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What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi
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ntimperio
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PostPosted: 2011-04-12, 02:11    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

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1. Do you want to perform publicly?
Yes! Though, after reading some of these comments I'm feeling way under-qualified having played for mere months. I play as I walk down the street from my office to my mechanic. I play on my lunch breaks. I play as I walk to, around, and back from the park. I play as I travel to and from convenience stores. I really enjoy playing and walking, playing and watching the freeway, playing and watching the river. I do not play when I visit office buildings or stores, somehow that feels like trespassing. (thank you Yuu for being so durable!)

2. Do you want to perform professionally?
I want to retire young and wealthy , and play for myself (unfortunately this is just a dream).

3. Do you aspire to play like professional shakuhachi players?
I aspire to learn everything my teacher will teach me. This will give me a good set of tools and nice repertoire to play with.
I also aspire to ad-lib in the style of Tairiku's `Blues for Aida' some day! That would be amazing. If I can be the `Sonic Youth of Shakuhachi' to myself I will be pleased.

4. Do you want to play for spiritual fulfillment?
I play to turn off my busy analytical mind, to relax, and to communicate with my kitty cats.

5. Any other expectations?
Realize improvement over time.

6. No expectations?
I wish!

---
Thanks for posting these questions! It was fun.
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David Earl
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PostPosted: 2011-04-13, 03:39    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

beautifully put ntimperio
I would expect nothing less from a Spokanite!
I was born and raised in Spokane.
Nice to see you here.
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Jarle Jivanmukta
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PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 11:25    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

x moran wrote:
What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Question

1. Do you want to perform publicly?

When my teacher says my playing is good enough, I will love to!

2. Do you want to perform professionally?

That is not important, I will not work towards making a living out of the shakhachi.

3. Do you aspire to play like professional shakuhachi players?

If it means to aspire towards playing very well, the answer is yes!

4. Do you want to play for spiritual fulfillment? (If so, what does that look like to you? Describe that for us the best you can.)

Yes, to experience those moments of being, when melting my mind with the sound and the flute and the movements, to experience states when fluctuations of the mind is fully absorbed, to play gradually more challenging pieces with "flow".

5. Any other expectations? (All except 'attracting girls', because we all know that shakuhachi makes you guy-players real stud-muffins and makes women-players into Ultra-Wonder Woman, so let's leave the mating motivation aside for now.)

Actually I would love to attract girls!!!! Specially my wife of course, but even other :-)
And to have another way of being outdoors in nature, and feeling closer to Nature.

6. No expectations? (If so, please tell us, to the best of your ability, what having no expectations for your shakuhachi playing looks like?)

All the above is good if it happens, however, if I get to play around 30 min 1 hr daily, and 2 times weekly very focused, practicing, I guess it will be fine. No more expectations.


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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2011-05-13, 23:06    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

x moran wrote:
What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Question

1. Do you want to perform publicly?


No thanks. I did that for about a decade and was unable to get over the stage freight. I can only imagine but it must take even more concentration and abandonment to play this instrument and tradition of music, than blues, rock n' roll or jazz? It's a wonderful thing for those who are born for it, though. Besides, at my age I might die of old age before I am ready to play shakuhachi before an audience (I'm nearly 53). Laughing

Quote:
2. Do you want to perform professionally?


Again, I doubt I would ever be in a position to play shakuhachi professionally. I certainly don't desire to do so. I used to play out on bansuri flute with my friends (on sitar and tablas), when we weren't doing a fusion- jazz or New Age gig. But I never quite sounded as good as when I was playing alone, in a centered, meditative state. For me the worlds just didn't cross over enough for it to be a realistic way of making a livelihood.

Sure, I could still knock out a few blues gigs but one should come to know oneself. It's not really my path. While nothing is impossible and you should never say never... I am actually aiming for something else, altogether, by taking up this most sublime musical practice.

Quote:
3. Do you aspire to play like professional shakuhachi players?


Yeah, who doesn't? Of course, without the proper training, natural proclivity or decades of experience... this is most unlikely. Although, I am grateful for all of those who do play professionally. I honor their light and bow before their mastery. Inspiration is often born from witnessing such fine individuals in person. Inspiration which generates an almost contagious aspiration. Thank you all, who do this service.

Quote:
4. Do you want to play for spiritual fulfillment? (If so, what does that look like to you? Describe that for us the best you can.)


That's the ticket!!! For me, the shakuhachi holds a threefold purpose. First, to learn the art, as it is so very beautiful. Second, to follow the process as it teaches me more about breathe and how the union of body, mind and spirit, are brought together into one seamless whole. Thirdly, I believe the shakuhachi is truly a vehicle into realms and states of consciousness, which are beyond what I think I understand about music, myself or even the existence of the universe.

