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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:59 pm 
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I'm interested in this book on the Shakuhachi & meditation type music:

Blowing Zen: Expanded Edition: One Breath One Mind, Shakuhachi Flute Meditation

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1475200587/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1475200587&linkCode=as2&tag=advanwebamazocom

But I don't want to learn Shakuhachi. so I'm curious if I could play all the notes of a Shakuhachi with my whistle? I googled on this but I get different scales for the Shakuhachi. Some say it's minor pentatonic, which would be easy on the whistle, I do that on the whistle to emulate my native american flute. Others say it's major pentatonic. Which is possible too. But I'm not sure.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:31 pm 
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The shakuhachi usually plays a minor pentatonic scale, usually in D: D F G A c d.

To play that on whistle, you could half-hole the Fnats, or you could transpose up a tone: E G A B d e.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:32 am 
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stanton135 wrote:
The shakuhachi usually plays a minor pentatonic scale, usually in D: D F G A c d.

To play that on whistle, you could half-hole the Fnats, or you could transpose up a tone: E G A B d e.


Thanks for confirmation on that. This is what I do for the NAF. I have some NAF backing tracks (Jam Tracks) and the keys fall in line with my whistles. for example Eminor I play on D whistle.

For the shakuhachi, if the base key is in D then I think I could rip the CD to mp3 and use Transcribe to pitch adjust them up a tone to E and then play on the whistle. I think I'll order the book and give it a try.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:45 am 
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Or you could play the D pentatonic minor scale on a low C whistle.

But I wonder (and I don't know): does the music for Shakuhachi really correspond to what we call pentatonic minor? Are there not significant pitch variations in the scale, a different micro-tuning, so to speak, apart from the large amount of expressive note bending used?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:15 am 
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Or, now that I think of it, if you get serious about playing shakuhachi music on whistle, you could order a five-hole, minor pentatonic shakuwhistle from a custom maker such as Mr. Bracker.

Not something I'd feel the need for myself; just thinking aloud here.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:57 pm 
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cunparis wrote:
But I don't want to learn Shakuhachi.

I'm frankly curious about that. Seems to me that the music and the instrument go pretty much hand-in-hand. I don't know about you, but if I were to attempt shakuhachi music on any other instrument, I'm pretty sure I would find the results to be less than, well, right, for lack of a better word. There are aspects of shakuhachi playing that are essential to its music and that can't be truly reproduced on a whistle or transverse flute.


But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I suppose. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:23 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
cunparis wrote:
But I don't want to learn Shakuhachi.

I'm frankly curious about that. Seems to me that the music and the instrument go pretty much hand-in-hand. I don't know about you, but if I were to attempt shakuhachi music on any other instrument, I'm pretty sure I would find the results to be less than, well, right, for lack of a better word. There are aspects of shakuhachi playing that are essential to its music and that can't be truly reproduced on a whistle or transverse flute.

But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I suppose. :)


I can certainly understand that. My interest in this book, which covers many aspects of shakuhachi, is more in the meditative aspect. I like the idea of closing my eyes and relaxing and playing some music on the flute and I need some guidance here. If I could find a book like this for the whistle or traverse flute then I'd probably get that. I'm also a fan of the author's other books (ToneWay Method - which is about learning to play by ear). So I'm sure this book will be good.

So I guess it's more about using a tool I already have to go along with the book. My main instrument is violin now so I don't have the time to learn yet another instrument like shakuhachi. My violin playing is pretty bad and requires all the practice time I can manage. :boggle:

Finally, I have a NAF that I rarely play, since I learned that I could play the same scale on my whistle. the whistle gives me a bigger range and a leading tone below the root. My NAF is Gminor and I prefer the Eminor I can get from the D whistle. Hence I prefer the whistle over the NAF. I never really got into NAF music so playing on a whistle is ok for me. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:08 am 
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Ive made quite a few bamboo transverse flute with shak tuning, 4 holes up front 1 in back,, slightly larger and oval blow hole, You can get a LOT of the shak. elements without the trouble of the rim blown flutes.

for me,, to play decently on the rim blown flutes ,, you cant let your technique get too rusty ,, or its almost like starting over.
ymmv

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:24 pm 
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The shakuhachi meditation music, in many ways is inextricably connected to the Zen tradition. That doesn't mean that everybody who plays shakuhachi practices Zen however, the basic principles of Zen are universal and apply well to all endeavors. My guess if you find anybody that is good at something, a baseball player, a tuba player, a writer, you'll find that they are using some principles that are part of Zen.

There is absolutely no way that you can play Zen shakuhachi music for mediation on a NAF. While the Shakuhachi is a pentatonic instrument, some of the music has little to do with the pentatonic scale. The shakuhachi music's convention was developed as a way to imitate nature and as a way to heal and provide a pathway for the kundalini among other things. The shakuhachi is capable of performing microtonally and playing 1/4 tones and many of the music ornaments can simply not be played on a NAF.

