P Mauriat
Antigua Winds
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Shakuhachi

  1. #1

    Default Shakuhachi

    I was searching Garzone on the tube and I found this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVo3V...eature=related

    I've heard the sound before but never knew the name or anything. I really dig the sound, its a nice flavour.

    Anyone have one, played one? Experiences?
    Mistakes don't cost anything, just time and money.

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sunny Southampton, UK
    Posts
    19,463

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Kymarto who sometimes posts here makes them I think.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Kymarto who sometimes posts here makes them I think.
    Thanks, hopefully he'll chime in. Or I'll have to send him a nice email.

    You played one before?
    Mistakes don't cost anything, just time and money.

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeonum Randall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wilmington, Delaware (formerly Fukuoka Japan)
    Posts
    3,729

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    I play, and they are all hand made, so you can get a real wide spectrum of instruments. Basically it is very hard to play. The Japanese say that it takes a couple of years in order to get a sound, but that is an exaggeration- I got a decent sound in about 5 minutes of farting around with it.

    I believe one Japanese instrument mass-produced a plastic version of a shakuhachi, which was easier to play...maybe Zen-on?
    Soprano: Martin Handcraft stencil- American Professional Altos: Yanagisawa A-pattern 9937 sterling, Saxgourmet Model 6, Cannonball 98, JK SX90 straight, Viking M21 Swing Sonic, TJ Prototype Sterling Silver, Vintage King C-mels: Aquila Sax matte black nickle Tenors: King Super 20 Silversonic, B&S Sterling Medusa, Ref 54, Buescher 400 TH&C Bari: JK SX90R satin silver, Maxtone flat matte laq. I am not a paid endorser for ANYTHING!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    I play, and they are all hand made, so you can get a real wide spectrum of instruments. Basically it is very hard to play. The Japanese say that it takes a couple of years in order to get a sound, but that is an exaggeration- I got a decent sound in about 5 minutes of farting around with it.

    I believe one Japanese instrument mass-produced a plastic version of a shakuhachi, which was easier to play...maybe Zen-on?
    Where did you get a hold of one, and learn? Self taught? Where did you first find out about them?
    I'm curious
    Mistakes don't cost anything, just time and money.

  6. #6
    sandy cameron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,094

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    I learned of the shakahachi, (means 1 ft. 8 in.), in the mid 60's from a Canadian music prof. He studied the end blown flute in Japan. I took a course of lessons and started to learn how to read the Japanese musical notation. It was interesting but I never followed up on it. Last year, I met a childhood friend who has made a couple of shaks and gives the occasional lesson. He lives in Victoria. BC. and sounds pretty good on it.

    The instrument is made from the root end of a fairly thick piece of bamboo. The inside is smoothed out a polished to perfection. There's a little "nick" at the top of the piece which you blow over and it takes a bit of practice to find just the right angle, etc. Played by a master, they can sound incredible.

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Member rleitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,393

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Shakuhachi players are all a bunch of blow hards

    http://shakuhachibeat.blogspot.com/2...r-lack-of.html
    Martin "Dick Stabile" Tenor: Barone Jazz 7*/GW7

    "The spiritual life is built upon a commitment to truth telling and truth living. As master jazz musicians, [John Coltrane and Miles Davis] presented their spirituality within the reality of cool." --Farah Jasmine Griffen and Salim Washington

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    2,965

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquitania View Post
    Thanks, hopefully he'll chime in. Or I'll have to send him a nice email.

    You played one before?
    Ding! Here I am.

    Traditional shakuhachi are made from the root end of madake bamboo. Originally there simply had the scepta between the sections opened up, so that the bore was essentially whatever the inside dimensions of that particular culm of bamboo happened to be. And the holes (five of them) were placed for aesthetics, not for accuracy of intonation. These were solo instruments, blown for meditation, and so they didn't have to be in tune.

    Sometime around the turn of the 20th century, they started being used in ensemble, so that intonation became more important. Therefore makers started filling the inside of the bamboo (generally too large for good response in the higher notes and not the right shape for accurate octaves) with a kind of putty, and constructing a bore.

