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#1 2008-01-09 12:40:00

Seth
Member
From: Scarsdale, NY
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 270

Learning a new shakuhachi

How long does it take to learn a new shakuhachi?

Every shakuhachi is different.  (Well, except for Yuus but that is another story…)  And every shakuhachi comes with its strengths and weaknesses, though obviously some have more strengths than others.

Because each shakuhachi is unique there is a learning process for the owner in becoming familiar with a new shakuhachi’s unique ins and outs. 

Question for the masters:  How long does it take you to ‘break-in’ a new flute to the point you can really bring out its full potential?  What variables impact this period of time?

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#2 2008-01-09 15:12:27

graham in oz
Member
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 27

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

This is an interesting question to me as  have recently aquired a Ichijou 2.4. Im many respects its like his 1.8.

They play in similar ways but yes different.

I am still learning its full potential.

It seems to me that Ou meri kan and tsu and tsu meri seem to need more work or exploring?- and its not just the head angle..

Ill be interested to hear other responses..

bows

graham in oz

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#3 2008-01-09 21:33:38

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

My Japanese sensei often says that it takes at least three years to break in a new flute but I think it depends on a number of factors, such as how much time you're practicing with it, how different it is from the flutes you are used to playing, the amount of physicial variation in the flutes that you have spent time playing in the past, and the experience you have had with playing shakuhachi having noticeable differences in areas such as the dimensions of the bore, the angle at the top of the flute where you rest your chin, the angle of the utaguchi,  the thickness of the walls of the shakuhachi, the shape of the bamboo itself and how easily it fits into your hands, the placement and size of the holes relative to your fingers, and the lengths of flutes that you are accustomed to playing.  The first couple of flutes I had were very cheap, lightweight and easy to play but I couldn't get much of a timbral range out of them (which I did not realize at the time) and when I finally ended up buying a halfway decent 1.8 I found that I needed more energy to play it well, probably due to the larger internal diameter and greater thickness of the bamboo; in winter when the flute is cold it takes more warm up time to get it going than my other 1.8s required.  Some notes, such as the meris or high kan notes may take some time getting adjusted to and maybe even be difficult to reach at all if you're accustomed to playing flutes by a particular maker and then you try out a flute made by someone else (or sometimes even the same maker) that has somewhat differerent proportions.  I've had my current 1.8 for about three years now and feel like I've almost brought out the full potential of the flute, but now I also realize its weaknesses and would like to obtain a better instrument.

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#4 2008-01-09 22:03:39

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

...but now I also realize its weaknesses and would like to obtain a better instrument.

And then put in another three years to wring that one out...


....ah, shakuhachi, how we love thee, perfidious thing!!

rB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#5 2008-01-09 23:08:52

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 829
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

w/3 years of practice you can play anything:-)

I just got a 2.4. It took me a month to get used to it. But, I played Everything on that flute. I recorded my self-to hear how I sound with it.
Its interesting the diference "How we hear ourself when we play & how it sounds when we hear the recording". Its and open minded experience.

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#6 2008-01-09 23:41:42

Seth
Member
From: Scarsdale, NY
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 270

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

My Japanese sensei often says that it takes at least three years to break in a new flute...

Yes, this does not really surprise me.  It was only after playing my last flute for about a year and a half did I feel as if I really could control it.  And recently I purchased a better flute from a different maker and now I feel as if I am having to learn how to walk all over again in many ways.

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#7 2008-01-10 00:56:08

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

It takes me about 1 minute to decide whether a flute is good or not. How good and what it's good for takes between 5 minutes and several hours. To really get to know a flute is a matter of muscle memory and reinforcing good sounds. If the flute has tuning issues (which in my mind does not disqualify it from being good or even great) you have to play it so much that you are no longer thinking about the adjustments you make to play in tune. Of course if you have a good sense of pitch this is much easier. Knowing how to blow efficiently will help you to get the most out of every flute. I had a recent experience of having a flute return to me after about a 5 year absence and when I played it everything came back to me and it was not like playing an unfamiliar flute. it was like seeing an old friend and feeling very comfortable. But that had been my main 1.8 back in the day. There is no problem with getting a sound out of a shakuhachi that can't be solved by blowing and practicing. Ronnie says it takes six months and Ryudo's sensei says three years to get used to a flute but I think it depends mostly upon the player, not the flute. I've heard guys who have been playing 35 years and don't sound good on ANY flute.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#8 2008-01-10 07:51:33

jumbuk
Member
From: South-eastern Australia
Registered: 2005-12-15
Posts: 85

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Tairaku wrote:

I've heard guys who have been playing 35 years and don't sound good on ANY flute.

