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Hello from Monterey CA
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JohnMount
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PostPosted: 2011-08-27, 09:06    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

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Hello, I am brand spanking new to the forum and to the Shakuhachi, My name is John Mount. I live in Monterey CA. I have been playing Native American flutes since about 1990; I always wanted to try the non-fipple flutes but frankly I was intimidated. It just seemed so impossible. I recently decided to just give it a go, so I bought a cheap Xiao off ebay, and I was surprised to find I could actually make a sound with it. I always thought the Shakuhachi was the most beautiful flute, but I still didn't think I could do it. So I got the mojave style 'prayer rock' flute from Michael Graham Allen, aka Coyote Oldman, and while I loved and it challenged me enormously, after a while I thought I might as well go ahead and try the shakuhachi. Just today I received my first shakuhachi flute, a 1.4 root end Oregon madake bamboo flute from Kodoan (http://kodoan.org/07KS005.html) which I realize is not the 1.8 D that I will need eventually to take formal lessons, but it seemed like a quality flute for the price and I really just wanted to get started.

I do want to take lessons from a teacher. I have played many instruments in my life: guitar since the 70s, and sax, clarinet, silver flute, NAM flute, piano, banjo, etc., but I've never taken lessons and though I've enjoyed playing I've always felt limited and inadequate. I'm not naturally great at any of them, and I've never had the time, motivation, discipline, skill, knowledge, or whatever to master anything. I am hoping that with this instrument, this time, it will be different. But I know that I really need to find a teacher.

But I'm just about to hit 50 years old; I'm not exactly bursting with youthful energy; I work 10 hours every day and commute and have no time to practice. The closest teacher to me, as far as i can determine, is Phillip Gelb in Oakland, and then John Singer in Berkeley. They both seem like amazing teachers, but that's a 2 hour drive each way at least, which I can imagine doing every now and then, but every week? Yikes ! I can't imagine they would think of me as the ideal student.

Well, I am hoping to learn as much as I can from this forum, and from other online sources. The Internet is an amazing thing.

Here's a link to my youtube channel. I tape a lot of the local bands around town, doing my part to help get the word out. This one is me playing my favorite F# NAM.

http://www.youtube.com/user/JohnEMount?feature=mhee#p/u/72/v8uJqUZThcM


Have a great day! Smile

john
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LowBlow
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PostPosted: 2011-08-27, 10:19    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Welcome JohnMount,

try a combination face to face lessons and skype. This works very well for me. But your teachers should play the same stile (ryu). Which makes learning from both easier. But two teachers means doubling your practice time because you will work on different pieces with them. Don't expect anything without serious practice and a lot of time spending on it. Enjoy. Keep Blowing. It is very rewarding.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-08-27, 11:00    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Hi John

I'd say just begin with skype lessons!!!
If you are not taking face-to-face lessons with anyone on a regular basis, I think the ryū doesn't matter. It is far more important to get started and also to maximise your precious practice time by getting guidance and thereby try to avoid building up bad habits etc.

The good thing about skype lessons is that you can choose your teacher from the whole world... and you can be at home (or at work depending on how much the playing will bother others). The minus sides includes the teacher not being able to correct your posture by touching nor try out your flute.... but skype lessons are great! Good luck!
Okay
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JohnMount
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PostPosted: 2011-08-27, 19:47    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

thank you!
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-08-28, 15:05    Post subject: Re: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

JohnMount wrote:
Hello, I am brand spanking new to the forum and to the Shakuhachi, My name is John Mount. I live in Monterey CA.

Have a great day! Smile

john

Hi John, Great to meet you here. I was just in Monterey Bay last month. I wanted to see the Aquarium but when I saw the bay, I opted to played the shakuhachi on the beach off Canary Row instead! The kids thought the Aquarium was awesome though. Smile


Have a great day!
Perry
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JohnMount
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PostPosted: 2011-08-28, 19:50    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Hi Perry, thanks! Yes, the bay here is so beautiful. I visited here for years from San Francisco and finally decided I had to stay, and I've been here 15 years now. I grew up in New Jersey though, so I always think about coming back east some day. I wish I had joined the forum a month ago, I might have had the opportunity to meet you in person (and maybe wrangle a free lesson! haha). I of course have read about your work, it would be great to meet you so if you ever come back, let me know! I actually almost bought one of the flutes you had on eBay a few weeks ago, but someone else snatched it up too fast. So I got the 1.4 instead. But it's a nice enough flute and will help me get started. Anyway, thanks, and have a great day!

john
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Jarle Jivanmukta
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PostPosted: 2011-08-28, 22:11    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Let me share how I play in a busy schedule. I took up shakuhachi last year, I'm 43, no previous musical knowledge, have a full time job and now two small children, two dogs, cat, wife, old house and a big garden to keep:

I bought a flute that I always can carry with me, first a shakuhachiyuu, plastic, and later a wooden onepiece flute.
Whenever I have some spare time, say a few minutes here and there, I play the flute.
The idea is that the flute is never wrapped up, so it takes me just one second to grab it.
(I also have a better flute that I play when I really practice)


For example I manage 3-10 minutes of playing while waiting for the train after I drive my daughter to kindergarden, and head for work. If the train is late I get to play more!
The important thing for me is to always bring it around, as there open up various "windows of opportunity", when I can choose to play.

