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If there is a problem using money as trade item, why don't you trade some knowledge, if there is something you know and can be interesting to your teacher? If not, you can offer to work for him... clean the house, cut the grass, wash the floor or other thing that he is needing. Maybe you can save for him/her the time that they will spend for you...and...if you will make a simple job, without any specialization, don't think about one hour lesson = one hour job...maybe you can use one afternoon on the trade... As some one said above, they are offering you a specialized knowledge...
Some years ago I was with an tendonitis in my left hand and I was trying to find some help...one day, I meet with a guy who was specialist in acupunture and said, "well my friend, maybe we can make a trade: you give some harmony lessons (he plays sax) and we can make some acupunture sessions..." At that time I was asking about 10 dollars/hour lesson and every session with him was 40 dollars... but , he never said, well I charge 40, you 10, so you need to give me 4 lessons for session of acupunture (if we followed by that way, I would still go giving lessons to him)...but we was talking about specialized knowledge and if he wanted, at the time I would have given more classes or done more some work for him, because he really helped me a lot.He gave me a beautiful lesson of life... We are still friends and very thankful to him...
Peace blowing from heart to hearts...that's our path...
Last edited by Musgo da Pedra (2008-06-09 10:59:08)
Jeff Cairns wrote:
Noah and Ninjabathy, sounds like you just talked yourselves into an organizational position.
I'd love to. I'm off work at the moment due to illness (collapsed lung), so this is just the kinda thing I need to keep me busy... Just don't be surprised if I do come knockin! It's difficult not to feel rude, though. In a forum, it's kind of OK; with personal email, I really don't want to feel like a rude little upstart. lol. I'll just have to forgo that, though, and risk offending people! I'll only be asking, after all... I'm very interested by this not wanting to share thing. Maybe I'm being naieve. I'm only 24, so I think I'm fairly young compared to a lot of you, so I probably am being.... Ah well!
Musgo, I'd truly love to go down the drunken master/grasshopper road. In fact, it's kind of a life long dream! lol. It's just there aren't many people who teach shakuhachi here. And I can't drive due to medication at the mo (I can't wait to be fit again!!!).
OK, so it looks like pestering is the way to go!
Thanks, guys! Noah, if you're interested, get in touch and we'll try and make this happen for ourselves!
I understand your vision to see more resources on the web. However, as someone who recently posted ONE honkyoku on my site, I can tell you it is very time consuming. I have also recently put together a collection of Irish tunes for shakuhachi which took the best part of 6 months work (a lot of my spare time when I had energy after the day job). There is a huge amount of work proof reading and formatting, not to mention the initial imput of notation if using computer notation.
A list of currently available scores online and comparable mp3s or youtube would be useful. There's a job for you Noah!
I know I sound bitter, but my desire to play is eclipsed by my lack of financial resources as a college student, and I'm frustrated.
"Bitter" implies deep disappointment that you feel like you once had something that was taken away from you -- or perhaps that you feel entitled to something you were denied.
What college do you go to?
Last edited by Chris Moran (2008-06-09 16:46:14)
Hey Phil, I referenced your site; it's very nice! It's actually the kind of thing I was to go about doing. Your scores are indeed very neat, but I don't really even care about that... When I say I'm looking for resources, I wouldn't even mind hand-drawn, or even written "ro, ...." Just that and an accompanying mp3 is "all" I'm after; not bothered about formatting/perfection as I can figure it out for myself once I know the tunes from mp3. Come to think of it, I may be asking you all the wrong question.
Is there a resource/book/CD I can buy that is affordable and contains a complete school's repertoire? I just want to be able to slot myself into a school as I reckon that's probably the best way to get a well rounded set of techniques. I don't even mind if you guys just recommend a few gooduns for me. As I say, I have Choshi (which I really like the bends in), and Fudaiji Kyorei that I'm working on. Anything at all would be great.
I've been playing Shakuhachi for about 3 years now and the ONE lesson that i keep learning over and over is this....
"It is IMPOSSIBLE to learn shakuhachi CORRECTLY, without a teacher." period.....
I'm a professional musician with 24 years of experience.. (I make a living only playing/teaching) I can play 16 instruments...not including the shakuhachi.
I have been fortunate enough that when i have been on tour to be able to take 2 lessons.... one with Masayuki Koga in San Francisco and another in Portland Maine with our very own Nyokai. And i can say without an ounce of doubt....
I learned more in the 2 x 1Hr lessons that i have taken (spaced about 1 year apart) than anything i have learned on my own.... (and I have my degree in Music)
If you want to "try" to learn on your own be my guest. but, the small amount of money you spend on a lesson, and the information that you'll learn. is worth more that you could possibly know.
