tones so we can tell if we are on track or desperately need practice and improvement?    Thank you.

I think your 20 seconds on Ro is good. If not, we're both broken smile


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#10 2010-07-05 08:46:52

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Hello, Justin Senryu, Thank you for your advice.    Your advice is the same as my teacher's, it is just seeking and maintaining the balance is difficult for me.    I wander between being too soft in volume and being reprimanded or back to the same volume and losing air.     I have been told to speed up a bit,  but as RadiOgnome has mentioned ,  I have been on a strict metronome diet because I speed up and down,.  and also have mostly played and practiced slow in the " learn slow and make no mistakes " method.    I tend to play the long phrases a little faster and then regress to the slower, more regular beat that I had practiced all week.   So balance will be my focus.         I do play the same song without the metronome  for my own pleasure,  but will have to record my efforts on a everyday basis, for my my teacher says I am all over the place and it doesn't sound the the original song,  but to my ears , it sounds good!


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#11 2010-07-05 10:07:31

Glenn Swann
Member
From: Central New Jersey
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 151
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

i always try, as i was taught in both shakuhachi and taiji/qigong,, to inhale through the nose given enough time to do so(honkyoku, slow pieces), but mouth, nose both, whatever in extended fast sections. mouth inhalation  can be done faster, but in my experience not as full an inhalation can be taken as through the nose. i think a major point whatever you do is to RELAX on both in and exhale, let the ribcage open and don't try to forcefully suck air in. instead try to feel the vacuum of fully expelled lungs, and just let the air enter into that. also working from the tanden/dantian, as though your lungs extend all the way to past your belly button, is useful.
the beginners i teach can usually hold a long tone FAR longer than they can go on one breath in a song. there are many things to attend to, and odds are you are not making the minute note-to-note adjustments quite accurately yet. quite normal i would say.
try just going up and down, RO TSU RE CHI RI, or any other scale, as many times as possible in one breath as a bridge between long tone practice and actually playing songs.
as far as duration, remember every note is different, and RO in otsu takes the most breath, so likely will be shortest. also different sizes of flute, bore width, jinashi or jimori, will all affect how long you can blow.
i timed myself just for fun, on an older with-ji 1.8. and with RO at full power then fading off, 17 seconds... played with some volume but so as to go as long as possible, 27-30 seconds, and RE also extended about 33 seconds.

this link is a good idea for doing Ro (or in this case RI) buki in a different way.... very useful to build mindfulness and intent.
http://www.shakuhachiflutes.com/pages/misogi.htm


I followed rivers, I followed orders,I followed prophets, I followed leaders
I followed rivers, I followed highways,I followed conscience,
I followed dreamers... And I'm back here,
and I'm back here... At the edge of the sky       (New Model Army)

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#12 2010-07-05 12:02:46

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Several things I always have to be aware of:

1. Diaphragm strength and control. Keeping even strong pressure with the muscles. No weak diaphragmatic "vibrato" should be heard. Smooth, strong, confident, controlled. That's the ideal. Long tones and Ro-buki helps this lots.

2. Keeping my elbows from anchoring firmly against my ample body. This impedes my ability to pivot the shakuhachi appropriately from my chin. (I then have to over rely on making meri notes with radical changes in head position, which takes to long, is incorrect form and sounds forced.) Thus I make sure my shoulders are relaxed before I begin and hold my elbows gently off of my body mass.

3. Keeping my _effing_ head still. Many years ago when first learning shakuhachi basics (mostly self 'taught') I developed an annoying habit of starting a yuri at the first attack of a note, during a note, and at the decay of the note. I will especially resort to this when I'm _not_ confident of making a particular meri note or changing octaves. The result is weak, broken, pitiful sound. "KEEP ... HEAD ... STILL ... guhhhhhh. ..."

(If I want to add yuri, I'll ask my teacher about the appropriate place and strength for it. And just because I'm keeping my head still doesn't mean to hold it rigid. Keep it relaxed and fluid but STILL.)