Skype lessons work well for me, I live in Norway and a teacher in the US.
I stick to a few pieces and try to learn them, rather than choosing new pieces all the time.


And I try make sure each practice is rewarding me with calmer mind, so I always look forward to next chance to play

Good luck!

Jarle
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JohnMount
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PostPosted: 2011-08-29, 03:17    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

thanks for the welcomes and advice all. Skype sounds like the way to go, along with perhaps some personal lessons during trips up to the bay area when I can make it, if that kind of thing will work for the teacher. I'll be looking into it.

Jarle, I also play whenever I can. I'm afraid to carry the flute around with me, after all I've read about the fragility of bamboo, but I have found time at home. I have been doing the long tones thing with my other flutes for a while now, and I've started it with the skakuhachi. I read about Ro-Buki and I will try that next.

John
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-08-29, 14:25    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Hi Jarle,
Jarle Jivanmukta wrote:
Let me share how I play in a busy schedule. I took up shakuhachi last year, I'm 43, no previous musical knowledge, have a full time job and now two small children, two dogs, cat, wife, old house and a big garden to keep:

So when do you do yoga?! Smile


Quote:
...Whenever I have some spare time, say a few minutes here and there, I play the flute.
The idea is that the flute is never wrapped up, so it takes me just one second to grab it.
For example I manage 3-10 minutes of playing while waiting for the train after I drive my daughter to kindergarden, and head for work. If the train is late I get to play more! The important thing for me is to always bring it around, as there open up various "windows of opportunity", when I can choose to play.


I do the same. It's tough finding time to play for myself. I play on the subway platform often while waiting for the train. I carried my #1 flute with me on the road for 7 weeks this summer. Up and down the coast of California and from beach to beach across Rhode Island. We road tripped, camped, went to Disneyland etc...there were a few agonizing moments when I couldn't find my flute and thought it was lost! But life is short, that's why I brought my #1.

JohnMount wrote:


Jarle, I also play whenever I can. I'm afraid to carry the flute around with me, after all I've read about the fragility of bamboo...


John, Bamboo is one of the strongest natural materials known to mankind. It has a tensile strength superior to mild steel (withstands up to 52,000 Pounds of pressure psi) and a weight-to-strength ratio surpassing that of graphite. Modern skyscrapers in Asia are erected using bamboo for scaffolding. It just has a propensity to crack longitudinally if left exposed in a dry environment, or exposed to rapid temperature change like going from a cold room to the hot trunk of a car. If stored properly, you should not have to worry about your flute cracking.

BTW, I met up with an old friend in Seaside last month and plan to meet up again next year so maybe you'll get that free lesson! Laughing
- Perry
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Last edited by Perry Yung on 2011-08-29, 18:36; edited 1 time in total
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-08-29, 18:05    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Jarle, move to Denmark from Norway... and you will have more time playing shakuhachi on the platforms waiting for delayed DSB (Danish rail) trains... Okay
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JohnMount
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PostPosted: 2011-08-29, 18:23    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

That would be awesome Perry! Looking forward to it!

John
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mattrn
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PostPosted: 2011-08-30, 00:39    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Hi John,
On your list of Bay Area teachers you forgot Masayuki Koga - I would recommend him. If your going to do skype lessons, I don't think you could get a better teacher than Kiku. Let me know next time you're in SF - maybe we can play together.
Matt Moore
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JohnMount
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PostPosted: 2011-08-30, 05:09    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Thanks mattrn, thats great. Its good to have choices. I do wish I lived up there again sometimes, Im so far away from everying now. I will look into skype with kiku as you suggest and see if perhaps she has a preference for an intermittent, in-person teacher. I will let you know if I get up to the city. Thank you!


John
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Jarle Jivanmukta
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PostPosted: 2011-09-06, 21:16    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Much OT

Perry Yung wrote:

So when do you do yoga?! Smile
- Perry


What are you? Yogapolice or what?

For real: After I started playing shaku 12 months ago, I practice much less yoga, my shaku playing gives me lot of what I before got from yoga. My wife can even see it if I had a good shaku practice, saying that I look like after a long pranayama (yoga breathing practice).
But alot of shakupractice also makes arms, shoulders and neck need a regular yogapractice (and the same with carrying children), so the last months have been with an increase in yoga practice, and that feels very nice!


Kiku Day wrote:
Jarle, move to Denmark from Norway... and you will have more time playing shakuhachi on the platforms waiting for delayed DSB (Danish rail) trains... Okay


I will see after tonights soccer match if I will even talk to a Danish person again......
So far it doesn't look good!
You might not know it but Denmark is making huge investments in their railroadsystem, we envy you!

btw: Do you have a not-danish passport? Maybe I must make an exemption for you!
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-09-11, 17:37    Post subject: Hello from Monterey CA Reply with quote

Hi Jarle

I only saw your answer now.
Will you speak to me again after DK did beat N 2-0 in football? Danes actually played very well. I saw it as I was at work. Mr. Green
i am supposed to come and do a gig in Oslo for the UN day on the 24th October.... if you still speak we could see if we could have some blow time together. But I am only there very short - unfortunately!

So far nothing to envy when it comes to railroad... but yes, we have invested - also very wrongly in our Intercity4 that has been delayed and doesn't work....
Yes, I do have a Danish passport - and only Danish. I lost my Japanese passport since both nations do not accept double nationality for adults. No American passport for me either at present. So it goes.....
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