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#26 2010-01-08 19:53:26

Todd Frederick
Member
From: Dos Palos CA USA
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 70

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Last week I ordered the book Blowing Zen by Ray Brooks. I bought it used through Amazon Marketplace. It arrived today. $7.00 and in great condition, but there's a plus to this...

I was looking through the index and copyright pages and suddenly I came across this handwritten note written on the title page:

"To Bud

  Enjoy Blowing Zen

  Ray Brooks"

That was a well spent $7.00 smile

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#27 2010-01-09 06:40:17

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Nice. An autographed copy. cool.


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#28 2010-01-14 19:01:15

Todd Frederick
Member
From: Dos Palos CA USA
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 70

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

I was reading Jon Kypros' blog and under guides there is one about a "tongue trick" where by you use your tongue to fill the blow hole and, for me, it pushes my lower lip a bit forward. It's much easier than what I was doing to move my lower lip forward (less painful) and gives me something to do with my tongue.

http://members2.jcom.home.ne.jp/maekawa … 88:d3.html

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#29 2010-01-14 19:21:16

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Todd Frederick wrote:

I was reading Jon Kypros' blog and under guides there is one about a "tongue trick" where by you use your tongue to fill the blow hole and, for me, it pushes my lower lip a bit forward. It's much easier than what I was doing to move my lower lip forward (less painful) and gives me something to do with my tongue.

http://members2.jcom.home.ne.jp/maekawa … 88:d3.html

Isn't that supposed to be just for big flutes, like wide bore long Jinashi?


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#30 2010-01-14 19:35:35

Todd Frederick
Member
From: Dos Palos CA USA
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 70

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

I really don't know. I can't read the symbols in the text. I just followed the pictures.

I have an embouchure problem in that I need to move my lower lip a bit forward to blow notes and was moving my jaw to do that, but I can push my lip forward with my tongue using the tongue technique with much less pain in my jaw.

I was just trying this and I can blow the notes on all my flutes the first time using that technique rather than trying to find the right position for my jaw. I just need to practice and re-work pitch.

It works for me. I'm not so concerned about filling the hole since most of my bores aren't wide, but using the tongue to move my lower lip forward seems to work great.

I'd like more opinions on this. This method may help those who have difficulty finding a comfortable working embouchure.

PS:  I'd like to use this thread to share ideas for new Shakuhachi players and you all have been most helpful in that goal.

Last edited by Todd Frederick (2010-01-14 19:41:51)

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#31 2010-01-14 20:37:09

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Todd Frederick wrote:

I really don't know. I can't read the symbols in the text. I just followed the pictures.

The first time I came upon that page was a link from this site: http://shakuhachistuff.blogspot.com/200 … owing.html It has an OK description of what the pictures are about. That's why I thought it was a jinashi technique.

Todd Frederick wrote:

I have an embouchure problem in that I need to move my lower lip a bit forward to blow notes and was moving my jaw to do that,

That sounds OK...

Todd Frederick wrote:

but I can push my lip forward with my tongue using the tongue technique with much less pain in my jaw.

but not the pain part. The amount of movement required of the jaw for shakuhachi playing shouldn't be painful, but there are medical conditions that limit jaw movement.   

Todd Frederick wrote:

I was just trying this and I can blow the notes on all my flutes the first time using that technique rather than trying to find the right position for my jaw. I just need to practice and re-work pitch.

Considering that the technique is not widespread and that the blog that points to the pictures says it's for jinashi, I really think you may be spending a lot of time on what will turn out to be a failed experiment here.

I think I remember you saying you had problems getting a computer set up for online lessons, but I just had a lesson from Chikuzen and can easily see where even one lesson would be very valuable to you. He breaks down exactly where everthing, body, head, lips, jaw, tongue... needs to be in relation to one another in order to produce whatever kind of tone your trying to get.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#32 2010-01-14 21:21:51

airin
Member
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-17
Posts: 303
Website

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Another vote for a lesson from Chikuzen.  He's the man when it comes to working out the finer details related to effective embouchure.

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#33 2010-01-14 21:50:13

Glenn Swann
Member
From: Central New Jersey
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 151
Website

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

radi0gnome wrote:

Todd Frederick wrote:

I was reading Jon Kypros' blog and under guides there is one about a "tongue trick" where by you use your tongue to fill the blow hole and, for me, it pushes my lower lip a bit forward. It's much easier than what I was doing to move my lower lip forward (less painful) and gives me something to do with my tongue.

http://members2.jcom.home.ne.jp/maekawa … 88:d3.html

Isn't that supposed to be just for big flutes, like wide bore long Jinashi?

indeed, the text says that he had played "jitsuki" with ji shakuhachi for many years, but had a hard time getting anything from a wide bore jinashi when he 1st tried, and this is a way to play wide bore jinashi naturally, and be able to use breath properly from the tanden/hara/belly without overly straining, getting the lip closer to the utaguchi.. btw, he claims relaxed jinashi blowing is healthier than trying to play jimori loudly and straining, esp. for older people.

i would be concerned that with a regular size flute it might exacerbate the strong beginner's tendency toward flatness. in fact, i sometimes use it to bring out meri notes a little more...


