Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

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Tube of delight!

#1 2010-07-17 23:51:29

Wuji
Member
From: Suthrun Elanoy, Amerika
Registered: 2010-07-16
Posts: 8

Hello from F-O-C USA

(That's fly-over-country between the Left and Right, or other Left, coasts) ;-)

I've been perusing and enjoying the forums and thought I'd go ahead and register.

I'm interested in working up to playing honkyoku. No handy teachers around, so I might try the online route.

Regards,
Brian

Last edited by Wuji (2010-07-18 21:27:50)

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#2 2010-07-20 06:53:47

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

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Wuji wrote:

I'm interested in working up to playing honkyoku. No handy teachers around, so I might try the online route.

Hey Brian, I'm also a newbie - been playing for a couple of months now and am also very keen to play honkyoku. Luckily though, I live near Sydney and have started with a teacher.

Good luck with it :-)


http://dustymoon.org/

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

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#3 2010-07-20 17:25:31

Wuji
Member
From: Suthrun Elanoy, Amerika
Registered: 2010-07-16
Posts: 8

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Hi Danny. I have a Yuu tuu! wink
And recently got a student TaiHei. I was able to quit smoking not too long ago after a habit of too many years. My lungs are still pretty mucked up yet so it'll be awhile before I can do the longer notes I feel I need to do before going much further and getting lessons. I actually probably spend more time just trying to extend single notes than playing pieces!

Good luck to you too.
Brian

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#4 2010-07-20 19:32:36

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

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Wuji you have it backwards. Taking lessons and learning songs will develop your breath and lungs.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#5 2010-07-20 21:23:04

Wuji
Member
From: Suthrun Elanoy, Amerika
Registered: 2010-07-16
Posts: 8

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Wuji you have it backwards. Taking lessons and learning songs will develop your breath and lungs.

A valid point, surely. But out of courtesy to the teacher, and to save face (mine/my embarrassment), I'd rather not, though he/she may have the patience of a rock, subject him to my substandard breath capacity/control. Patience Grasshopper! I've no schedule to keep, and I hope not to take too long to recover a little more lung capacity.

And then?

BE AMAZED!big_smile

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#6 2010-07-21 23:05:32

Jam
Member
From: Oxford, England
Registered: 2009-10-02
Posts: 257

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Tairaku is a good player, I'd listen to him if I were you mate. No-one expects you to have bellows for lungs when you come to your first lesson, a teacher and lessons will help you improve your embouchure as well as your breathing simultaneously.

Why put off lessons when you could start right now? While improving your breathing you could start playing shakuhachi.

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#7 2010-07-22 02:16:39

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

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Wuji wrote:

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Wuji you have it backwards. Taking lessons and learning songs will develop your breath and lungs.

A valid point, surely. But out of courtesy to the teacher, and to save face (mine/my embarrassment), I'd rather not, though he/she may have the patience of a rock, subject him to my substandard breath capacity/control. Patience Grasshopper! I've no schedule to keep, and I hope not to take too long to recover a little more lung capacity.

And then?

BE AMAZED!big_smile

How bad is it? Breathing and posture are one of the most troublesome areas with self-teaching because of the non-intuitiveness involved and pervasiveness of any bad habits picked up. It doesn't take that much breath, your problem is probably more with how you are approaching it than with lung capacity. If you have enough air to speak normally, a full breath (that a lot of people aren't used to taking and need instruction) should be able to get you through most of the phrases in the simpler songs at a normal tempo with at most just a little struggle. If you don't have enough breath to speak normally you may be limited, but still, that first lesson on holding the instrument and how to breath is invaluable. Use that free Skype lesson that came with your Yuu, Chikuzen is providing a wonderful service to the community by providing those.


"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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#8 2010-07-22 09:02:06

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

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

I think Brian has it right here.  Learning the pieces will make your capacity better.  Also, using belly breathing, which the pieces sort of demand, will make a difference (and also one in tone I believe). 

I used to smoke too, when I started just over 3 years ago now, so I too am a beginner.  Honestly, don't worry about it.  Just get a teacher, sooner rather than later, to correct bad habits, and the lung capacity will come later. 

Frankly, lung capacity will the least of your worries.  Making a reliable, dependable sound will be far more of a prickly thorn. 

What will be amazing, will not be the amazing things you can do once your lung capacity is better, but making tiny, almost inperceptible little steps of progress.  You will not likley make massive leaps and bounds, but small hops.  This is fine though.   Be prepared to be a beginner for a long time (this is not a bad thing, by the way).  It is all part of the ego-smashing, humbling effect of shakuhachi.

Last edited by Lorka (2010-07-22 09:05:54)


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#9 2010-07-22 19:43:09

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

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Lorka wrote:

Making a reliable, dependable sound will be far more of a prickly thorn. ...

Be prepared to be a beginner for a long time (this is not a bad thing, by the way).  It is all part of the ego-smashing, humbling effect of shakuhachi.

Yes.. it has now been about 2 and a half months since I got my Yuu and began learning, and I have to say that I have developed an immense respect for both the professionals of shakuhachi, and also every 'beginner' out there who has stuck with it. Some days the sound comes easy - it's loud and strong and the flute feels like its alive. Then five minutes later I can't work out what has gone wrong - the sound is weak and my knuckles go white and my breath runs short as I try to force that beautiful sound to come back. I stand in front of the mirror trying to work out exactly how my lips were, the exact position of the flute and so on, but to no avail. It's hard to relax and let go of trying to make beautiful sounds, and accept my inferiority.

It can be frustrating at times, but I guess it's like meditation - when I first began I was full of desire to attain beautiful states of mind, and all that desire just stirred up my mind even more. Over time I began to let go and sink into things just as they were, and then.. The paradox of Zen discipline.


http://dustymoon.org/

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

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#10 2010-08-29 08:24:38

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

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

Wuji wrote:

I was able to quit smoking not too long ago after a habit of too many years. My lungs are still pretty mucked up yet so it'll be awhile before I can do the longer notes I feel I need to do before going much further and getting lessons.

hi Wuji, i would like to extend a welcome and share, having just arrived at the BBQ from a lesson with a shakuhachi master, ego very much in hand.

I could have reasons for not practicing; not excuses. I have had the flu for two weeks,... no not for the last 3 months, my practice is going well...(I am glad I have been practicing sitting in seiza)...oops...sorry...start from here?

Some of my sounds were truly awful this afternoon. Why must one's playing be at it's worst in front of one's teacher?

Best wishes on your journey.

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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#11 2010-08-29 10:19:43

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

That is the thing with the shakuhachi. We are not necessartily learning to play it but control (play) ourselves. smile

I just recently read an article on kyudo and how shooting at the close traget is so much easier than trying to shoot the far target. Meaning emotions and fear, from people watching etc.. get in the way of your shooting. In our case it gets in the way of our playing so we need to learn how to let these feelings go and this will make us better players. So oppostion is good for our character and self development. smile

Last edited by purehappiness (2010-08-29 10:31:40)


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#12 2010-08-29 10:23:46

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

By the way. welcome to the forum. smile


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#13 2010-08-29 11:44:14

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Hello from F-O-C USA

here is the articel i was referring too. it is interesting and could be applied to shakuhachi or any of the ways.

http://homepage.mac.com/aep/Seishinkan/ … k.html#toc


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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