World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat
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I think the idea of 'tradition' is somewhat loaded in the sense that there are many traditions with respect to the shakuhachi. Much may depend on the particular school of thought and practice you are talking about, or that which the person answering your question may subscribe to. And of course, if you are talking about the first person ever to pick up a piece of bamboo and blow into it only to discover that it made a sound that was pleasant and tried to repeat it and did, then anything that came after was related, but different...evolved...interpreted...improved.
In terms of instrument making, my sensei's father, Tsurugi Kyomudo, who has been making jiari shakuhachi largely in the Kinko style for over 50 years, mostly used his hands when it came to measuring. He didn't rely on external gauges. However, his instruments definitely evolved. I suspect that with each new maker, regardless of their training, the instrument as a body evolves in some way.
Ive practiced karate for 14 years. My friend James has never practiced karate or even played sports in school. Yet he can give me a run for my money when we fight. Yes I have some (tricks), and experience to set them up, yet he is athletic and strong and focused more so than most and he makes me earn it if I win.
Everything is like this, some people just get it without much study. Yet even those individuals would benefit from study / though probabaly at first the act of studying initially would make them get worse since now they actually have to think about what they are doing in order to make themselves better. But after awhile when they can stop thinking again and start doing...they would be much better than before.
Oh, also, I want to take pro lessons, but can't ever afford it. A Japanese master initiated me into the world of shakuhachi for a couple months, thats it. And one lesson from Ronnie Seldon when back in the states that I couldnt afford. Other than that I have been playing for 7 years on my own and with friends that ask me to teach them. I make flutes out of burdock root, bamboo, knot weed, rivercane, branches of trees, elderberry bushes, etc. I have no style, yet my friends and fam ask me to play for them alot. I play drums and flutes in a band. My advice for people that have no teacher is to free yourself from thoughts of what others think and just do what u like to do. eventually you will get good. you may even start out good if your talented. Make one note sound so good you dont want to stop playing it forever and then when you feel it play another note and make that one perfect according to you and go on to the next note when it feels right. play fast and hard like a guitar master tearing it up and then fade into one long note and play with that note untill you feel like tearing it up again.
we are all rogue players