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Should a shakuhachi maker be a player?
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 06:49    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

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Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
Jon Kypros wrote:
On a personal note I state all over the place that "I am the only shakuhachi maker in The US that has reached the level of teacher within one style", however, I also realize that others have reached this same spot whom play with a beginner embouchure or weaker breathy tone.


I don't think that's true. David Duncavage has a license and there might be others I can't think of at the moment. Perry teaches although I suppose that's why you say "within one style". Teaching beginners it doesn't matter what style you are. That only matters after they learn the basics.


Michael Komatsuzen wrote:
Glenn Shouyuu Swann and I are both qualified to teach and have made/make shakuhachi. I am definitely more a player than a maker however, though I had been thinking recently about making more flutes.


Brian and Michael - Someone else pointed that out about two years ago regarding David Duncavage and my claim of being the only shakuhachi maker living in The US who is also at the level of teacher within a style. I forgot to mention that I emended it to read "I am the only professional shakuhachi flute maker" etc. as David is not a shakuhachi maker by profession. Wording is tricky that way and ultimately I have always felt that claims as well as endorsements or accolades are insubstantial especially with Jinashi as each one is different and no one flute can truly represent a flute maker. Thankfully videos and demos can do most of the talking or proving instead of tricky words.

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
I would say it's more important to be trained in shakuhachi making than playing to make shakuhachi although both are important. Even so some makers who are not trained in making still make good shakuhachi by divine intervention. Cool


I agree and disgree in that a new fledged flute maker does need information on many things to even begin, however, there is definitely a point, at least with Jinashi making because that is my experience, where you just have to read the bamboo using your intuition which is backed by experiences of making shakuhachi as well as playing ability. I remember Ken LaCosse used to mention the intuitive side of Jinashi making on the BBQ.

To elaborate a bit, Jinashi often require lots of exploring and problem solving as each Jinashi is a unique puzzle, without getting too poetic about it.

CharlesKoeppen wrote:
I think I've observed the depth of the hole seems to make a big difference too.


That is correct. The thicker the bamboo or the deeper the chimney depth the smaller the hole is acoustically.
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HORST XENMEISTER
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 07:08    Post subject: Igredients not imprortant, taste imprortant. Reply with quote

Mit ein Wurst, igredient not imprortant. Can be meat, insekte, leber, blut oder other thing on floor of sausages factory. Can even be hund or cat fleisch or turtle.

Spice imprortant.



Similar with maker, can be fat stupid man or sexy fraulein. Not imprortant. Tastes imprortant.




We are not hostage. We eat wurst oder blow shakuhachi of choice.


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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 08:05    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

John Neptune flutes are ultra-custom flutes and if that's what you want to play they are just right. Taimu are similar to certain Myoan flutes but even those flutes would be considered out of the ordinary. Nevertheless if you want them they are the best. Remember at one time simply having ji would have been "ultra-custom". But it must have answered a musical question or they wouldn't have come up with it.

x moran wrote:
There is a big problem in making "proprietary" or ultra-custom shakuhachi.

If a player is a master player, she/he probably has learned to play on traditional shakuhachi and probably has half-way decent access to shakuhachi so that they can find one that fits them. They don't need specialized or ultra-customized shakuhachi.

If the player is a beginner or intermediate and has limited or no access to a good (i.e. qualified) instructor, the problem of having an ultra-customized shakuhachi made is that they will very likely have an instrument made to accentuate weaknesses or mistakes in their technique.
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x moran
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 12:16    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
John Neptune flutes are ultra-custom flutes and if that's what you want to play they are just right. Taimu are similar to certain Myoan flutes but even those flutes would be considered out of the ordinary. Nevertheless if you want them they are the best. Remember at one time simply having ji would have been "ultra-custom". But it must have answered a musical question or they wouldn't have come up with it.

x moran wrote:
There is a big problem in making "proprietary" or ultra-custom shakuhachi.

If a player is a master player, she/he probably has learned to play on traditional shakuhachi and probably has half-way decent access to shakuhachi so that they can find one that fits them. They don't need specialized or ultra-customized shakuhachi.

If the player is a beginner or intermediate and has limited or no access to a good (i.e. qualified) instructor, the problem of having an ultra-customized shakuhachi made is that they will very likely have an instrument made to accentuate weaknesses or mistakes in their technique.


I wasn't talking about professional musicians or people who simply aspire to play weird music on weird flutes. Or both, such as in your case.

And if you can afford a Neptune flute you can have him make it with an optional Shika-no-Tone button.
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x moran
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 12:40    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

Jon Kypros wrote:
... Someone else pointed that out about two years ago regarding David Duncavage and my claim of being the only shakuhachi maker living in The US who is also at the level of teacher within a style. I forgot to mention that I emended it to read "I am the only professional shakuhachi flute maker" etc. as David is not a shakuhachi maker by profession. Wording is tricky that way and ultimately I have always felt that claims as well as endorsements or accolades are insubstantial especially with Jinashi as each one is different and no one flute can truly represent a flute maker. Thankfully videos and demos can do most of the talking or proving instead of tricky words.