If you've never taken a lesson....how can you be so sure that you're not missing out?
besides....The notation is only a guide, not a direct transcription like guitar tabulature....
If you have the .mp3's it's only slightly better.....sure you might get the right pitch....but are you using the correct fingering? You might even end up with a bunch of bad habits that will mess you up for a long time.....
I don't want you to get the wrong idea about my reply....i'm not standing up here and waving a finger down at you....
I'm trying to give you a helping hand and hopefully, help you avoid some of the problems you'll probably encounter if you travel too far down this path.
I know it's frustrating....i'm on a limited budget too....but lessons really are worth the money....
Jaybee, our very own Nyokai is actually my instructor. I've already had one exceptionally productive lesson with him just last week, and he is the first person I have asked for this information. I just don't want him to feel I am pushing my luck by asking favours from him when I should be paying for the privelage... I want it free because I'm not super-rich! I'd honestly love 10 lessons a week, but I can't afford it; I will do one-offs though. I got the huge lesson finger of cost last week, lol.
Musgo, thanks for that, I'll look out for it.
Somehow, I don't think 7 or 8 dollars and postage is too expensive for a piece of music that you will be months, if not years, trying to master -- or at least trying to make sound good. Monty sells all the Yokoyama and Tokuyama scores individually.
I can understand feeling left out of say, having to buy the $500 Jin Nyodo collection. But learning shakuhachi music is a lot more complex than just collecting the music and trying to learn it as you would guitar tab.
If you're going to have a teacher, like Nyokai, you might try following his instruction -- which I chance is not 'go out and see how many musical scores you can collect.'
A little harsh, do you not think, Chris? Instead of being rude, could you perhaps be kind enough to point me in the direction of said pieces? I would be happy to pay that if there are sound samples so I know what to expect. Thus far, the Jin Nyodo collection, and some instructional materials from various sites are all too expensive for me (I have just bought two shakuhachi, one from Perry, and a Yuu). You also misunderstand me considerably, Chris. My purpose is not to catalogue or collect musical scores as you so politely put it, rather to see a wide variety that I may decide which piece I like enough to devote those several valuable months of practice to. I also realise the subtleties of the indivdual note over guitar; that is the quality and emphasis of shakuhachi I like most, and one I replicate often in my guitar playing. And I do follow Nyokai's instruction as closely as I can, but how can I follow what I have not yet been told? I am currently awaiting said advice via email.
Understand I am here to learn. I ask questions because I seek knowledge and understanding. A fellow student does not need criticism for seeking out a piece of music so that he may enjoy playing it. It's hardly as if the pieces are on the radio, so I don't know what style to learn, or which piece I might like most until I have heard several. I can't do that unless I buy an album. But I don't know what album I might like, so why should I part with money that I have earned for an unknown? That is why I asked for recommendations and sources of information.
I would have thought one attempting to follow a pathway of Zen meditation would have learned to think before they judge and speak. If it is necessary to look down on someone less experienced than you purely because they are less experienced, then please do it inwardly and offer advice with tact, or not at all. Let's keep this positive; I am new here and there is much to be found on this forum, but should I really be forced to explain myself so much? This is a hobby for me, and I'd love to enjoy it fully.
A little harsh, do you not think, Chris?
Yes, that was harsh.
Chris Moran wrote:
"Bitter" implies deep disappointment that you feel like you once had something that was taken away from you -- or perhaps that you feel entitled to something you were denied.
What college do you go to?
A quick Google search of the word turns up a definition of bitter as something that is "marked by resentment or _cynicism_," which is exactly how I meant the word, regardless of what you do or do not believe that it implies.
And I'm sorry if I'm taking this the wrong way, but that statement coupled with a query into my educational background rubs me the wrong way--like you're questioning the fact that I attend college at all, or perhaps seeking confirmation that I attend a low-quality community college so you could pass judgment upon me.
But anyway, the point of my original post was to encourage more of the skilled players (people who've been playing for a 2-3 years or more) to make more quick little things like the ones here: http://www.mejiro-japan.com/html/movie/ … _movie.htm in order to assist beginners.
I am by no means suggesting this as a replacement for the teacher-student relationship, that I completely agree is required for in-depth study of the instrument. I am suggesting that more introductory material be made available, and encouraging the skilled players to help make that possible with my full support. Maybe make the instrument just a little more accessible to the average Joe, and assisting in its already burgeoning popularity. If no one wants to, which from every indication the respected members of this forum have no inclination to, then that's perfectly alright, of course. It was the furthest thing from my mind to instigate rancor or disharmony in this most harmonious of forum subjects.
