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#1 2010-07-23 16:45:23

Galactic Dog
Member
Registered: 2010-04-29
Posts: 10

Tone Color

Any thoughts as to how to better develop tone color?  I'm struggling with the concept.

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#2 2010-07-23 17:16:39

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Tone Color

Try little dabs of black paint.

Hopes this helps.

(Note to THE ADMINISTRATION: This avatar bot is handing out some very disturbing avatars.)

------------------------------------

If you're tasking about tone color (neiro) in playing then members and moderators like Justin, edosan, Peter Kokoro, Chikuzen or andyshak or Jeff Cairns should step in an talk about this. I didn't see much in the local search about the concept.

If you're asking about tone color (neiro) as applied to shakkuhachi instruments then read the page:

http://www.zenflute.com/articles.html

by master player and collector John Singer.

This time, I hope it really does help.

--x.

Last edited by Chris Moran (2010-07-23 21:10:16)


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#3 2010-07-23 20:57:39

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Tone Color

Though there are many aspects that contribute to neiro (tone colour), and this topic could be discussed ad infinitum, aside from the all-purpose advice of 'practice under the guidance of a good teacher for years', neiro has to do with the way that air enters/fills/exits cavities.  Though the shakuhachi is a fixed cavity, it is not the entire instrument.  The biologic part of the instrument (your body) is plastic and can create a huge variety of resonating chambers.  The cheeks in particular have great capacity to alter neiro.  Try to develop the controlled ability to fill different parts of the cheek cavities and pay attention to the way that your tone colour changes.........just one suggestion.


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

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#4 2010-07-23 20:59:50

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

Re: Tone Color

Galactic Dog wrote:

Any thoughts as to how to better develop tone color?  I'm struggling with the concept.

Long tones and other tone exercises should help. A lot of color variation can be obtained via tongue positioning, but problems can result from  poor support, that could be a posture problem.


"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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#5 2010-07-23 22:26:52

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

Re: Tone Color

Galactic Dog wrote:

Any thoughts as to how to better develop tone color?  I'm struggling with the concept.

I have studied with a number of different shakuhachi schools, and have noticed the difference in tone colour between the schools as a whole. In particular I was struck by the excellant tone colour of Araki Kodo's school. I came to him originally of course to learn Kinko-ryu in what I regard as its highest form, but, also for tone colour. And indeed when I asked Yokoyama-sensei's permission to go to study with Araki Kodo, he immediately agreed, saying that Araki has excellant tone colour.

What struck me most was that all of the students, practicing in the room upstairs, had excellant tone colour. Even ones who were technically not so proficient. Yes the instruments had something to do with this, as they were using finely crafted traditional Araki-ha instruments. But also it was clear that just from playing in their lessons with Araki-sensei their tone had come close to his.

So I would second what Jeff said about practicing under a good teacher, but would also point out that I think this is by far the main way this will be accomplished. As far as my experience has shown me, tone colour is not something one acquires through calculation (though certain points may help), but something one is "drawn into".

Last edited by Justin (2010-07-23 22:29:03)

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#6 2010-07-23 22:55:00

Karmajampa
Member
From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
Website

Re: Tone Color

Explore lip posture.Particularly the transition from the 'Ooooo' to the 'Eeeee' posture.
With the 'Eeeeee' bend the edges of your mouth downward like a frown and tighten.
Take time and move slowly.

K.


Kia Kaha !

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#7 2010-07-24 09:12:54

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Tone Color

Justin wrote:

tone colour is not something one acquires through calculation (though certain points may help), but something one is "drawn into".

Well put Justin.  I completely agree with this point.


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

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#8 2010-07-25 07:45:57

marek
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-03-02
Posts: 187
Website

Re: Tone Color

If I can add in from no position of authority.

Then better tone colour comes from being relaxed from the top to the bottom of your feet and a good posture.


"what are you gawping at!?"
                                          Uchiyama Roshi

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#9 2010-07-25 11:49:05

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Tone Color

Jeff Cairns wrote:

Justin wrote:

tone colour is not something one acquires through calculation (though certain points may help), but something one is "drawn into".

Well put Justin.  I completely agree with this point.

I recently had the good fortune of spending two very intensive weeks with Yamato Shudo in Kitakyushu. Not one word was spoken about tone production technics yet  my sound and physical attitude to the instrument improved greatly. To amplify Justin's and Jeff's  well stated point, it all happened unconsciously. I sort of absorbed his sound without even knowing it was happening. That is merely one reason why there is nothing like sitting in a room and playing face to face with a master player.

Last edited by Jim Thompson (2010-07-25 11:49:58)


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#10 2010-07-26 07:05:11

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

Re: Tone Color

Yes, I think you start to mimic the teacher and adjust your body,lips etc... accordingly.


I have found the position of my tongue in my mouth changes the tone of my notes.


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

Lieh-tzu

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#11 2010-07-26 09:29:09

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

Re: Tone Color

purehappiness wrote:

Yes, I think you start to mimic the teacher and adjust your body,lips etc... accordingly.

I think the reason for the results is probably mostly from mimicking the teacher's tone, not so much because of mimicking body alignment and such. The reason I believe this true is because despite all the instruction you can get as far as which muscles to activate or relax or what position to place your tongue, not very many people have the experience to be able to control those muscles. If you haven't done it much, you can see what I'm saying by just going to the mirror and watch as you scrunch your tongue around, it'll probably move in fairly unexpected directions. Think about how precise the positioning has to be in order to play shakuhachi and it's easy to understand that listening to how you sound is the best feedback mechanism to learn how to move those muscles. With the teacher's tone as a reference, with a bit of entrainment (that's the basis of the strategy exploited by choirs to put the worst singers right around the best singer in each section, the good singing rubs off, http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abs … %2900915-4 ) you can work toward matching the tone and train those muscles you previously had no control over. For a non-shakuhachi example, most trained singers can raise and lower their soft palate at will. Untrained singers can be told to raise or lower their soft palate, but it works a whole lot better if the teacher gets the student to match the tone and feel what it's like to raise and lower the palate that way.


"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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#12 2010-07-27 06:15:53

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

Re: Tone Color

Yes, not necessarily the position but how you get the tone unconcsciously. You will automatically start to sound like the teacher after a while, not even thinking on what you are doing physically.


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

Lieh-tzu

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