    So they were traditionally all handmade, including the bore profile, which led to significant variations in the way they played and their intonation (and still does). It is therefore quite dangerous to buy one without trying it. Much of the stuff being sold on eBay is crap, and even what look like fine old traditional flutes, made in Japan by actual shakuhachi makers, can vary tremendously in quality.

    Recently Monty Levenson, John Neptune and Tom Deaver, as well as some Japanese makers, have taken to making cast-bore instruments. These are relatively cheap and generally play quite well. But bamboo is tricky stuff and cracks quite easily, especially in dry climates, or where temperatures vary a lot. While cracked flutes are generally repairable, it isn't really cheap.

    Very good alternatives for learning are the Shakuhachi Yuu, a decent plastic instrument, and wooden shakuhachi made in Japan, which generally sell (at least here in Japan) for the equivalent of about $200. Don't expect to find any kind of decent bamboo instrument for under $700 minimum, at least not unless you can spend time in Japan browsing the flea markets, etc.

    They are not actually so difficult to blow, but they are difficult to play well traditionally, since almost everything is based on subtlety--with only five holes, alternate notes are achieved by very precise half-holing, and embouchure position to shade the note. Traditonal music makes use of various breath attacks and difficult vibrato techniques, as well as precise embouchure control--nothing like the rather fixed embouchure of Western flute.

    They come in various sizes, shakuhachi (being a measure of length meaning 1 shaku and 8 sun) play in D. Generally sizes run from 1.1 shaku to 2.7 shaku, each decimal place being a semitone. "Jinashi" shakuhachi do not use putty, but rely on the shape of the bamboo to form the bore. They are often not so well in tune, and only play around two octaves well, but have a "woodier" sound appreciated by certain people. "Jiari" have bore made of putty, and generally have a brighter sound, and good ones can play three octaves minus a couple of semitones in the third octave.

    That's for starters.

    Toby

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Thanks for that!

    Pete mentions that you make them?
    Is he correct?
    Mistakes don't cost anything, just time and money.

  10. #10
    elmiguel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA and Boston, MA
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    I don't mean to potentially hijack the thread, but I wonder if this would make for a reasonably good substitute for an actual shakuhachi, while still using standard concert flute fingerings?

    http://www.shakuhachi.com/Q-Models-Headjoint.html
    S - Yani S991, Drake SoS 8, RSJ 3H Filed
    A - Ref. 54, Drake VR Jazz 8, RSJ 4S Filed
    T - '70 Mark VI, Drake NY Jazz 8, RSJ 4S Filed/Gonzalez 4

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    2,965

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Quote Originally Posted by elmiguel View Post
    I don't mean to potentially hijack the thread, but I wonder if this would make for a reasonably good substitute for an actual shakuhachi, while still using standard concert flute fingerings?

    http://www.shakuhachi.com/Q-Models-Headjoint.html
    Resurrecting this thread.

    Yes, I made them in the past, no time at the moment.

    I visited Monty and tried his shakulute headjoints. They work well and do give the blowing feel of a shakuhachi to the standard flute, and it is quite different than a normal flute headjoint, including the sound. You can also do standard shakuhachi techniques, including meri and kari (kind of like rolling the flute in and out to vary the pitch and the tone), plosive sounds, etc.

    What you can't do is all the half-holing and shading that is possible only with non-keyed fingerholes; however this will give a whole different tone-color to your flute playing. Be aware, however, that all endblown flutes like this are going to play sharp in the third octave, although you will be reasonably in tune up to F3 or so. I have an okuralo (playing it in my avatar), which is basically a Boehm flute with a metal shakuhachi head, and I really like it. Monty's shakulutes sound almost exactly the same. You'll need to get some kind of thumbrest for the right thumb to support the instrument vertically; I think Monty has something for that.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Shakuhachi

    Brian Ritchie from Violent Femmes plays. He lives in Hobart, Tasmania and does some collaborations with a guy I play with occasionally.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •