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Here shakuhachi use to be a soundtrack for my neighboors. And as a daily practice, with same flute, and with diferent flutes, I started to notice the importance of have a knowledge of be aware of what's happening and the most ( or better, very) important, the control over the parts of body involved in our playing.
There is writed here and there to take care with this part of body and with that, but notice the parts of OUR body working on and changing the sound is very important.
I used to practice diferent kinds of doing meri because I can easily play meri using lips, neck, movement, air speed changing, some hole shading if its called to do on a song... and doing these I noticed that I was not learning to meet the parts of body.. because I mixed them too much...
Since a few weeks, I learned to watch the body, and learn how every part of it works... really good practice!
Did anybody take care, I mean, is aware of each part of the body in practicing diferent ways?? Tone color, dinamics, joy and all these things???
I dont know if its clear...
Anyway, just to share!
Last edited by Musgo da Pedra (2010-09-08 23:50:24)
I would be very happy if you could explain a little more in details - for example which body part has what effect of your playing. I think it is a very interesting subject, so I'd like to hear more. I have also made some obesrvations myself. Have you also noticed how much the body is involved in piece memorisation as well?
I didn't payed attention on how much body is envolved in the act of memorize a piece, but i noticed that when I played a lot a piece and its memorized, the body do what I expect it to do for achieve the sound that happens in my mind in a fraction of time before it came out through the flute.
About the relation on body functions and effect on playing, most of what I am reallizing have been said around, but its different to hear "what to do" and DO IT right?
Well, I have noticing how a relaxed throat is important and how the different sizes of throat opening can affect playability and tone collor on diferent bore sizes. Also, the internal tubes of body being loose, the diafragma can be used with much more sensitivity and appear to be more efficient in strenght and in minor works (or minimalist works?).
The lips too... since I used to mix the techniques to get meri, I never focused on them. They have a very important paper on tone color. Maybe for the begginer they are also a matter of getting kan
but they can give lots of tone color... fuzzy, aired, fat, clean...
The mouth cavity too have been so important in sound... I noticed how much any movement can help to make the air flow or make barriers to it flows...
Also, a calm mind state and peace in the moment is also fundamental to feel everything that is happening from the big toe trough the top of the head. Head full with thoughts or thinking on things that are waiting is bad too...
I will try to take some notes about the issue as I back to notice them and can post more late...
Kiku, what are your observations?
A big hug!
Caipirinhas, count on me, summer is comming!!! This Trappist Beer (the second time I saw you mentioning it, made me salivate already) and the Sapphire are on my list, but hard to get here...
It's to hear from other people that efforts in phisical body can show good efects on playing. It's not only imagination so...heheh
Also mindfulness technique's\ meditation can help make you more aware of your bodily and mental (thoughts, feelings) sensations. Where I live there are a lot of CD's with guided excercises on them available.
I try to be aware of my body and state while playing, but I am allready happy when I succeed in not tensing up my shoulders, arms, hands, face while playing . The best sound I get when playing first a difficult part or long part and then playing freely after that: I must be more 'tired' and be probably more relaxed.
I have found that imagining there is a ping pong ball in your mouth gives you a deeper tone while putting your tongue closer to your lips gives you a tighter tone and is not as full sounding. Also, opening your throat down to your tantien makes a big difference too.
I am glad to see a post on the physiology of shakuhachi. This is very much the way I approach the instrument. It is a physical exercise more than it is a musical exercise for me.
I highly recommend The Structures and Movement of Breathing: A Primer for Choirs and Choruses/G5265 - Paperback (June 1, 2000) by Barbara Conable which is only 6 dollars on amazon.com
It is based on the Alexander Technique
Also, Masayuki Koga has written some amazing works on the subject; most notably Extract of Master Techniques which is available from shakuhachi.com
and The Atlas of the Insight of Music which is only available by contacting Koga-sensei himself. In the Atlas, he discusses techniques for "opening" the body physically and opening the mind in ways uncommon to think of. There is so much insight to be gained, I can't recommend these resources enough.
Now it's 9:44 pm here where I live. In an apartment. I can play until 10 pm, but I use to go further just playing everything in a low volume... sometime I try it on a 1.8 other times 3.0.
During this Sunday I have drinked some coffees cups and now playing I noticed my heart beating harder, in a way it moves all the body and it make the sound, especially long without vibrato notes to have a vibrato!!! ehehuehe
This is not the first time I feel that. It's just easier to feel or notice when everything is quiet like now.
So, just sharing again. Heart needs to go with easy!
I have been told about some musician who use to align the heart beatings to the song time (probably using the breathing I think). Someone here?