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#1 2010-07-16 20:26:44

tranquilidy
Member
Registered: 2010-07-16
Posts: 4

First Flute Advice Needed

Hello all,

I am a complete beginner but am very interested in bamboo flutes.  I've spent the past couple of days tinkering around with making bamboo flutes and am having a very difficult time.  I suspect most of my trouble can be traced to not using the right material...much of my bamboo is green (freshly cut) and the rest which is dry is of a slightly larger diameter (1.5 - 2 ")

I'm sure I will continue trying to make a bamboo flute, but I am also interested in purchasing one, which may give me a better idea of what I should be making.  I would like to ask for advice on purchasing a side blown (transverse) shakuhachi or similar style flute, preferably for less than $150.  I have seen many companies selling these and I'm sure the quality varies greatly.  Please advise me on where I should consider spending my hard earned money to find a flute which I will enjoy for many years to come.


Thank You!

Dave

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#2 2010-07-17 00:32:04

John
Member
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: 2010-01-13
Posts: 18
Website

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

At your price point the Shakuhachi Yuu is probably where you want to start, takes a lot of guess work out of it and you have a playable flute that will last a lifetime.


"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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#3 2010-07-17 08:20:32

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

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

tranquilidy wrote:

I would like to ask for advice on purchasing a side blown (transverse) shakuhachi or similar style flute, preferably for less than $150.

Dave, there is no such advice, as there is no such thing as a side blown shakuhachi, which is an END blown flute.

If you do want something that works like a shakuhachi for $150, I second the suggestion on the Yuu, which is not bamboo, but which works very well as a shakuhachi for that price; far better than any bamboo item you can get for that amount.


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

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#4 2010-07-17 11:47:04

tranquilidy
Member
Registered: 2010-07-16
Posts: 4

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

I may have been misled to believe that a shakuhachi can be a side blown flute by this site:

http://www.eriktheflutemaker.com/Oriental_good.htm

he is selling a "shakuhachi" with a side blown option. $90 -$140


Thanks

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#5 2010-07-17 12:58:42

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

Hi Dave,

Good to see you here.

Erik is definitely leveraging description to sell his bamboo instruments.  For what they are, they are good, but are no shakuhachi.  What you have there is a transverse flute with the base notes similar to the basic scale of the shakuhachi.  Happily his instruments are well in tune.  His bamboo is great for what he does.  But no shakuhachi.

I also think the Yuu is a good investment.

Best Wishes,
Michael

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#6 2010-07-17 13:48:14

tranquilidy
Member
Registered: 2010-07-16
Posts: 4

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

thanks for the clarification Michael.  I am set on a side blown bamboo flute, which may soon exclude me from the shakuhachi forum.  Good to hear a positive review of Erik's flutes, I may consider a purchase from him, but also considering a fine flute from a maker named Romy Benton.  A little more $, but also an assumed leap in quality.

cheers

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#7 2010-07-17 16:34:08

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

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

Romi Benton is very good also. Highly recommended.


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

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#8 2010-07-17 21:41:47

David Earl
Member
From: SE Iowa
Registered: 2006-05-29
Posts: 69

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

Ed, I Googled Romy/Romi Benton but didn't find a web site. Can you help me out. Is there a place in cyberspace to learn more.

thanks


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#9 2010-07-18 06:18:36

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

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

David Earl wrote:

Ed, I Googled Romy/Romi Benton but didn't find a web site. Can you help me out. Is there a place in cyberspace to learn more.

thanks

Looks like Romy has quit the online flute selling game, as his domain has devolved to the usual crap catch-all advert page. Too bad, because besides making nice flutes, he had a beautiful sight, with good illustrations of his wares, and an ongoing blog of some interest.


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

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#10 2010-07-18 11:16:41

tranquilidy
Member
Registered: 2010-07-16
Posts: 4

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

I met Romy last week at the Oregon Country Fair and played a couple of his flutes.  Very beautiful instruments.  He explained that his online domain name expired and was pirated.  He hopes to get a website up again sometime.

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#11 2010-07-18 13:27:21

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

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

Thanks, that's good news. I've got a Bb minor of his, and I don't do it justice, but it's a beauty.


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

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#12 2010-07-18 16:13:17

David Earl
Member
From: SE Iowa
Registered: 2006-05-29
Posts: 69

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

Thanks for the information I will be on the lookout for his new web site.


Spring peepers provide
a croaking choral backdrop
sleep time aria

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#13 2010-07-20 07:09:08

Danny
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2010-05-26
Posts: 32
Website

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

tranquilidy wrote:

he is selling a "shakuhachi" with a side blown option. $90 -$140

Hi tranquilidy - Erik's "Oriental flute" is described as "shakuhachi tuning", meaning it uses the same pentatonic scale as a standard shakuhachi. I don't think he's actually calling it a shakuhachi. But I have seen 'side blown shakuhachi' on other websites. I've got a side blown bamboo flute which is great, but I love the Shakuhachi much more. It's got a lot more depth and volume, and really engages your whole body in playing it.

I've been learning with a Yuu for a couple of months and am really glad I bought it.


http://dustymoon.org/

Follow the ancient path / deep into mountains / and go further still..

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#14 2010-07-20 08:18:38

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

Re: First Flute Advice Needed

tranquilidy wrote:

I may have been misled to believe that a shakuhachi can be a side blown flute by this site:

http://www.eriktheflutemaker.com/Oriental_good.htm

he is selling a "shakuhachi" with a side blown option. $90 -$140


Thanks

Yes, side blown means it's not a shakuhachi. I don't know how Erik typically names his exotically tuned side-blown flutes now, but in the past I've seen him advertise them on Ebay as being the instrument whose tuning he was copying.

tranquilidy wrote:

Please advise me on where I should consider spending my hard earned money to find a flute which I will enjoy for many years to come.

I'd say you've got a problem. You want a flute that you'll enjoy for many years, apparently planning to go the completely untrained route and play mostly just to get into the sound. Yet you say you want a transverse bamboo flute. Tone production is so easy and limited on transverse flutes most people who start with that idea end up going for something more challenging, like silver flute or Irish flute and music. Shakuhachi would be a good option too, and maybe more consistent to the player's goals. For example, it's more suited to the stress-free, "play to the butterflies in the park" kind of thing than silver or Irish flute. But most people never heard of shakuhachi, you have an advantage.

So, my suggestion would be to get a shakuhachi in the first place. The Yuu is said by very many well-respected players to be a very good instrument for the price. However, I'm not sure if you're like me, but I wouldn't feel all that compelled to play a plastic instrument for many years, like you said was something you wanted. I think some Perry Yung Earth models, nice simple bamboo shakuhachi, fall into your price range and it's hard to beat his experience.  Most of the makers that are selling the simple bamboo shakuhachi on Ebay are probably making reasonably good instruments for what you want, especially if you keep the length somewhere between 1.7 and 2.4, the more extreme lengths require more craftsmanship and you'll be less likely to get something suitable.


"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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