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#26 2010-07-07 00:41:49

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

mrwuwu wrote:

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.

My teacher has been recently drilling me to:

1. Listen to how the sound continues at the end of a phrase after I stop playing it. The sound carries on a bit. Harder to tell when you're the one playing it, but there it is: sounnnnnnnnnnd. You actually do not have to keep blowing through to the very end. The sound carries.

2. Consciously play the end note of a phrase a little shorter, so as to nail the beginning of the next phrase on the beat. -- I may or may not take a breath in there. (And if there is a MA symbol at the end of the first phrase this is not a critical point.)

The point is to not play the next phrase so late as to to sound hurried. The sound of the end of one phrase and the beat of the next phrase flow naturally, without having to hurry up.

Justin, does that make sense?


"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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#27 2010-07-07 01:45:23

radi0gnome
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From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
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Re: Breathing only through nose or mouth.............

Chris Moran wrote:

1. Listen to how the sound continues at the end of a phrase after I stop playing it. The sound carries on a bit. Harder to tell when you're the one playing it, but there it is: sounnnnnnnnnnd. You actually do not have to keep blowing through to the very end. The sound carries.

Do you mean the reverberation? That should generally be too small to work with. Or you could mean just the feeling that the sound continues, then it becomes a musicality thing. If you don't really hear it, it could be that it's because there isn't actually anything to hear as far as vibrations go. You've got to anticipate the next beat, not switch when you hear the metronome clicks.

It doesn't help any that most of the time when I try starting a note it doesn't come out right away. That makes it hard to stay on the beat.

With all the technical issues to confuse things, maybe some of the musicality with respect to timing would best be learned with an easier instrument. Singing the piece is often a good way to help with that kind of thing.


"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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#28 2010-07-07 05:04:19

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

Chris Moran wrote:

mrwuwu wrote:

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.

My teacher has been recently drilling me to:

1. Listen to how the sound continues at the end of a phrase after I stop playing it. The sound carries on a bit. Harder to tell when you're the one playing it, but there it is: sounnnnnnnnnnd. You actually do not have to keep blowing through to the very end. The sound carries.

2. Consciously play the end note of a phrase a little shorter, so as to nail the beginning of the next phrase on the beat. -- I may or may not take a breath in there. (And if there is a MA symbol at the end of the first phrase this is not a critical point.)

The point is to not play the next phrase so late as to to sound hurried. The sound of the end of one phrase and the beat of the next phrase flow naturally, without having to hurry up.

Justin, does that make sense?

Hi Chris,
Number 1 sounds somewhat esoteric! Unless you are referring to either the reverberation which would depend on the room's acoustics, or, the remaining perception of the sound after it has in fact stopped. As far as playing the phrase shorter etc., this could work out. I guess what you are meaning is to not hold the last note too long, so you have time to get air in time for starting the next phrase on time? I would say the main thing in whatever way you approach it is that is has to sound good! The deciding factor. And, baring in mind that mrwuwu you are playing Kurokami, then I am guessing you are quite new to this genre. In which case it may be best to simply do whatever your teacher says!

As for practicing slowly, yes this is a good way to practice, and in that case phrasing is actually not so important, as it is just practice. When we get used to the fingerings, the melody patterns, and things get cleaner, then we can pick up speed, and get into the correct phrasing and proper places to breath. Then the music can come together in a better way. If one has been playing for many years and still has trouble with volume, breathing etc, that's the kind of occasion I would recommend really carefully finding new places to breath. But in the case of earlier practice, one would not need to worry about that. Just get the finger and so on used to the music, and speed comes when it can.

In case it's of any use, I can tell you how I used to practice sankyoku. I would play it through at my own speed, trying to not make any mistakes. That would be slower than the "performance" way. Once I could play it fine, then I would try to play along with a recording. Usually the slow parts would be fine, but the fast parts difficult, and some places I would not be able to keep up. But I would try my best. That in itself (combined with my own slow practice) was good training. Then I would isolate the parts I couldn't keep up with, and play them by myself over and over and over again, as fast as I could while still not making mistakes. Gradually the speed I could handle would increase. Always trying to be able to play eventually as fast as the recording. After a while I would check, try with the recording again.