Uh-oh!

I haven't been playing for 35 years yet (try 2) but the possibility that I could STILL sound crap after 35 is daunting.

Hey, wait a minute!  I'll be 89 years old when (if!) I have been playing for 35 years!  I'll be happy to be still playing, whatever the sound!


... as if nothing is happening.  And it is!

Paul Mitchell, Jumbuktu 2006

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#9 2008-01-10 15:59:49

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1521
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Tairaku wrote:

Of course if you have a good sense of pitch this is much easier.

And if you do not have an innate good sense of pitch it is invaluable having a teacher who does (have a good sense of pitch).


"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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#10 2008-01-10 16:05:49

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Chris Moran wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Of course if you have a good sense of pitch this is much easier.

And if you do not have an innate good sense of pitch it is invaluable having a teacher who does (have a good sense of pitch).

Although after a certain point that can get disconcerting because of the malleable nature of the pitches associated with the meri notes. I have had both shakuhachi and koto teachers who play the meri notes higher than me (i.e. close to western pitch references) and then I have to adjust. So you must develop the ability to play the meri notes both as quarter tones and as half tones. Even with solo music you'll use different pitches for tsu meri or u depending upon what song it is. Very complicated!


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#11 2008-01-11 06:28:05

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

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Tairaku wrote:

So you must develop the ability to play the meri notes both as quarter tones and as half tones.

I'm not entirely clear on what you are suggesting here Brian, but I'm not so sure that it has to be quite such an intellectual endeavor as it may sound.  Ultimately, you have to be able to listen to  yourself at the same time as listening to other players if playing ensemble and constantly adjust to what is perceived or agreed upon as the reference pitch.  I think the ultimate goal of playing ensemble is the same as playing solo if that playing is of a public nature, however the dynamics may differ.  Perhaps what you are suggesting Brian is that it's important to develop the ability to play fluidly around any note with as much variance in pitch, breadth and depth as possible.  This combined with a discerning ear ( which may only come with a great deal of playing with others) will bring you closer to the desired result. 
Just my 2 yen thoughts.


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

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#12 2008-01-11 09:50:14

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

What I mean is that you have to figure out what the pitch reference of the other player is. In the case of the koto I found that the older Japanese ladies played very low meri pitches while the younger Sawai school players used closer to Western pitches. So yes you have to be able to hear what they're doing and match it. When playing with string players you always have to go along with their idea of pitch because they lead the ensemble.

On the other hand when I'm doing jazz I warn the other players, "I'll be playing some of these pitches lower than you, don't worry about it and play your usual stuff." Then I decide which pitches I want to use, Japanese or Western, depending upon my mood or what kind of effect I want in the music.

With shakuhachi music and players it depends also upon the piece. If it's shinkyoku maybe you use the Western pitches. But when I play Kinko I like to use very low meri notes and not all shakuhachi players do that so there might be a clash. In that case I dislike ideas of "rank" but if I'm the ranking player I hold my ground and if the other person is I'll go to their pitch references. Then there is Myoan music. A lot of times those meri notes are pretty high. I guess you just have to learn the piece and the style.

My main point is that while ro, re, and ri are pretty stable pitches the other notes, particularly the meri notes have a wide range of interpretation and you have to be aware of what it's supposed to be. This is one of the things that makes shakuhachi so much fun!


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#13 2008-01-11 13:20:50

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Tairaku wrote:

I had a recent experience of having a flute return to me after about a 5 year absence and when I played it everything came back to me and it was not like playing an unfamiliar flute. it was like seeing an old friend and feeling very comfortable. But that had been my main 1.8 back in the day.

Another example supporting the legend that if you buy a flute from anyone other than the maker, it used to belong to Tairaku.


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#14 2008-01-11 16:42:29

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

rpowers wrote:

Another example supporting the legend that if you buy a flute from anyone other than the maker, it used to belong to Tairaku.