The point is, go ahead and make all of the unique flutes you like for the style of flute that you play. But its not going to do a beginning or intermediate student of traditional shakuhachi music any good and it might really screw up their learning experience for traditional shakuhachi playing. If they want to play the John Krypos' Unique Interpretation of Jin Nyodo Style Ryu then they are in for a good time — if you commit to give them lessons, that is.

However you may want to avoid the pissing match statements of "I'm the only" this or that. It's silly, boring and boastfully rude if it comes out of the mouth of a Japanese master and even worse coming out of an aspiring player born and raised outside of the native tradition.

Learn a little humility, it will go a long way.

(Btw, Horst, I love the trip wire.)
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 16:29    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

x moran wrote:
But its not going to do a beginning or intermediate student of traditional shakuhachi music any good and it might really screw up their learning experience for traditional shakuhachi playing.


That is incorrect Chris. If a shakuhachi I make is not suited to a certain style I would either be able to inform that person of this fact or their teacher would be able to assess the instrument which is why I offer 30 days to audition and I am also the only shakuhachi maker in the world, to my knowledge, that offers lifetime trades. Since no two Jinashi are the same there is bound to be a shakuhachi of my making that will suit them and their chosen style just fine. I was stuck with an expensive Jiari at one time that was not well suited to where I wanted to go with my playing, to put it nicely. I could not do a thing about it. I would never do that to someone else.

Jinashi are all different. Nature provides the variety. Unless you alter them heavily like Neptune the bamboo decides most of the outcome. A maker can, or in some cases, should only make few adjustments to the bore. Your friend Ken LaCosse expressed this as "the path of least resistance" in the context of working the bore. While I would like to be able to take credit for making a Jinashi shakuhachi flute suited perfectly to style "A" or style "B" I could not. The bamboo decides most of the character. I am just collaborating with the bamboo. It sounds pretty or waxing poetic but in reality it is the truth.

x moran wrote:
However you may want to avoid the pissing match statements of "I'm the only" this or that. It's silly, boring and boastfully rude if it comes out of the mouth of a Japanese master and even worse coming out of an aspiring player born and raised outside of the native tradition.


Stating facts is not boastful or rude. I just state facts like:

I am also the only professional shakuhachi maker in The US who has reached the level of teacher within a style.
I am the only person offering lifetime free repairs on my root ends.
I am the only person offering lifetime trades.

If I have studied diligently within one style to the point of being able to get my teaching license then that is just something I have done. I am also a professional shakuhachi flute maker. I will be glad when this statement is no longer true because it means shakuhachi is growing in The US.
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CharlesKoeppen
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 18:55    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

Jon Kypros wrote:

Stating facts is not boastful or rude.


It's fine for advertising purposes, on a forum like this it does sound somewhat boastful in my opinion. Not that boasting is all that bad, if I got a teaching license I'd probably mention it a lot too.

Jon Kypros wrote:

I just state facts like:

I am also the only professional shakuhachi maker in The US who has reached the level of teacher within a style.


True, but the statement ignores the fact that some makers are studying with teachers who do not distribute licenses and that others use input from highly qualified players and other makers for guidance. It's a great fact to point out on an advertising brochure, but in a public forum you can expect public input.

Jon Kypros wrote:

I am the only person offering lifetime free repairs on my root ends.
I am the only person offering lifetime trades.


Not bad. One could make a point though that other makers have respectable trade-in programs (which they are flexible with) too. And I'm not sure, but I think most would fix their jinashi with topical bindings for free if they cracked.

Jon Kypros wrote:

If I have studied diligently within one style to the point of being able to get my teaching license then that is just something I have done. I am also a professional shakuhachi flute maker. I will be glad when this statement is no longer true because it means shakuhachi is growing in The US.


It certainly is an accomplishment. I'm curious, what does your teacher think of the radically cut chin rests on some of your flutes? Another question is about the hole placement on your longer flutes (where you keep the same distance between the holes on as on a 1.8), it's been pointed out elsewhere on this forum that this seems to defy physics, how does that work? Also, since you've been talking some about hole size lately, and that acoustically the hole size effects cross-fingerings a lot, do you really find that you have that much flexibility with them? Has your teacher assessed these flutes?
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x moran
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 18:58    Post subject: A dog is a cat, except larger and it barks - really! Reply with quote

Here's the only boast in all of Shakuhachidom that carries any real authority:

I am Horst. I am Zen Master. Thus Horst Xenmeister.
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Michael Komatsuzen
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 19:01    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

Does advertising on this forum coincide with the ESS's "charitable" status? Maybe a separate section of the forum is in order for those who want to advertise and such?

Wording IS tricky - particularly when advertising.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-11-22, 20:30    Post subject: Should a shakuhachi maker be a player? Reply with quote

Hi Michael

Yes it's a slippery slope. In this case Jon posed a straw man question in order to have an excuse to promote himself at the expense of other USA makers. But it has been rebutted somewhat by the other members.

This topic has gone off into questionable territory. I think I'll close it. If anybody wants to resume aspects of this topic in a new topic, please do that.

Regards, BR
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