The Shakuhachi/art/breath control/spiritual

Posted by: karl314285

The Shakuhachi/art/breath control/spiritual - 08/18/09 02:32 AM sad...either y'all loved the blurb on Japanese Woodblock prints or (more sadly) NO MA folk are interested in the well rounded arts a classic Samurai was to practice, the simplicity/perfecting the exacting eye(or Ear)/and the ritualized entertaining of guests required to compliment and enhance the warrior as whole. Ikibana, rock gardens, calligraphy, music,and the tea ceremony just a few.

The Shakuhachi has a history, an initial form and the form samurai could use as a weapon as well. Names of distinct portions and has masters who choose the bamboo to harvest,carvers, testers, and a host of types of individuals who played this instrument (Buyer be patient, no reed but an exact angle carved as the blowing end called the "utaguchi", i'm no musician, picked mine up at a ritzy art fest, cheap too compared to modern custom mades, why low price....

It is a bear to get the first octave and then there is a second octave obtained first on the "root flutes" or those whose base was cut and shaved 3 circumferential root rings (the noggin knocker samurai used as a weapon) which has a tapering of the bamboo bore, in combination with exacting lip formation and flute angle as second octave is had....IF YOU EVER LEARN HOW TO MAKE A NOTE, hahhahh took me a while and sadly the dude I was boxing as I was gettin good at scales on both octaves closed my eye and punched my mouthpiece out with the bonus of causing a lower incisor to fully exit my lower lip, cutting a nerve, now sensation is been back but cant quite purse lips just right.
This is not an easy pick n play flute expect lots of practice time, thus lower price cause no one was buying, got lucky, new root flutes start at~$600 now, mine is near 22 years old (storage and cleaning moisture from bore after playing as well as paranoid protection of Utaguchi to avoid chipping thin edge later), More than scales needs must find Internatonal Shakuhachi Society accreditated teacher. But the rich sound and the variations well worth the time to get just 1st note.

There are four forward finger holes and one rear, so the flute has a pentatonic scale, starting out easiest if no holes covered, held lightly index and pinky will cover holes and two middle fingers between holes gently hold the Shakuhachi.

The lips form a gentle smile and the proper shape of the purse portion is a loose to tight "Shakuhachi embouchure", lower 1st octave sounds are looser and second octave tighter, to play scales in both octaves also requires slight alterations in lip proximity and flute angle, notin' to do but practice. Good luck and patience.

Store flute in what resembles a small sword bag. after playing a moisture removal cloth is fed through,the "Tsuyutoshi"

theres more but another intrepid soul may have to contribute, sorry I skipped history and types as well as the healing properties of the songs of the Zen monks called Kumosu, or that repentant samurai wore goofy baskets and begged out of sorrow for the lives they took.

there is a part two, may-hap one day i can finish

Karl. Peace. You get what you pay (and wait) for...but if not the determined to practice type one may spend thousands to hear "passing wind"
Posted by: karl314285

Re: The Shakuhachi/art/breath control/spiritual - 08/27/09 07:46 PM

Hi Me, some look, few look, none wonder...oh well post while I can...

Initially the Shakuhachi was played by Zen Buddhist monks as a form of spiritual healin' (not the Barry White version) to the Ill and Infirm, the monks had a kickin title....Komusso--"Priests of Emptiness"

/if interested in what these songs of spiritulal, talkin spiritual healin sound like...there is a CD one can order from most music stores (if it's not already in the ethnic/world beat section)....cannot recally thre performer but the CD title is simple..."Komuso"...only Shakuhachi but skill so far beyond my paltry notes/

The Monks were ascetic and to leave no personal connection of the healing powers of sound...welll, ok the may have been weirder than me...They wore rattan "Hats" which covered from top of head to bottom of face, enough to allow the flute to be played. The weird spiritual Emptiness Hat is called a Tengai (not Tengu,mind you).

I have only supposition fact , just guessing...after the warring states period many ronin were left cause all manner of trouble, some though had seen so much death they took Zen Buddhist vows(Zen Buddhism was brought to Japan by a Chan Sect Chinese Zen Monk named Dogen {japanese name}and if you visit the monastery I've been to I believe the Roshi John Doordi has (with help) completed a stupendous translation of the 300 Koans of Dogen, Just get the book some how)....oh wandering again,,
well the repentant Samaraui took to the life of the Komusu, odd timing , the flute WAS made frome the middle of the bamboo then (as ...noted...last post) began to be made from the much thicker bottom area of the last 3 roots, (served well for self defense and as ronin, Monk or not may have made some enemies...put a basket over your worries...just speculation..

There is an international society and , as usual, variety of styles....
some play or the perfect note, others play melodies and komuso is still prevalent.

DANGER...I got mine cheap 20+ yrs ago, if the blowing edge(utaguchi) gets chipped can be fixed, for a long wait and more yen than a million prize hen.

theres stuf about cleaning the inside of moisture acquired when playing and yet there are rules to keep it moist if not playing too often, go figure...suprized theres no sageo to require ceremonial vs. healing knots....thats a lot for now

***remember you can at least enjoy Komuso by CD, thats te title (partiallly)

Karl. Peace.

Breath control...maybe later.