A blog about shakuhachi without music wouldn’t be complete. As I haven’t recorded any shakuhachi cd yet (I did record with other flutes in some cd for children though), the recordings I put on this blog/ website are my own amateur practice recordings, my apologies for the quality. You will find them in the Music section, or in the Repertoire. These are the same pages, only the classification differs: alphabetic order in Music, style order in Repertoire. I’ll be adding new music and updating these pages regularly in the coming months, but they are no posts. That means that the updates won’t appear on the blog page. So check them out regularly!
“If you have only five minutes in your day to practice your shakuhachi, play RO” (Fukuda Teruhisa).
Otsu-no-RO is the lowest note on the shakuhachi, all holes are closed. Practicing RO is very good your for your breath and embouchure control, and also to concentrate on the way you hold your flute. It’s a good exercise to be aware of the tensions of your body and try to remove them, and find the just balance between relaxation and keeping the proper shape of the sound. It is recommended to blow RO at least 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes. Longer is of course possible, as long as you stay concentrated and don’t cramp. Blowing Kan-no-RO is also an interesting alternative I’ll develop later.
I found a few months ago on the website of Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos some very interesting variations to the practice of RO-buki. They give the possibility to train a large range of sounds while practicing only one tone… a shakuhachi achievement… Here are his tips, combining blowing and dynamics training: Continue reading Ro-buki
5 good reasons to take lessons from a certified teacher
- You will play at the proper pitch and don’t sound half a tone lower, blaming it on the flute.
- You will learn the specific techniques which make it unique.
- You will learn the traditional repertoire which is exclusively transmitted from master to student.
- You will meet fellow students, share your experience and play together.
- You will make progress.
When do you practice?
I usually practice in the morning. I feel fresh and it energises my day. I’m often very tempted to start other things first, but if I don’t, I never regret it, I’m more concentrated.
When I had a steady job with office hours, I used to practice before going to work or/and during the lunch break. In the evening, I had still to much to do and after that, I was too tired. I did it so because my job started quite late in the morning to late in the evening. If it had been the other way around, I should have done different.
There is no best time to practice, it depends on your daily schedule and obligations. As an amateur, you might have limited possibilities. As a professional, I try to practice when my energy is high and I can fully focus.
Playing music is quite physical, so you have to build up your condition like you’re sporting. It’s better to play for a short time regularly rather than once in while extensively.
Playing in the morning energises your day. Playing in the evening helps you to calm down, to let go of your day.
And you, when do you practice?