I followed rivers, I followed orders,I followed prophets, I followed leaders
I followed rivers, I followed highways,I followed conscience,
I followed dreamers... And I'm back here,
and I'm back here... At the edge of the sky       (New Model Army)

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#34 2010-01-14 22:58:55

Todd Frederick
Member
From: Dos Palos CA USA
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 70

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

1.  As I mentioned before, I live about 200 miles from the nearest organic teacher (in Berkeley CA).

My wife has serious surgery coming up and since the medical situation in the USA is pathetic, I need to reserve all funds for that surgery. Once that is no longer a problem, I will consider lessons with a virtual teacher.

2.  Glenn...I really don't totally understand the terminology you mentioned (jitsuji, ji, jinashi, tanden, hara, meri notes and such) are way beyond my level at this time. I'm not Japanese.

I simply found that the placement of my tongue behind my lower lip helped. I did not intend to make a major issue out of this little discovery. It may or may not be effective in the long haul.

Again, I appreciate all of your suggestions and will do what I can to learn more about all of this.

I'm just a simple beginner. Oh, I'm also 68. will that qualify me as an "older" person? big_smile

Last edited by Todd Frederick (2010-01-14 23:00:27)

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#35 2010-01-14 23:01:35

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

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

I think that qualifies you as a "silver surfer", no?

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#36 2010-01-14 23:08:29

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

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Todd Frederick wrote:

I simply found that the placement of my tongue behind my lower lip helped. I did not intend to make a major issue out of this little discovery. It may or may not be effective in the long haul.

Strictly speaking, it's a bad idea, Toadosan, especially if done to the degree that the wide bore flute player did it. Your tongue should rest primarily
on the floor of your mouth, with the tip laying up just on the bottom teeth. There are special techniques where this is not the case, but the idea is
to try to keep your oral cavity as large as possible. I also think it'll make you tend to play flat.

One thing you might explore, if you haven't already, is moving your chin forward slightly, so that your teeth are more vertically aligned at the
front, instead of the bottom teeth being behind the uppers.


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

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#37 2010-01-14 23:53:10

Glenn Swann
Member
From: Central New Jersey
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 151
Website

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

"I really don't totally understand the terminology you mentioned (jitsuji, ji, jinashi, tanden, hara, meri notes and such) are way beyond my level at this time. I'm not Japanese."

was just translating the text from that page. you don't need to speak much japanese, but....
all terms you'll see with some frequency around here, and good to understand, and ones that work better not in translation...
some brief definitions:

ji= paste or filler used in bores to tune more precisely(on the bamboo, under the colored laquer)
jinashi= no (or little) ji, (nashi means none), basically just natural bore, either with or without laquer
jitsuki, jimori, jiari= all mean flutes with a good coat of ji in the bore
*jinashi and jiari are the 2 major distinct types of bamboo shakuhachi*
meri notes= flat notes (opposite, kari notes)
hara= the lower belly, from where you should be breathing, the same word as in hara-kiri(harikari) 
tanden= spot in the hara/belly a couple inches under the belly button, your center of gravity and in east asian thought center for vital energy, or ki.

Last edited by Glenn Swann (2010-01-15 00:07:55)


I followed rivers, I followed orders,I followed prophets, I followed leaders
I followed rivers, I followed highways,I followed conscience,
I followed dreamers... And I'm back here,
and I'm back here... At the edge of the sky       (New Model Army)

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#38 2010-01-15 11:28:53

Todd Frederick
Member
From: Dos Palos CA USA
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 70

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Edosan...I have been moving my lower jaw a bit forward and that's what finally allowed me to create sound and find an embouchure. I'm sure you are correct on this. I was simply interested in how easy it was to play using the tongue method but the sound was a bit different.

Glenn...Thank you for the information on the meaning of those words. I will copy that and it's good information for other beginners who visit this thread.

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#39 2010-01-15 11:31:51

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

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

I used to have a pretty good over bite.  As time passes playing the shakuhachi, it is becoming more and more non-existent.  Glad you broke through!


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#40 2010-01-15 11:44:01

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Todd Frederick wrote:

Edosan...I have been moving my lower jaw a bit forward and that's what finally allowed me to create sound and find an embouchure. I'm sure you are correct on this. I was simply interested in how easy it was to play using the tongue method but the sound was a bit different.

Glenn...Thank you for the information on the meaning of those words. I will copy that and it's good information for other beginners who visit this thread.

I think the tongue thing is good for larger opening flutes too.Whatever gets you started though is good for now. You just don't want to get into a bad habit thing.


