Sunday, May 29, 2011

May’s Phoenix Arizona, Shakuhachi Get Together!

stone pathWe had our May shakuhachi get together yesterday, what a wonderful time. There’s still only 3 of us but I’m hoping for more in the future.

Just as learning the shakuhachi is a long term investment so is building a shakuhachi community here is the Phoenix Arizona area. Both are more more of a path then an event.

June looks like a very busy time for us, so we’ll have our next get together in July on Saturday the 9th. Please pass it along to others how might enjoy joining us then.

Our time together was a mix of catching up with each other, what we’ve been doing since we’ve last met, of course playing shakuhachi and a lot of talk about the Rockies Shakuhachi summer Camp that is getting closer. Two of us are attending the camp and hopefully next year we can get a couple more. This is an amazing event for shakuhachi players of any level. While there I’ll be posting updates to this blog and face book via my android phone.

Best wishes to all and please pass this blog onto others who might enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Reminder: Our Next Gathering, Saturday 28 May at 10:00 AM

AZpanAnother reminder, the next gathering of Phoenix AZ Shakuhachi Friends will be Sunday 28 May.
Shakuhachi players of all levels are welcome, even if you've never played but are simply interested in knowing more about the shakuhachi come join us.
Contact me if you'd like to join us, there's no cost and again everybody is welcome.

Moving From Flat to Correct Pitch

Shakuhachi101Most new shakuhachi players play flat so learning how to get the correct pitch is really important.
So here’s some ways that might help you to move from too flat to correct pitch. As a new player you want to correct your pitch as soon as possible. It’s very bad to get in the habit of playing flat, much harder to correct when you’ve been doing it for a long time.
To start with you need to know what pitch is correct or you’ll never know when you get there. Get a recording of someone playing individual notes at the correct pitch or use a tuner. They both serve a different role. The recording lets your hear what the correct sound is external to you and the tuner will let you know when your sound is correct.
Try doing exercises to learn how to increase your ability to bend the pitch up and down. the initial way is with a head tilt that should change the angle of your flute in relationship to your mouth/lips. Be careful tilt your head only, don’t move the root end uf the flute up and down.
Them try changing the pressure of the flute against your lips. If you’re jamming the flute against your lips this can cause your flute to be flat.
The next reason and this is a big one, there’s a chance that you are not blowing hard enough and with insufficient diaphragm control. When beginners are flat it's often because they are not blowing correctly. Your breath should be from deep in your chest and stomach. This goes hand in hand with having a good embrasure.
Speaking of embrasure, simply by tightening and loosening lips, no head movements you can change the pitch. Try playing a note for example on ro:and then by tightening and loosening lips, (again no head movements) change the pitch. This is not easy but it will help you develop a lot of control.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Video of WATAZUMIDO DOSO ROSHI (1910-1992)


"So in that sound you have to put in your guts, your strength and your own specialness. And what you are putting in then is your own Life and your own Life Force. When you hear some music or hear some sound, if for some reason you like it very well; the reason is that sound is in balance or in harmony with your pulse. And so making a sound, you try to make various different sounds that imitate various different sounds of the universe, but what you are finally making is your own sound, the sound of yourself."

- Watazumi Doso Roshi