4. Not over using my lips to produce a second or third octave note. I try to remember to use the smallness of my mouth and use the smooth shape of my lips as a refinement of going into the second or third octave. I'll still need to do that, but controlling the diaphragm and air pressure is the primary key.

-- Not over pursing my lips. Instead, using the focus of my diaphragm pressure and gentle focus of my throat muscles to project the note through my lips and allowing my lips to refine when necessary. (If I over purse my lips and over tighten my mouth muscles, my muscles will fatigue more quickly and I'll produce a shakey, weak embrouchure.)

5. Relaxing my mouth throat and diaphragm when taking an in breath(Glenn Swann talks about this above). The throat needs to relax enough that I'm not vibrating my vocal chords and sound like a drowning man. If I _can_ use the nose without adding more extraneous noise I will. It has been recommended to me to explore this.

(However, I find 100% nostril breathing sounds to be very distracting. Especially when it sounds like the air is fighting to make its way through a tangled forest of nose hair, not to mention other organic impediments.)

6. PLANNING my breathing. After my teacher finally gets me to acknowledge the appropriate phrasing for a line, a page, a piece: I highlight on my sheet music where I'm going to take a breath. If it's a really long breath, I'll double highlight with both yellow and orange highlighter.

7. Taping my playing. Hard to do, hard on the ego at first, but I improve more rapidly every time I do this. It helps me adjust, correct and develop a better plan for playing the piece.

These are some of the strategies I use. I hope teachers and other players will add to or challenge these points.

Last edited by Chris Moran (2010-07-05 23:59:57)


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#13 2010-07-06 07:04:55

Musgo da Pedra
Member
From: South of Brazil
Registered: 2007-12-02
Posts: 332
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Nice post Chris!


Take breath through mouth can make the pauses more quiet, and more peaceful without many noises, but it can make your mouth dry, so it needs attention!

Take breath through nose can really make noise, even more if like me, one does'nt have the nostril "really opened" due to organic questions, but if I allow me to work with that, the energy that emerge from this procedure is diferent, I would say "bigger" than through mouth breathing...


Is good to know how to work with both and start to see in which occasions one will be better than another...


A big hug!


Omnia mea mecum porto

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#14 2010-07-06 09:03:07

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Thank you Glenn Swan and Chris Moran for all the valuable advice and technique to work on.   A lot of this I have never heard of,  so I am glad the forum is back.   I should get a printer and make a compendium of all the useables in the technique column for quick reference, for scrolling through millions of posts is time consuming, even with the assistance of the search engine.


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#15 2010-07-06 11:12:37

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

I tend to follow the advice I got about running in most breath related things.

"Suck air through your mouth, suck air through your nose, hell!, suck air through your ears if you can."


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#16 2010-07-06 15:18:13

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Since I kind of know you from the biker bar, I'm pretty sure you won't mind me picking apart your post:

Chris Moran wrote:

Several things I always have to be aware of:

1. Diaphragm strength and control. Keeping even strong pressure with the muscles. No weak diaphragmatic "vibrato" should be heard. Smooth, strong, confident, controlled. That's the ideal. Long tones and Ro-buki helps this lots.

It's the "weak diaphragmatic vibrato" comment that deserves clarification. For some who learned music on silver flute or other Western wind instruments, the vibrato can be difficult to get rid of. But it can be either weak, possibly from a not-so-advanced player, or good, maybe not appropriate for shakuhachi, but it can still sound good.

So I'm not sure of what you're talking about, you could be talking about an unconscious wavering due to poor support, but it wouldn't be periodic enough to call it vibrato.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you haven't been trained on another wind instrument, diaphragm "vibrato" should not be an issue because it's a learned thing and very unlikely that anyone would use unconsciously.     

Chris Moran wrote:

2. Keeping my elbows from anchoring firmly against my ample body. This impedes my ability to pivot the shakuhachi appropriately from my chin. (I then have to over rely on making meri notes with radical changes in head position, which takes to long, is incorrect form and sounds forced.) Thus I make sure my shoulders are relaxed before I begin and hold my elbows gently off of my body mass.

