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i hope I'm in the right section for my question :
i'm a total beginner and I'm wondering if it is normal that a shakuhachi on the "ro" fingering, does not play at first the down note it should but a higher one (I mean it's the easiest note to get, harder is to get the down one) . I've bought an old shakuhachi and i'm wondering if it is the material or the player !
thank you very much
This is common. If you are EVER able to get the low RO, it's a player problem when you don't get it, not a flute problem; if you can NEVER get the low RO, it could be a cracked flute but is more likely a player problem.
A few minutes with a teacher, in person or online, will get you straightened out on your low RO. Good luck to you!
especially at first, the extremes of the scale are harder to get(at all, and later get well), that is the lowest RO (the lower "octave" is called otsu or ryo) and the higher notes, that is HI (like RI in the higher octave, called "kan") and above. most people have to work on lowest RO for quite awhile.
assuming your flute has no cracks and is not leaking air from the middle joint, the problem could be that you are leaking air by pressing too hard on the finger-holes, thus creating a small gap, or simply you have to find a more relaxed, more expansive shape for your lips(Embouchure)
for the fingers, check yourself- and consciously feel all edges of all the holes on your fingerpads(thumb too).you should be covering not with the tips, but maybe 1/2 between tips and 1st joint. RELAX your fingers, kind of settle them onto the holes, don't grip. if you are leaking air even a bit from a gap in the thumb or top finger, it will pop up into kan.
for the lips, it's much harder to describe without showing you or giving feedback about what you are doing, but you can find plenty of material already on this forum about embouchure. you likely just have to relax them more whilst maintaining proper shape and blowing angle.
To put it simply. Don't blow so hard. This should put you into the lower octave, usually.From one newbie to the other.After what glenn just said, which is a lot more technical and more accurate.
Last edited by purehappiness (2009-11-02 14:06:31)
Thank you for your answers.
I must admit that the shakuhachi is old (about 1930) and has many repears, good and bad one.
I have rekork the middle joint and now and I can hear a kind of low one. It's a nice feeling.
I met here on the forum a guy that lend me a wooden flute, and i compare the notes. he gave me also the contact of a teacher who will certainly tell me if the flute is unplayable. i hope not.
Thank you again
All the advises that have been given happened to be very worthy
At first, effectivly a very tiny hole makes the flute pop to the upper octave.
I filled them and now it play normally. (this flute is really looking like an old poor road player one !)
But the advise on the finger position and on the way to relax in the blowing was very helpfull too.
thanks for the very gentle way of welcoming on this forum
Erik, try dipping the flute in warm water for about 10 seconds and then try blowing Ro. Do not swab the bore. If it works better than before the dip, you have a leak.