Excuse me! Only the good ones! wink

The bad ones used to belong to another guy, I won't mention his name!


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#15 2008-01-11 23:14:23

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Tairaku wrote:

Excuse me! Only the good ones! wink

The bad ones used to belong to another guy, I won't mention his name!

Seen any good card tricks lately?

I thought you kept the good ones.


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#16 2008-01-11 23:37:22

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

rpowers wrote:

Seen any good card tricks lately?

I thought you kept the good ones.

I keep the ones I want to play. They are mostly large bore, large hole, nobe, Myoan jinashi. I make no secret of my preferences. But the ones I let go are still good. I've been playing for 12 years and my tastes have changed, for example I seldom play ji ari or two piece flutes. I only play Kinko flutes 1.8 and smaller.  So I let them go to people who will play them. Ye of little faith! wink

My attitude about instruments is, if I'm not going to perform or record on them, let them go. Shakuhachi are bit different, you might like one just to play sitting in a room by yourself. But still, use it or lose it!


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#17 2008-01-13 00:31:53

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Hey all, I've been traveling and only recently got home to a pile of flutes waiting to have their cracks closed. Seems to be more cracks this winter than last.

Anyway, looks like I missed out on some good chat!

Tairaku wrote:

With shakuhachi music and players it depends also upon the piece. If it's shinkyoku maybe you use the Western pitches. But when I play Kinko I like to use very low meri notes and not all shakuhachi players do that so there might be a clash. In that case I dislike ideas of "rank" but if I'm the ranking player I hold my ground and if the other person is I'll go to their pitch references. Then there is Myoan music. A lot of times those meri notes are pretty high. I guess you just have to learn the piece and the style.

When I was learning Tamuke (Dokyoku)from Kinya, he explained that Tsu meri was flatter than it's Western equivalent and that Tsu Dai Meri was between Ro and Tsu meri but closer to Ro.

Now, Chu meri  (Jin Nyodo) is a different pitch...right?

Peace and health to all in the new year! Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#18 2008-01-13 00:52:57

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Yungflutes wrote:

Hey all, I've been traveling and only recently got home to a pile of flutes waiting to have their cracks closed. Seems to be more cracks this winter than last.

Anyway, looks like I missed out on some good chat!

Tairaku wrote:

With shakuhachi music and players it depends also upon the piece. If it's shinkyoku maybe you use the Western pitches. But when I play Kinko I like to use very low meri notes and not all shakuhachi players do that so there might be a clash. In that case I dislike ideas of "rank" but if I'm the ranking player I hold my ground and if the other person is I'll go to their pitch references. Then there is Myoan music. A lot of times those meri notes are pretty high. I guess you just have to learn the piece and the style.

When I was learning Tamuke (Dokyoku)from Kinya, he explained that Tsu meri was flatter than it's Western equivalent and that Tsu Dai Meri was between Ro and Tsu meri but closer to Ro.

Now, Chu meri  (Jin Nyodo) is a different pitch...right?

Peace and health to all in the new year! Perry

About the cracks: Global warming! Climate change!


About Kinya's version of tsu meri:

So tsu meri is a bit flat of Eb and tsu dai meri (which is usually used as part of a phrase which also includes tsu meri) is just a hair sharp of Ro. Sounds right to me.

However a lot of people play tsu meri as Eb including some very good players.

About tsu chu meri:

Tsu chu meri is not unique to Jin Nyodo it's in all Kinko based music. It is produced by shading the first hole but you don't lower your head. Pitch is E (using a 1.8) there's no difference between that pitch and the Western pitch. And that's the only pitch you should use when you see that note.

There's a whole lot more to say about the meri range of tsu but maybe this is not the time.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#19 2008-01-13 09:00:48

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

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

For all you beginning students out there I'm concerned that all this talk about the various pitches of tsu meri will leave you confused and unsure. My opinion(everybody's got one) is that as a beginner you need to find out where a plain old western E flat(1.8) is. Once you establish that, then you can make your choices about the variuos situations and the various pitches. However I believe it is based on knowing where an actual E flat is. Here is some advice that is bound to get me in hot water with somebody but what the heck. Get out the tuner and use it. It will not only tell you where the actual E-flat is, it will show you how steady you can hold that pitch. Not so easy as meri notes tend to not have a center so they are hard to hold perfectly steady. So if you get to where you can hold a e-flat perfectly in tune and steadily you will be ready to start dealing with the various pitches and situations. I fully expect to get a lot of heat on the tuner issue but hey, the truth is the truth.