That's good stuff but very student specific. It falls under the umbrella of posture which has so many different points to consider it's hard to focus on everything all at once. I think the best way to go about it is to pick your number one problem spot to work on. Mine is keeping from slouching and at the same time keeping my shoulders relaxed.   

Posture and breathing are very closely related. A lot of breath control problems are corrected with posture and good breathing often becomes natural with good posture. 

Chris Moran wrote:

3. Keeping my _effing_ head still. Many years ago when first learning shakuhachi basics (mostly self 'taught') I developed an annoying habit of starting a yuri at the first attack of a note, during a note, and at the decay of the note. I will especially resort to this when I'm _not_ confident of making a particular meri note or changing octaves. The result is weak, broken, pitiful sound. "KEEP ... HEAD ... STILL ... guhhhhhh. ..."

(If I want to add yuri, I'll ask my teacher about the appropriate place and strength for it. And just because I'm keeping my head still doesn't mean to hold it rigid. Keep it relaxed and fluid but STILL.)

Bad vibrato is a tough one. I want to play everything as beautifully as possible, but that requires a good vibrato. I don't have a good vibrato and it sounds better when I don't use it, that's as beautiful as possible for me. What do I do? My personal solution is to work on my vibrato a bit every few days and pick one or two songs to try to use it effectively in. It doesn't seem like a technique to hammer away at and try to get working first.

Ie., I think you're being too hard on yourself. Swearing at your body parts doesn't help. 

Chris Moran wrote:

7. Taping my playing. Hard to do, hard on the ego at first, but I improve more rapidly every time I do this. It helps me adjust, correct and develop a better plan for playing the piece.

It's not that hard on the ego. I think what's going on is that you focus on what you're trying to sound like so much that you subconsciously gloss over the mistakes. When listening to a recording of yourself, realizing that makes it easier to understand why you aren't sounding like you thought and to identify what needs to get fixed.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#17 2010-07-06 15:57:49

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

I think the idea here is that the simple mechanics of breathing through the mouth causes you to change your mouth configuration from that of the configuration used to properly and effectively blow into the shakuhachi

This seems like the right answer from a common sense approach, but as I think about it more and more, my embochure changes throughout a score as I ascend and descend scales, especially in some pieces where you change and return to octaves quickly.  I think this really boils down to the style of music you are playing.  It is likely better to breath in through the nose and out through the mouth as time permits.  This may be preferred in some honkyoku, but many have rather quick passages as well.  When you need to get a breath in before the next beat, it may even boil down to the length of the preceding notes, whole notes allowing for more time and smaller notes allowing for progressively less.  When speed is the issue, I think it is best to inhale through all holes available.  With shakuhachi too, I think you inhale and play with the "open throat" that someone mentioned, so with some practice the movement involved can be minimized.  Also, you can breath in through your mouth without really opening up much more by opening the nose and using both at the same time.  I think it is difficult for some to engage both the nose and mouth together.  You can always run at capacity for ten or fifteen minutes at a shot to train using both, of course your cardiac arrest response may also be trained at the same time. ;P

You have three breathing holes on your face.  Use them all in both directions because in reality, the all connect to the same tube and bellows.  I think Chris is especially on target with the training of the diaphram, which is the real impetus to breathing.  Why flutter in the leaves when you can get to the root of the issue?  So ... hard ... to ... avoid ... three ... hole ... jokes !!!


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#18 2010-07-06 19:47:50

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

radi0gnome wrote:

Swearing at your body parts doesn't help.

You're right.

I stand corrected.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#19 2010-07-06 20:24:51

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

G*d D**m beer tits!


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#20 2010-07-06 20:32:11

Musgo da Pedra
Member
From: South of Brazil
Registered: 2007-12-02
Posts: 332
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

mrwuwu wrote:

I should get a printer and make a compendium of all the useables in the technique column for quick reference, for scrolling through millions of posts is time consuming, even with the assistance of the search engine.

That would be very nice!


Omnia mea mecum porto

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#21 2010-07-06 20:37:21

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

mrwuwu wrote:

G*d D**m beer tits!

