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#1 2011-02-12 15:14:50

J Ross
Member
From: Vancouver,Washington USA
Registered: 2010-12-18
Posts: 74
Website

Emboucher,facial hair and playing

Ah the dilemma of playing the flute and wearing a bit of facial hair!

Over the last few years of playing the rim blown flutes I have been clean shaven and have been able to play most flutes I get my hands on with no problem. Not sure why but it has simply been easy for me to get the right embouchure,possibly due to the way my lips and chin are.Who knows. But I admit I thank God every day for this and am happy to have such an ability.

But... about a month ago I started to grow back my handlebar moustache and under the lower lip patch (soul patch they call it )and within a few weeks noticed that my ability  to play them had dropped off the radar!! As I  have been taking shakuhachi lessons for the last month and not touched the rim blown Natives since then and could not make a sound! Yikes!

I truly didn't think it had anything to do with the facial hair.


So this morning I shaved it all off again and became clean shaven. The first thing I did was take down the shakuhachi and the Native rims,the Anasazi,Hopi and Mojave.

The shakuhachi playing was much easier and better focused than before and now I know why I was not playing as well these last 2-3 weeks. The real test was when I tried the rims. Wow!!! Immediately I was achieving sound and scales.In less than a minute I was back to where I had left off and playing them just fine.

So...have any of you fellows experienced such issues with facial hair?

And just for fun here are the before and after pics of what I looked like with and w/o the facial fuzz:

  A few years ago:

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h93/n7myw/Moustache/8-july05small-1.jpg

Last month:

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h93/n7myw/Moustache/3-2.jpg

And today:

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h93/n7myw/clothes/17oct10small.jpg

I feel MUCH better now!! And if it helps me play my shakuhachi better,so much for having the moustache back!!

Jim

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#2 2011-02-12 17:29:29

Jam
Member
From: Oxford, England
Registered: 2009-10-02
Posts: 254

Re: Emboucher,facial hair and playing

I've experimented with various facial hair stylings and never really had a problem with playing.

I like your mustache though, outstanding work good sir!

http://img.kyon.pl/static/img/remiq.net_11418.jpg

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#3 2011-02-12 20:44:49

jamesnyman
Member
From: Austin, Texas
Registered: 2005-10-23
Posts: 162

Re: Emboucher,facial hair and playing

I find that it is MUCH easier for me to play the shakuhachi if my lower lip is clean shaven. My mustache does not seem to interfere with playing as long as I don't let it get too shaggy.


"The means are the ends in the making."  Mohandas K. Ghandi

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#4 2011-02-13 00:21:12

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

Re: Emboucher,facial hair and playing

I keep  my moustache and beard trimmed, I think too much on the moustache baffles the air over the utaguchi, you can test this by placing a finger around that area while playing a note.

K.


Kia Kaha !

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#5 2011-02-15 09:57:11

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Emboucher,facial hair and playing

I don't have a problem with facial hair, but my pubic hair seems to get in the way quite a lot.  Maybe I am doing something wrong.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#6 2011-02-15 11:21:03

Rick Riekert
Member
Registered: 2008-03-13
Posts: 97

Re: Emboucher,facial hair and playing

Iowonthetotem wrote:

I don't have a problem with facial hair, but my pubic hair seems to get in the way quite a lot.  Maybe I am doing something wrong.

When I can't do something with my flute it is because I haven't tried doing that thing enough. In other words, I haven't practiced it hard enough, long enough, frequently enough.
~ Riley Lee


Mastery does not lay in the mastery of technique, but in penetrating the heart of the music. However, he who has not mastered the technique will not penetrate the heart of the music.
~ Hisamatsu Fy

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#7 2011-02-15 19:14:52

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

Re: Emboucher,facial hair and playing

lowonthetotem wrote:

I don't have a problem with facial hair, but my pubic hair seems to get in the way quite a lot.  Maybe I am doing something wrong.

...maybe it's just in the choice of instrument.  Stop playing the 'yuu' and put a real bamboo flute in hand.  I think your problems will clear up. ;p


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

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