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

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#20 2008-01-13 09:54:54

nyokai
shihan
From: Portland, ME
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 613
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Jim Thompson wrote:

I fully expect to get a lot of heat on the tuner issue...

Some non-heat: See "Metronomes and tuners" at http://nyokai.com/tips/

As for the exact pitch of a tsu meri in different contexts, I recommend following the advice of your individual teacher. If you don't have a regular teacher, take a lesson or two with one and address this issue -- clearly there is no one "right way," and you can't batter the details of traditional style into consensus on a forum.

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#21 2008-01-13 10:40:40

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

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Hi Nyokai,
    Thanks for the non-heat. We can always use that. You're comments in "Metronomes and Tuners" are right on. I recommend others with questions relevant to pitch read it.
     In trying to shed a little light into the murky, mystical, enigmatic world of tsu meri, I think it's helpful to understand why certain pitches are chosen. If you play a note low in pitch it gives you a darker color. In Kinko honkyoku they like that dark low tsu meri.  It fits the mood. Coltrane played on the low end of in tune. It part of how he got that dark, robust and warm sound.  Conversely, if you play on the high side the color becomes brighter.  That is something to consider when you are making your choice of pitch.


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

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#22 2008-01-13 14:18:47

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Jim Thompson wrote:

For all you beginning students out there I'm concerned that all this talk about the various pitches of tsu meri will leave you confused and unsure. My opinion(everybody's got one) is that as a beginner you need to find out where a plain old western E flat(1.8) is. Once you establish that, then you can make your choices about the variuos situations and the various pitches. However I believe it is based on knowing where an actual E flat is. Here is some advice that is bound to get me in hot water with somebody but what the heck. Get out the tuner and use it. It will not only tell you where the actual E-flat is, it will show you how steady you can hold that pitch. Not so easy as meri notes tend to not have a center so they are hard to hold perfectly steady. So if you get to where you can hold a e-flat perfectly in tune and steadily you will be ready to start dealing with the various pitches and situations. I fully expect to get a lot of heat on the tuner issue but hey, the truth is the truth.

Thanks for your sane advice Jim. For beginners if they can get Eb they're probably doing well. Although it is a fact that tsu meri is a malleable pitch ("truth is the truth") beginners should not enter those subtleties until they are ready. This is why I avoid technique advice on the forum, just kind of lost my resolve this time.

Jim Thompson wrote:

It fits the mood. Coltrane played on the low end of in tune. It part of how he got that dark, robust and warm sound.  Conversely, if you play on the high side the color becomes brighter.  That is something to consider when you are making your choice of pitch.

Coltrane also ventured from the "low end of in tune" to "out of tune" sometimes when he was in the throes of spontaneous creativity. One of the things that makes his music sound so urgent is his fearlessness and the fact that in pursuit of a musical idea he would sometimes go too far. As he said, "Damn the Rules, it's the feeling that Counts. You play all twelve notes in your solo anyway."

Beginners, this does not mean I am suggesting that you damn the rules of Japanese music. wink


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#23 2008-01-14 12:36:28

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Hi Jim,

No heat here either!

All my teachers have suggested the use of a tuner at one point or another.

One thing to keep in mind is that the variable pitches of Tsu and Ou is due to the changing sensibility or evolution of Japanese music (thus the different schools). When an old timer sings Sakura, her semi tones are flatter. When you hear it played as background  music in a Japanese Mall, it's sharper. The best way to learn how to play it is to learn how to sing it. Then it depends upon whether you want to sound more like an old timer or not.

I recently saw a Kuruma Ningyo (three man Japanese puppetry) performance. One piece was called Kurukami - Black Hair. There where three live musical accompanists - a singer who is a national treasure and two koto players. I noticed that the Tsu an Ou equivalents were very very flat. And when the singer hung on one of these semi-tones, he had a distinct vibrato that seem to bring it way down. It certainly did not sound like a Western semi-tone we would hear on American Idol (btw, I'm a big fan of the show).


