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Shakuhachi/Singing

 
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Jam
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PostPosted: 2013-09-22, 22:41    Post subject: Shakuhachi/Singing Reply with quote

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So long story short, I ended up singing for my band last year and have been taking singing lessons since.

The more I do it, and the more lessons I have, the more correlations I find between singing and playing shakuhachi. Here are some that have occurred to me:

Good posture is key.

Deep breathing, and more precisely breathing from the diaphragm.

As a concept, keeping the airflow constant and adjusting tone/volume etc in the mouth/throat.

When singing difficult/intricate phrases, to give ample attention to each individual note, rather than just trying to sing through it.

Focusing on tone quality rather than volume.

Working on shaping sounds, like in honkyoku, where the note comes in quietly and builds to a crescendo, and then tails off delicately afterwards.

Singing high notes quietly and with control is difficult!

Staying relaxed.

Most importantly for me recently, it takes lots of practice, and a lot of time!

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of any off the top of my head... Anyone else here find any other similarities with other instruments?
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2013-09-23, 20:22    Post subject: Shakuhachi/Singing Reply with quote

I'm happy for you to discover that, In my humble opinion, every musician should sing... even drummers! A great percussion master, Baba Olatunji, gave us a golden rule: "if you can't sing it, you can't play it". I interpret this as: the music needs to come from inside of you... the fingers are just manifesting what you are hearing inside, so it follows that one should be able to sing it (the quality of the singing is not an issue here, but it helps Smile ) If you can't, then there's no clarity "inside" and the playing will be "empty".
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2013-09-24, 13:46    Post subject: Shakuhachi/Singing Reply with quote

I agree with all that stuff except:

"Focusing on tone quality rather than volume"

Developing a loud voice or powerful shakuhachi sound improves your control over tone quality.
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Jam
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PostPosted: 2013-09-24, 22:39    Post subject: Shakuhachi/Singing Reply with quote

Yeah I wasn't so clear with that one, what I was getting at was as a beginning singer, I was trying too hard to be loud and not paying enough attention to good technique and production. Now I can sing with better technique I've been encouraged to try and sing louder, without risk of ruining my voice. I could be wrong though, I am still very much a beginner when it comes to singing!
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