But just remember this: the spirits of the komuso who played only for the charity of others frown upon the privatization of their beloved instrument.
Haha, nah, I'm just Joshin'. This is the 21st century, man!
Another quick linky along the sort of lines I'm looking for...
That's a nice site with some great links in there, Ninjabathy. Thanks! If you ever want to get the ball rolling on that website I would do whatever I could to contact webmasters of other shakuhachi sites in an effort to pool information. You can contact me at the email in my profile.
Edit: That website links to http://www.bamboo-in.com/shop/honkyoku.htm, a website I found once months ago then lost somehow! Thanks for guiding me back there, Ninjabathy! The third link on that page for "Hon Shirabe" is outstanding instructional material. Exactly the sort thing I want to see everywhere!
Last edited by Noah (2008-06-09 18:45:43)
I'm a noob, but even noobs don't like being patro nised; I apologise if I offended you, I just thought it was important to say as forums can tend to get a little bitchy sometimes because people aren't face-to-face. Courtesy is often forgotten when you can't see who you're speaking to (and there is no risk of a slap in the chops...), and afterall, everyone is equal. If it helps, you may put it down to my being English and grumpy because I'm ill
lol, should I expect more because of my typo? doh....
Great idea, Noah. I'll be in touch. I'm off to bed now; don't burn me in my sleep, guys!
Okay, time for a breather. Ninjabathy, we often give new forum members the benefit of the doubt. After all, we're here to help those with sincere inquiries. We've given you a long leash here. Now, it's time for you to cool it and re-read the forum rules.
It's not "kind of okay to be rude" in this forum.
And no, everyone is NOT equal in this forum.
Some very knowledgeable and experienced people have patiently explained to you the complexities of learning shakuhachi. They have also clearly pointed out why it is unwise to learn by collecting notation and recordings alone. And why it is often difficult to find some material for free. If you are sincere about learning shakuhachi, and not here to primarily push an agenda, please heed their advice. Talk to your teacher about it and consider his advice. Learn from it. There is a lot of free information out there. Shakuhachi people are much more generous than you give them credit for. Use your imagination. With the right attitude, there are even more creative ways for the poorest of us to learn shakuhachi. Many of us have been through it and understand it well. But playing the victim and attempting to shame others into free services is disrespectful. It won't get you anywhere in any endeavor.
Hi Ninjabathy and Noah
Noah, you wanted some play-along videos for free. Do a search on youtube and you will find a variety of shakuhachi performances. Perhaps you can try to play along with them. I was just notified of one of myself up there if you like:
Of course videos on line are of shakuhachi of various lengths, so if you want to play along, you may have to buy a long shakuhachi!
Ishikawa Toshimitsu released 2 CDs of honkyoku all played on 1.8 sized shakuhachi. Both of you might be interested in buying them, if that is the music you want to study.
I must say that it appears to me that once one has mastered embouchure, fingering has little or no difficulty in shakuhachi, so the amount of coordination requruired to master the instrument, to me at least, seems less.
I learned classical guitar for a few years. If we talk about "mastering", I think the difficulty is largely in actually mastering "music", and the individual instrument is the vehicle. But in terms of "becoming good", I would tend to agree with Brian that shakuhachi is more difficult.
What you have said is interesting though. It could be easy to think that. I don't know anything about violin, but could you imagine someone saying "once you can use the bow, the fingering is easy".
One factor seems to me, that the better your teacher, the more clear it is that this is a difficult instrument. That is, the more contrast there is between the sound you make and the sound your teacher makes. And your ears will learn too. For example, if you go on holiday to China, you can try to read the phrases from your phrase book, and be baffled as to why no-one can understand you. It might seem that they are not even trying to understand you. But then you might realize, even though what you are saying seems SO near, to them it sounds totally different. They can't even guess what you are trying to say. Subtleties of intonation in their language, and so on, things which you were never accustomed to listen for. But to them, they change everything.
So in my opinion, learning shakuhachi is as much about learning to listen as it is about learning to play.
As an embarrassing illustration from my own experience, after I had studied perhaps a dozen sankyoku (ensemble) pieces for shakuhachi, I had got the hang of the timing, and the fingering. The only difficulty was the speed. So to learn a new piece took time, because my fingers had to gain the memory of the fast phrases. So I had to practice a lot. But other than that, it seemed it was not difficult. And as all the pieces are (more or less) very similar (in style and phrasing), it seemed like there was not much more to learn. Quite easy really, given enough time to practice.