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#41 2010-01-22 21:26:14

rikkomu
Member
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2010-01-19
Posts: 13
Website

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Todd Frederick wrote:

Airin, I like you're blog. I will follow it. Gives me inspiration. You are far ahead of me. I'm just beginning to feel comfortable with the flute, am finding the tone much faster, getting better every day, more consistent, and longer tone for the first 4 notes. A live teacher is important but can't be done for me now...I'm getting lots of help from another member of this forum, plus video and CD's. It's slower, but will work. I'm trying to learn Japanese notation. I'm in no rush. Every day's triumph is good for that day, one day at a time.

I live in a very rural farm area of the Central Valley of California. When I bought the house, I mentioned to a friend that I'd like to set up a small rock and sand garden but she replied that the neighbors might wonder why I was trying to "grow rocks."  A shakuhachi is as alien here as is a zen garden. big_smile

I agree with you Todd. Airin's blog is quite luring and inspirational.  I am also new in this venture. I found interesting aids on the Web before finding my sensei(s). It is: http://www.japanshakuhachi.com/gettingstarted.html
It was very helpful. Hope it aids in your quest.
All the best


We shall never cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot

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#42 2010-02-02 06:23:26

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

In time you will find that your tongue can be used for other things like speeding up airflow(by holding it closer to the roof of your mouth) and by changing its position you can effect the sound too.So, behind the lips would stop all of this for sure.


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#43 2010-02-02 12:18:36

Todd Frederick
Member
From: Dos Palos CA USA
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 70

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

I may have mentioned this before but sometimes I will whistle when I blow. Need to watch that tongue! big_smile

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#44 2010-06-04 15:04:52

jynx_474
Member
Registered: 2007-08-10
Posts: 15

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Todd Frederick wrote:

Matt...good ideas. I've gotten to the point where I'm doing that too. Thanks.

Where did the avatar come from? I tried to post one but couldn't get the size correct. It's nice.

i personally use irfanview for resizeing and photoshop for other graphic manipulations
just resize your pic to 160 x 160and you should be good (save it in jpeg format)

Last edited by jynx_474 (2010-06-04 15:05:20)

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#45 2010-06-12 20:22:32

Todd Frederick
Member
From: Dos Palos CA USA
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 70

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Sorry to have vanished. My laptop literally fried. A friend built a fine XP desktop for me that is the best I've used. I'm trying to get this new unit up to speed.  Have not practiced sakuhachi as I should. Will get back to it. Good to make contact again. I'm inspired by you. Todd

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#46 2010-10-06 11:08:55

Soon-to-be Innocent Fun
Member
Registered: 2006-12-06
Posts: 3

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

Bah, posted in the wrong thread... Great first post, huh? smile

Last edited by Soon-to-be Innocent Fun (2010-10-07 12:22:07)

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#47 2010-12-30 12:22:48

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

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

rikkomu wrote:

Todd Frederick wrote:

Airin, I like you're blog. I will follow it. Gives me inspiration. You are far ahead of me. I'm just beginning to feel comfortable with the flute, am finding the tone much faster, getting better every day, more consistent, and longer tone for the first 4 notes. A live teacher is important but can't be done for me now...I'm getting lots of help from another member of this forum, plus video and CD's. It's slower, but will work. I'm trying to learn Japanese notation. I'm in no rush. Every day's triumph is good for that day, one day at a time.

I live in a very rural farm area of the Central Valley of California. When I bought the house, I mentioned to a friend that I'd like to set up a small rock and sand garden but she replied that the neighbors might wonder why I was trying to "grow rocks."  A shakuhachi is as alien here as is a zen garden. big_smile

I agree with you Todd. Airin's blog is quite luring and inspirational.  I am also new in this venture. I found interesting aids on the Web before finding my sensei(s). It is: http://www.japanshakuhachi.com/gettingstarted.html
It was very helpful. Hope it aids in your quest.
All the best

Along with others on this site,I too am an absolute beginner although i do have  a year ow two on the Anasazi and Hopi flutes under my belt.
But the shakuhachi is new to me and I'm in the same boat as others. I can run the scale up and down and get into the second octave (playing a Perry Yung 1.8 Earth)and am having fun learning the nuances of this delightful flute.

My 1.8 is a Jinashi and so therefore not used by the teaching community from what I understand.So therefore I would have to buy another flute for study with a teacher. Possibly there are exceptions and I have had teachers offer online cam study,so that is always an option as well.

All I can say right now,a mere 2 weeks into this journey,is that I'm enjoying it immensely and will continue on until the joy ceases,which I hope is never!!

Jim

Last edited by J Ross (2010-12-30 12:41:51)

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#48 2010-12-30 16:30:44

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3208
Website

Re: New Shakuhachi Players: Discoveries and Transitions

J Ross wrote:

My 1.8 is a Jinashi and so therefore not used by the teaching community from what I understand.So therefore I would have to buy another flute for study with a teacher.

If it's a jinashi that is in tune that is not a problem. You can study on anything, including a PVC shakuhachi. As long as it's somewhat in tune.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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