All that being said, you can apply all the principles of Zen to a NAF just as you can any art. One of the classic books is Zen and the ARt of ARchery. http://www.ideologic.org/files/Eugen_He ... rchery.pdf I liked it much better than Blowing Zen and it can be applied to any endeavor. And it boils down to one basic principle, if you want to succeed or be an expert, stop trying.

Summary. You can't play shakuhachi music on a naf but you can apply the same principles and create your own music.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:03 am 
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hidancity wrote:
All that being said, you can apply all the principles of Zen to a NAF just as you can any art. One of the classic books is Zen and the ARt of ARchery. http://www.ideologic.org/files/Eugen_He ... rchery.pdf I liked it much better than Blowing Zen and it can be applied to any endeavor. And it boils down to one basic principle, if you want to succeed or be an expert, stop trying.

Summary. You can't play shakuhachi music on a naf but you can apply the same principles and create your own music.


Hi, thanks for the information. I downloaded the PDF and will definitely read that. I can see how that Zen concepts could apply to any area in life.

For the meditation part, I've tried meditation in the past and my mind always wonders. So I thought that if I tried musical meditation that it might help keep my mind still. The problem is I don't have any idea of what to play. I'm not sure if you read the same Blowing Zen that I linked to above because there are at least 3 books with this title at Amazon, but if you did read the one by Carl Abbott I'm curious if this could help me to learn to play meditation music?

I understand about the microtones.. from what I've read about the bansuri it is designed to allow microtones that are necessary for Hindustani Classical Music. I don't have a real indian bansuri either though. ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:40 am 
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My apologies, I read the other Blowing Zen book and not the one that you posted.

Well, you've encountered the most common problem with any form of spiritual practice. Quieting the mind. But I think the flute is a wonderful tool to work on your concentration skills. A meditation is really just focus and being able to put all the problems of the office and worries of tomorrow.

A drum has been used for this purpose for Centuries through many different cultures. Doesn't make a difference if it is a Bodhran, middle eastern frame drum, native American drum... etc.... Cultures use it for trance states. Which is a fancy way of saying a very very focused state. But when I play flute I get into that state too.

A lot of people just play long tones and become very very present to simply the movement of the breath. Just play one note and focus on a very clean, pure attack. Start softly and bring up the volume to a medium volume, and allow the sound to fade into absolute nothingness. Just one note. You'll find it's not as easy as it sounds. You can do it with a metronome a drum beat. 8 bars or 16 beats and then continue doing it for longer if you have the lungs.

There is free metronones online if you don't have one. And a cheap frame drum or native American drum can be bought for very very cheap.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:13 am 
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hidancity wrote:
My apologies, I read the other Blowing Zen book and not the one that you posted.

Well, you've encountered the most common problem with any form of spiritual practice. Quieting the mind. But I think the flute is a wonderful tool to work on your concentration skills. A meditation is really just focus and being able to put all the problems of the office and worries of tomorrow.

A drum has been used for this purpose for Centuries through many different cultures. Doesn't make a difference if it is a Bodhran, middle eastern frame drum, native American drum... etc.... Cultures use it for trance states. Which is a fancy way of saying a very very focused state. But when I play flute I get into that state too.

A lot of people just play long tones and become very very present to simply the movement of the breath. Just play one note and focus on a very clean, pure attack. Start softly and bring up the volume to a medium volume, and allow the sound to fade into absolute nothingness. Just one note. You'll find it's not as easy as it sounds. You can do it with a metronome a drum beat. 8 bars or 16 beats and then continue doing it for longer if you have the lungs.

There is free metronones online if you don't have one. And a cheap frame drum or native American drum can be bought for very very cheap.


Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for the tips. I have a bodhran and djembe so I can try some meditation with the drum too. The other thing I want to try is using one of the tanpura / tabla apps for the phone (like iTablaPro). I like the droning of the tanpura.

Lots of good ideas. for long tones I can also practice these on violin that would be good practice for me.

I guess I don't need the book, at least not at first. I'll see what I can do.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:40 pm 
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hidancity wrote:
And it boils down to one basic principle, if you want to succeed or be an expert, stop trying.


Reviving another long dead thread here, but I have to go "hmmmm" over that. Zen practice is characterised by strict discipline and formal exercise. There is a point at which the archer has practised his formal routine of drawing the bow and loosing the arrow so much that he can literally do it with his eyes closed, but he doesn't simply waltz into the practice hall and loose an arrow at random, hoping it'll hit the target. The blind archer effect is the outcome of years of disciplined work.

If the OP wants to do meditation, why not do simple zazen? Your mind wanders - well, that's the nature of the mind. Concentrate.

The shaven-headed man hath spoken :party: .

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:09 am 
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A Shak tuned Transverse flute is now for sale in instrument exchange :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:48 am 
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hidancity wrote:
...A lot of people just play long tones and become very very present to simply the movement of the breath...


I am comfortable meditating with a diatonic flute and other western instruments. I can see where a pentatonic scale might ease the jump to a meditative mode for other folks.

Interesting thread.

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