I was studying also honkyoku but then I decided to focus all my attention on honkyoku. So I put the sankyoku aside, and I came to Japan to find the best honkyoku teachers. I studied diligently with Furuya-sensei, and eventually I had studied all the honkyoku of our lineage. Now, that doesn't mean the job is done! It is usual to then go back and study them all again, and keep doing that. But, at that time, I decided for then I would study the honkyoku more by myself for a while, and use my lessons to study something else. So, I decided to go back to sankyoku. I had not studied sankyoku with Furuya-sensei, so I wanted to study his style.
Well, I was surprised (gladly so). I came to realise that I had only been seeing the surface of sankyoku. Now there was a whole new world underneath - a whole multi-layered realm of subtlety and undiscovered nuance. I had not seen this before (even though my previous teacher has great nuance) because my ears were deaf to it. It was all the training I had done which enabled this new world to be uncovered to my ears and to my sense. And as I continue to study sankyoku, that process also continues.
Hopefully this can convey to you why people have spoken as they have hear on the forum. What it really means is, there is so much to look forward to, and, so long as you have the teachers to guide you, the journey into Japanese music is quite endless.
Last edited by Justin (2008-06-09 21:54:40)
I don't know that much about what's online but offline through using the old fashioned interlibrary loan system there is some information on beat patterns and note-hold lengths to be had for what I imagine would be a very minimal cost, Noah, in Christopher Blaesdel's book The Shakuhachi: A Manual for Learning in the chapter "Rhythm, Beats, and Counting"; I also seem to remember that the first volume of the Shakuhachi Annals has an explanation of the honkyoku Hifumi Hachigaeshi along with a copy of the score and detailed notes on how to play the piece. Ninjabathy stated in an earlier post that "I'm very interested by this not wanting to share thing."; on the contrary it seems to me that people on this forum have been quite generous with their advice and suggestions, almost bending over backwards in explaining and pointing things out. Just the fact that this forum exists at all for what is still a relatively obscure musical instrument is pretty amazing, many thanks to Brian and Ken. I rather liked what Musco said about trading something other than money for knowledge if one can't afford the cash for lessons; I think that some of the shakuhachi teachers would accept other forms of payment; I remember Riley Lee once saying that he never turned down a student who really wanted to learn the instrument because of a lack of monetary funds. As for the spirits of the komuso, I think we're probably taking a very revisionist approach when we speak of their charity; according to Sanford, for many ronin, the komuso fraternity must have been an "especially attractive choice" as it combined the elements of roadside begging, banditry, and religious retirement. Of course there may have been some drawn by the developing Zen theology but even they probably wouldn't have given free honkyoku lessons... I actually find it interesting that a lot of the information we have on shakuhachi isn't clear cut; trying to fill in all those gaps in historical and other knowledge is a lot of fun; if it was all there in one place it might not be quite as intriguing.
Daniel Ryudo wrote:
e if one can't afford the cash for lessons; I think that some of the shakuhachi teachers would accept other forms of payment; I remember Riley Lee once saying that he never turned down a student who really wanted to learn the instrument because of a lack of monetary funds. .
Riley also said that he did this on the condition that they study their asses off and not waste his time. He said the end result is that the student always either quit or appreciated the lessons so much that they found a way to start paying.
It it not true that when a teacher finishes a lesson, and goes not give the student notation, there probably are very good reasons for that?
I have found that after studying for a short time, I have more scores of wonderful music for shakuhachi, both Honkyoku and Gaikyoku than I ever thought possible. My issues regarding playing do not lie in the accessability of scores and playing information.
If information is required then try Tom Deaver's site http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~shaku100/index.html. He has posted what seems like huge catalogue of music and will assist people in procuring the scores etc. Al Ramos site also has much useful informataion as well as scores available. Monty Levenson's too.
It seems that if we practice patiently, more than one ever thought possible will show up.
Last edited by indigo (2008-06-10 20:44:17)
Re: guitar vs. shakuhachi. Guitar is easier. Much easier. Plenty of people reach pro level on guitar after playing for a few years, that never happens on shakuhachi. I play both instruments so I feel confident in saying this.
I have to agree with you. Now bass... another world altogether. It's seems so simple, four strings,25 frets(maybe more maybe less), press with one finger pluck with another. then you hear vic wooten, or les claypool or jaco, or maybe even charles mingus. I've found a lot of similarities between bass and shakuhachi. they're more alike than i ever would have guessed.