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I would probably play a silver flute more out of tune than the shakuhachi. I think a lot of the tuning comes from diaphragm support.
Huh? You play with more support than most silver flute players. You'd be an absolute monster on it if you picked it up.
For us mere mortals, silver flute is much easier to play in tune because all the notes have holes for them. Even a way out of tune beginner is usually less than a quarter tone off each pitch.
I meant I think it's easy to play out of tune on any wind instrument and it's probably up to whatever you've practiced on the most.
Playing in tune is a life long quest regardless of the instrument. Pitch requires a lot of attention from any level of player. Keith Jarrett had a piano tuner working on his piano during intermission at one of his concerts. The search never ends.
When you are taking a lesson you play together with the teacher. The notes you make and the teacher makes are either in unison or they're beating against each other hideously or slightly. When you nail it, the notes you play and the ones the teacher play blend into each other in such a way that they disappear into each other. It's a beautiful thing. That's also when you and the teacher know that you "get it" for that particular piece and the pitches, vibrato, etc. that are required for it. It's not only that the teacher can see what you're doing wrong and correct you, as people have mentioned. It's also the Pavlovian element of hearing that you are off and adjusting to the teacher's pitch and phrasing. Nothing need be said. You can't have that experience on your own, on Skype, by watching youtube, reading a book, reading a post here on the forum, playing with a sequencer or any other way. This is why face to face lessons are the essence of the learning process and the rest are supplemental. Expecting the supplemental sources to replace the essential source of information is like taking vitamins without eating actual food
I completely agree. I had a lesson with Ralph Samuelson two days ago. Being surrounded by the warm rich sounds in the room was like bathing in a mineral spring. It was rejuvenating.
Ralph mentioned that he is exited about playing more shakuhachi these days. He is collaborating with Steve Gorn for a dance concert on April 4th at Tenri Cultural Center. (more to come). He is also teaching new students now. Those in NYC who have been on the fence about taking a live lesson should not miss this golden opportunity.
Last edited by Yungflutes (2010-03-20 10:46:58)
I remember struggling through this same thing when I started shakuhachi. All the unwritten notes and phrases in a shakuhachi score. There are so many. That's why studying with a teacher is so key to shakuhachi. And each teacher will teach the same piece differently from another teacher; and the pieces changes through time even with the same teacher. So the shakuhachi learning process is very organic and flexible. I love that about shakuhachi! Definitely something to get used to.