Tairaku wrote:

Jim Thompson wrote:

For all you beginning students out there I'm concerned that all this talk about the various pitches of tsu meri will leave you confused and unsure. My opinion(everybody's got one) is that as a beginner you need to find out where a plain old western E flat(1.8) is. Once you establish that, then you can make your choices about the variuos situations and the various pitches. However I believe it is based on knowing where an actual E flat is. Here is some advice that is bound to get me in hot water with somebody but what the heck. Get out the tuner and use it. It will not only tell you where the actual E-flat is, it will show you how steady you can hold that pitch. Not so easy as meri notes tend to not have a center so they are hard to hold perfectly steady. So if you get to where you can hold a e-flat perfectly in tune and steadily you will be ready to start dealing with the various pitches and situations. I fully expect to get a lot of heat on the tuner issue but hey, the truth is the truth.

Thanks for your sane advice Jim. For beginners if they can get Eb they're probably doing well. Although it is a fact that tsu meri is a malleable pitch ("truth is the truth") beginners should not enter those subtleties until they are ready. This is why I avoid technique advice on the forum, just kind of lost my resolve this time.

Yes, from what I've witnessed, most beginners play Tsu Meri sharper than Eb I think that when the teachers say play it flatter, they usually mean to play it a Eb at least.

Jim Thompson wrote:

It fits the mood. Coltrane played on the low end of in tune. It part of how he got that dark, robust and warm sound.  Conversely, if you play on the high side the color becomes brighter.  That is something to consider when you are making your choice of pitch.

Coltrane also ventured from the "low end of in tune" to "out of tune" sometimes when he was in the throes of spontaneous creativity. One of the things that makes his music sound so urgent is his fearlessness and the fact that in pursuit of a musical idea he would sometimes go too far. As he said, "Damn the Rules, it's the feeling that Counts. You play all twelve notes in your solo anyway."

I heard an interview with Branford Marsalis on WNYC a while back. He said his favorite Sax is one made in the 1930's. Its' all out of tune and it brings him where no modern instrument has.

Beginners, this does not mean I am suggesting that you damn the rules of Japanese music. wink

Is it OK if your teacher damns the rules? smile

Peace, Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#24 2008-01-14 15:09:09

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1521
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Jim Thompson wrote:

It part of how he got that dark, robust and warm sound.  Conversely, if you play on the high side the color becomes brighter.  That is something to consider when you are making your choice of pitch.

Regarding Tsu Meri: Playing on the "high side" means playing no sharper than Eb though, correct?


"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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#25 2008-01-14 15:49:07

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Learning a new shakuhachi

Chris Moran wrote:

Jim Thompson wrote:

It part of how he got that dark, robust and warm sound.  Conversely, if you play on the high side the color becomes brighter.  That is something to consider when you are making your choice of pitch.

Regarding Tsu Meri: Playing on the "high side" means playing no sharper than Eb though, correct?

As Jim said, all this discussion could confuse beginners. So beginners...............stop reading now or just realize that we are analyzing music, not handing out playing tips.

Chris, there are plenty of Myoan players who do actually play tsu no meri SHARP of Eb. This is one of the fascinating things about listening and comparing numerous versions of the same song. When I learn a honkyoku I listen to every version I have and it's amazing how diverse it is from good players. That's why I bristle when people say, "the right" or "only" way to play a song or the shakuhachi in general.

Anyway some Myoan players don't use shading. So when they play tsu no meri they merely open hole one and dip their heads. Chi meri is 1, 2 and 3 open and lower the head. The pitches they can attain this way depend upon their technique and the flute. This is one of the great advantages of large bore flutes, you can get much deeper meri notes using only the head.

One of my former students, Jeff Jones in Chicago, is now studying with a bona fide Myoanji player who is located in Chicago. His sensei does not use shading. Jeff if you're reading this would you care to comment upon what pitches you guys get and whether you are aiming for a particular pitch?

When we learn most of the Myoan honkyoku in the Jin Nyodo repertoire we use shading. Or not, "as you like" which is Kurahashi Sensei's favorite phrase. However when I learned "Mukaiji" from Jim (and Ronnie and Yoshio) we don't use shading. But we aim for the lowest meri we can get using that technique.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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