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#1 2008-07-17 22:03:37

jaybeemusic
Member
From: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Registered: 2006-06-22
Posts: 145

Blowing softly...

All the experts seem to always say to blow RO as loud and as long as you can.  I assume that this is to increase lung capacity.

but...

what about practicing really softly?   almost inaudible....  I've been practicing that for the last while and i can get into the kan and dai kan registers no problem.....

I find that i really helps a lot with the ability to control the decay of the note so that it just "disappears into the night".

my question is....  is this a common thing to do?   am i making a big mistake?  what sort of problems might i encounter...

thanks a million everyone...

jacques


It's better to keep your mouth closed and let people "think" that you're stupid, than to open it, and remove all doubt.

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#2 2008-07-18 00:34:05

jdanza
Moderator
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2008-06-19
Posts: 85
Website

Re: Blowing softly...

It's all about maximum freedom of expression. You want to be able to play any note with every kind of dynamic. So don't get stuck in any practice mode. One could play a whole performance piece with just Ro on this amazing instrument!.
Sometimes the Shakuhachi world is quite a bit testosterone driven. A strong sound is great a times, at others totally inappropriate.
You can play it strong or weak, clean and sharp or "dirty" and windy, with or without vibrato, from below or above, getting louder or getting softer... you get the drift...
  The first thing is to extend you lung capacity by playing long tones (I recommend my students to make a serious study of the simple act of breathing independently of the instrument). Then work on your dynamic possibilities. A serious honking Ro is a pleasure to blow and you want to be able to do it, but a mysterious, delicate one is also an important mode of expression. A good and smooth fade out is a beautiful thing to hear too.
So... no, you are making no mistake.
Seek freedom! (and that comes by slowly but surely getting progressively rid of technical limitations of any kind).
Best on you journey, Jacques

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#3 2008-07-18 01:52:01

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Blowing softly...

Blowing ro as long and loud as possible is an exercise of the Yokoyama school and others. It's for stamina and also to activate the flute and nodes.

Musically of course you should also practice a full range of dynamics on all notes.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#4 2008-07-18 09:09:42

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

Re: Blowing softly...

Tairaku wrote:

Blowing ro as long and loud as possible is an exercise of the Yokoyama school and others. It's for stamina and also to activate the flute and nodes.

You mean that' like a warm up to the flute or it's a continuous process which will make the sonority of the instrument start to increase/show/develop (?)? It's like a violin, if it's not played, it don't "activate" the sonority that could be reached if it was been played through the years?


Omnia mea mecum porto

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#5 2008-07-18 10:02:58

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

Re: Blowing softly...

Musgo da Pedra wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Blowing ro as long and loud as possible is an exercise of the Yokoyama school and others. It's for stamina and also to activate the flute and nodes.

You mean that' like a warm up to the flute or it's a continuous process which will make the sonority of the instrument start to increase/show/develop (?)? It's like a violin, if it's not played, it don't "activate" the sonority that could be reached if it was been played through the years?

All true, but mostly it's to get your embouchure up to snuff. The long tones, the listening, the muscle tone development in the lip group, the attending to diaphragmatic breathing and making it habitual, all work toward building an embouchure that will get the most out of your flute. Morning calisthenics, and then some...a big bunch of bio-feedback loops.

Without the embouchure, the quality of your flute is moot.

Last edited by edosan (2008-07-18 10:27:08)


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

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#6 2008-07-18 12:09:34

mrosenlof
Member
From: Louisville Colorado USA
Registered: 2006-03-01
Posts: 82

Re: Blowing softly...

Surf to

http://www.kotodama.net/shakuhachi/tips.html

and find the tip for March 1998.  Lots of variations on Ro-buki, not just long and loud.

Plenty of other good stuff to read there too!


Mike Rosenlof

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