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#1 2010-03-16 02:25:55

Mike Raftery
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 44

Practicing without a flute

I will be away next week and will not be able to practice with my flute at all.  Are there any practices one can do to keep your chops in shape without having your instrument to blow?  In other words, what it the sound made when there is no flute to blow.  Seriously, is there anthing to do to, at least to keep the lips in shape?  I really notice loss from not playing more than 2 days, what to speak of 8.

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#2 2010-03-16 02:32:48

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

Re: Practicing without a flute

This may seem like a dumb question but why wouldn't you be able to take along a flute and sneak off somewhere for 20 minutes a day and blow?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#3 2010-03-16 02:48:09

Mike Raftery
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: Practicing without a flute

I do consider doing that, it may be difficult as free time will be very limited.  I always take my flute with me, though when I done retreats before, I never got a chance to play. But I need to get more serious about finding a way to play.   So, no exercises without a flute?

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#4 2010-03-16 04:17:52

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

Re: Practicing without a flute

Hi Mike
Is it a meditation retreat? If it is, I recommend forgetting about shakuhachi entirely and just let yourself go wholly into the retreat. If it's something else, then there was a thread on this topic some time ago. Perhaps a search would find it, or someone may be able to post a link to it.

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#5 2010-03-16 08:45:23

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Practicing without a flute

Chanting is supposed to strengthen your practice.  All you need carry around is your lungs, though you may still have a hard time if finding privacy is an issue.  I find it feels a little weird doing this still, and I get embarrased even when totally alone... but you do notice an improvement in your tone pretty quickly.  This was a practice suggested by Michael Gould at the Montreal workshop.  He would be in a better position to comment on that connection, and of course, it goes without saying that Gishin is the man to talk to on this subject as he is versed in the Shomyo chanting, upon which many of the shakuhachi pieces were derived.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#6 2010-03-16 08:48:51

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

Re: Practicing without a flute

Here's the other thread about this:

http://shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=2965

Don't know how useful this information is.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#7 2010-03-16 21:04:54

Mike Raftery
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 44

Re: Practicing without a flute

Yes, it is a retreat, Justin.  I don't usually concern myself with playing during retreat, though there is a noticeable loss of ground when I pick up the flute again.  After one retreat I was walking passed this house and noticed a large harp through the sliding doors and suddenly around the corner came the harpist.  She was the first harpist for the N Y Opera, and had just sat with the rest of us.   Of course I was very impressed.  I quickly asked her if she had been practicing during sesshin, she said she absolutely had too, as least an hour a day.  But a harp is easier to practice during sesshin if its located a little away from the zendo, which this was.  But the shakuhachi may be a little too intrusive.  This retreat is in a city, so may be there will be a nearby park where I could get a day or two during the week.  And those other tips people have referenced, thanks.

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#8 2010-03-17 21:07:04

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

Re: Practicing without a flute

A thought: When on a retreat, be on the retreat.

When playing shakuhachi, play the shakuhachi.

Being on a retreat and pining about your miniscule loss of embouchure
doesn't sound like the pinnacle of mindfulness and non-attachment to me.


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

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#9 2010-03-17 23:12:22

John
Member
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: 2010-01-13
Posts: 19

Re: Practicing without a flute

I've been appreciating the comments on this thread as I'm going into a month long retreat beginning in mid May and have been fretting about the prospect of leaving my beloved flute at home.. We're so new, it's only been three months..


"The more necessary anything appears to my mind, the more certain it is that I only assert a limitation." ~ The Book of Lies, Ch. 45 "Chinese Music"

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#10 2010-03-17 23:18:46

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

Re: Practicing without a flute

John wrote:

We're so new, it's only been three months..

The shakuhachi will still be there when you return; life is not THAT short.

And who knows what will happen to you during that month?


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

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