If the basic pentatonic scale may be used in folk music and children songs, all the scales used in traditional honkyoku contain meri notes. These notes are necessary to play the entire chromatic scale (half-tones), but also already for the C Major diatonic scale (B pitch and E pitch).
I have noticed that meri notes create quite some tensions for shakuhachi students. So this is the topic and goal of the coming months’ meditations: make friend with meri notes and release excess tensions.
The more relaxed you are for playing meri notes, the easier to produce them! Let’s have a closer look.
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To practice these meditations, you need to be able to play the basic pentatonic scale in the low and medium register (Otsu and Kan) and to know the meri-kari technique on shakuhachi.