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Can Ha been played with a loose embouchure? Im wondering since when I play Ha-Ro mostly my Ro is in otsu, which is not right to my understanding. To get Ro in Kan I always have to tighten my lips a bit after playing Ha, which seems to be in the proper pitch, so far as I can say. Now Im questioning if I play Ha in the proper pitch. Im only playing four months now, so everything is possible . My overall question would be how Ha-Ro is being played?
Last edited by Stefan02 (2010-10-01 04:36:12)
Hello Stefano02, with regard to the Ha-Ro combination, Ha is typically a passing note and not emphasized. As such, it may not be quite so important if you hit pitch on this only after 4 months of playing. That may be the goal, depending on the style of music you are studying though. It would seem that you don't have a teacher at the moment, so with that in mind, I would simply say to try to get Ha as low as you can within the time alloted. If you are a few cents here or there, I'm sure nobody will draw and quarter you over it.
Thank you for the answers, your information is very helpful. And yes, Im playing Honkyoku in Kinko-ryu notation. Currently Im practicing on my own Honshirabe and Choshi which seem to be more suitable for a beginner than most of the other pieces. I have had a look into Koku and Sokkan too, fascinating, and a great motivation to try further.
@Administration: Thanks for the avatar, I like it!
Last edited by Stefan02 (2010-10-01 06:21:10)
Currently Im practicing on my own Honshirabe and Choshi which seem to be more suitable for a beginner than most of the other pieces.
I'm a big advocate for self-teaching for those who really don't want a teacher, however I feel that self-teaching for shakuhachi is for the most part limited to Japanese folk songs and other simple Western melodies. Honkyoku is sort of like Western classical music, while you might expect an individual to be able to learn boogie-woogie piano on their own, you wouldn't expect any but a few prodigies learning Mozart on their own. You might be able to get away learning Kyorie half-way decently by yourself, but you'll have to find one of the simpler recordings even for that. I kind of like Adrian Freedman's recording of it, the complexity in his recording lies in an exceptional smoothness of tone instead of fancy ornaments that are hard to pick up from a recording.
Shakuhachi does seem to have a folk tradition and repertoire of folk pieces that with some persistence you could pick up on your own fairly well, especially with the aid of some of the fine beginner books out there (I like Tokuyama Takashi's "The Path of Bamboo", but there are other good ones too). The books are essential for us Westerners who don't have the Japnaese equivalent of Irish folk music sessions to attend where other amateur players can help you out some.
BTW, you really shouldn't have to tighten too much to get into kan. If you get one of Chikuzen's Skype lessons, either by just paying for it or buying one of the shakuhachi products Najor Creations on Ebay gives a free one with, he'll get you straightened out about that an awful lot easier than reading a tutorial about it.