NOTE to all women on this forum:

Please excuse my shugyo brother's seemingly harsh mannerisms. He's really a very kind and responsible man of depth, intelligence and sensitivity.

Let me know if you wish to date him. I'll set you up.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#22 2010-07-06 23:01:34

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
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Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

mrwuwu wrote:

Hello, Justin Senryu, Thank you for your advice.    Your advice is the same as my teacher's, it is just seeking and maintaining the balance is difficult for me.    I wander between being too soft in volume and being reprimanded or back to the same volume and losing air.     I have been told to speed up a bit,  but as RadiOgnome has mentioned ,  I have been on a strict metronome diet because I speed up and down,.  and also have mostly played and practiced slow in the " learn slow and make no mistakes " method.    I tend to play the long phrases a little faster and then regress to the slower, more regular beat that I had practiced all week.   So balance will be my focus.         I do play the same song without the metronome  for my own pleasure,  but will have to record my efforts on a everyday basis, for my my teacher says I am all over the place and it doesn't sound the the original song,  but to my ears , it sounds good!

Hi mrwuwu,
Sorry for some reason I had assumed you were playing honkyoku (I have a bit of a one-tracked mind lately!) For that you wouldn't be playing with a metronome of course. What music are you playing then? Sankyoku has a lot of places where it speeds up ad slows down. I'm not sure how a metronome would work for that. Well to be honest I have never used a metronome so I don't know much about that type of practice. If I want to learn the timing (I mean the speed) of a piece while practicing alone, I play along with a recording. I find that works very well. Also, breath phrasing can be a little more flexible in sankyoku for example, but timing will be dependent on the string players (it's their genre after all) and volume will also depend on them, though, nowadays many shakuhachi players play to loud in sankyoku by the way. Exciting for the shakuhachi player but distressing for the strings!

So if you will be changing places to breath in sankyoku, you really need someone who is very familiar with the pieces to help you so that you don't disturb the feeling of the piece. Breathing in the wrong place can cut a necessary whole, and similarly NOT breathing where a breath IS necessary can disrupt a necessary break. This is not merely defined by the notated shakuhachi part. Often the best people to know about this would be good string players - as I said, after all it is their music. We want to aid them, complement them, rather than irritate them with our own ideas of what might sound good. So, what I'm saying is that is IS possible to add more breaths, just not arbitrarily.

As for your embouchure, I think I heard that Kakizakai Kaoru sensei is going to be in the States soon? If that's near you, he is very good at helping with embouchure. If you could ask him only one question, ask him to help your embouchure.

Last edited by Justin (2010-07-06 23:06:03)

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#23 2010-07-06 23:46:58

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Yes, Senryu, you are correct, correct,  and mostly correct.   I am presently working on Kurokami, but at a slower tempo as per my teacher who desires I play it as perfectly as possible within reason.        It is taught here by listening to the song , but played as a solo shakuhachi piece for lack of shamisen and a koto player ensemble.   So my playing it sounds reasonable to me, yet my teacher is a perfectionist, so I am noticeably faster and slower during with my rendition.   So yes, I do play along with the original tempo of the song, but at my level I tend to play a little sloppy in the notes just to keep up .   Therefore the slower tempo til the song comes together.   My homework assignment includes honkyoku, also,  so I am always working on two songs simultaneously,  and , yes, not with the metronome.   I do seek out best places to take a supplemental breath, but at times I take too long to do it, and lose the beat, or become brave enough to almost make it to the end of the phrase by one or two notes,  which is a worse thing to do.    Thank you very much for your advice and your time.   I would love to meet Kakikazai Sensei some day, but alas, I am in Middle America, and he seems to usually visit the coastal States to the East and of the West.


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#24 2010-07-06 23:52:45

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

I believe brother Captain Nemo means well but is misguided.  In my shugyo I have also given up the quest for the opposite sex.  Nothing matters but Honkyoku now.      " I am only a bug "


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#25 2010-07-07 00:27:56

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

radi0gnome wrote:

Bad vibrato is a tough one.

Actually, my vibrato is quite nice. It's the music that gets in the way of it.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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