I cant tell you when it's good or not to do this kind of training. That's between you and your teacher. Sometimes it is better to merely focus on the pure sound itself, or the transitions between the sounds, and so on. But when it becomes useful to work on speed, I have found the above very useful. Sometimes I would even practice faster than the recordings, and then playing along with the teacher would become refreshingly easy. Like running with weights on your ankles then taking them off! This comes down mostly to your fingers learning dance steps, as it were.

Good luck with your practice.

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#29 2010-07-07 10:31:53

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

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

Thank you for all the useful information, Justin Senryu, Glenn Swann, Chris Moran, and RadiOgnome.  Hopefully these posts are of interest to others in the same boat.  I actually have been taught and practice a lot of what has been mentioned,  I just can't do it well yet.  Gambatte!  (  perservere! in Japanese )


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

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#30 2010-07-07 15:03:07

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

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

mrwuwu wrote:

Thank you for all the useful information, Justin Senryu, Glenn Swann, Chris Moran, and RadiOgnome.  Hopefully these posts are of interest to others in the same boat.  I actually have been taught and practice a lot of what has been mentioned,  I just can't do it well yet.  Gambatte!  (  perservere! in Japanese )

Yes, a lot of it might boil down to just more practice, but frustration is a sign something isn't right. Frustration is usually the result of lack of rewards, not just slow rewards that are to be somewhat expected. Personally, I'd take a look at what your doing with the metronome. I just looked up what Michel Debost says about it in his book "The Simple Flute from A-Z" and he says not to practice with the metronome all the time. Of course, he's talking about silver flute where the music is such that you could get into the always using the metronome. He goes on to say he thinks it is "counterproductive to practice difficult passages with a slow beat and then to increase the speed one notch at a time." He says to "instead, break up the difficulty. Use very short snappy rhythms, always staccato, at a slow tempo to isolate your finger reflexes". He then goes on to say "then leave it alone. Don't try to get it up to speed, or you will lose all your patient work. Scientific studies have shown that motor skills need five or six hours to be stored in the brain." And then further "sleep on it, and when you pick up your flute the following day, check it without warming up."

The book is online, but it's missing the part I covered, pages 188 and 189, along with some other parts. There's still a lot of stuff in the book about breathing, posture, phrasing, and practice. Some of the stuff covered is specific to silver flute and Western music, but many of the of the suggestions can easily be adapted to shakuhachi. http://books.google.com/books?id=WHAVL4 … mp;f=false   

It looks like he talks about the above technique again on page 160, which is in the book.

I find this book to be kind of like the bible of flute playing. It's too bad they choose to leave the first hundred pages (and then some) out of the online version.


"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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#31 2010-07-07 16:18:01

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

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

Chris Moran wrote:

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.

FOR BOYS ONLY: NO WIMMEN ALLOWWEED: http://danreeder.bandcamp.com/album/sweetheart

Last edited by Chris Moran (2010-07-07 16:18:19)


"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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#32 2010-07-07 17:50:33

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

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

Bought that sucker, toot sweet...

Thanks, X!!


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#33 2010-07-07 18:32:27

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

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

Thats a gread book Charles!!!

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#34 2010-07-08 23:26:53

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

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

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#35 2010-07-09 15:16:01

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

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

geni wrote:

Charles you should try this http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid … 204079155#

Cool! I've got to wait until I go shopping to get the kind that won't splinter though to try. I went to Keith Underwood's site that she mentions and there's a photo of him doing something with two chopsticks, what the heck was that? http://www.keithunderwood.org/Photos.html

Last edited by radi0gnome (2010-07-09 15:16:48)


"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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#36 2010-07-11 05:08:54

flea
Member
From: Canberra
Registered: 2010-02-15
Posts: 15
Website

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

dating, it was a nice thought

i'm rather too fond of the long tone, quick inhale, long exhale, relaxing and yin

left to my own devices i might wind up in a cave, living on air, all that remains a thin stream of meri

maybe i am, i have given up on the housework

gotta love the honkyoku

over and out

Fiona.


I have never been here before: my breath comes differently, the sun is outshone by a star beside it. Franz Kafka

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