I really can't describe what it looks like to me... but I can hear something most transcendental from it's haunting tones. I do FEEL it is both, an opening and an emptying of the self who fuses into it's subtle character. To me, the gift given by these unique bamboo flutes, is that which teaches one to merge within the formless void of the eternal Tao, yet also to freely dance through a universe of scintillating soundscapes, so enchanting I am nearly erased by it's natural purity. In a manner of speaking.

Quote:
5. Any other expectations? (All except 'attracting girls', because we all know that shakuhachi makes you guy-players real stud-muffins and makes women-players into Ultra-Wonder Woman, so let's leave the mating motivation aside for now.)


No. I've learned to release expectation, as it is just another way my ego seeks to capture that which is beyond my comprehension. I do hope to listen carefully and train myself to release my soul, through the medium of this instrument. Let's face it, all flutes carry us to places we have yet to find within ourselves. In this way, flutes are quite special. But the shakuhachi has a powerful message to give and I do hear it's alluring call. I am drawn like a moth to the flame. Okay

Quote:
6. No expectations? (If so, please tell us, to the best of your ability, what having no expectations for your shakuhachi playing looks like?)


I see embracing the playing of this instrument as partly magical, partly an advanced methodology to study and partly an avenue towards Self Realization. I've heard the voice of the Divine, through the music of other shakuhachi players and have faith I will eventually learn to understand it's deep spiritual resonance. Yet, I cannot know or expect anything at all. Expectation is part of the mental chatter I seek to silence. It is I alone that must change and grow. The shakuhachi is already one with the Tao. I humbly ask the flute to guide my unsteady breath, towards some clarity and ideally, an awareness of this present moment... to be here now.

I will add that I am searching for that still moment of emptiness, where I am fully undone and the sound of the flute is free and unencumbered by my awkward assertions, efforts and illusory desires. This would be pure bliss!!! So yes, admittedly, I do have shakuhachi aspirations. I wholeheartedly aspire to play well, yet, I have no real expectations. Hey, how could I expect anything, when I know so very little? Wink



Sincerely, Jon Palombi
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spiralofhope
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PostPosted: 2011-06-01, 22:34    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

Quote:
1. Do you want to perform publicly?


No. Or if playing in public I'd rather be invisible.


Quote:
2. Do you want to perform professionally?


No.

Quote:
3. Do you aspire to play like professional shakuhachi players?


No. I aspire to play like and as myself.


Quote:
4. Do you want to play for spiritual fulfillment? (If so, what does that look like to you? Describe that for us the best you can.)


Not as such. More below.


Quote:
5. Any other expectations? (All except 'attracting girls', because we all know that shakuhachi makes you guy-players real stud-muffins and makes women-players into Ultra-Wonder Woman, so let's leave the mating motivation aside for now.)


Attracting gir.. oh wait.

For years now, I've understood a link between several physical and mental states. Calmness, clarity, relaxation, posture, breathing, attentiveness and such.

  • I studied some aspects through Systema.
  • I spent some time with the piano, poking around and considering checking out the Alexander technique. I had some basic talent, but I was unable to mentally map my abilities with a computer keyboard to a piano keyboard, and I gave up.
  • I did a bit of Pilates and considered Yoga.


Because I've had too much time in front of a monitor, I had been searching for a non-visual way to combine several physical and mental components. The shakuhachi does this quite well. I also like the movement component, and this is how I practice.

-

I've intuited everything I know, except for a few things:



I've only practised a dozen or so times in the last couple of months. I have no trouble picking it up and immediately playing a note, doing scales and even a fiddling with a basic fingering and breathing exercise tune that just came out of me one day. I have some specific issues that I'm just now beginning to shape into things I can ask for specific help on. Which is why I'm here. Actually I'm most especially looking for beginner songs to play.

So my "expectation" is to just be able to pick up a shakuhachi as the raw idea that it is, and absorb within my personal toolkit. To "just know how to play it", as an expression of myself, so to speak.

My first flute probably should have been tuned to itself, to completely remove the concept of making traditional music.

-

I'm also considering making a beginner video series to explain all the nuances I figured out. When in the right mindset, I'm very good at explaining. I bought a nice microphone which would be spectacular for this: Blue - Yeti.


Quote:
6. No expectations? (If so, please tell us, to the best of your ability, what having no expectations for your shakuhachi playing looks like?)
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JohnMount
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PostPosted: 2011-08-31, 10:39    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

What do I expect? An interesting question.

Honestly I secretly expect that I will be fully enamored of the instrument for a while, and that I will play it every day; I will think about it all day, and day dream about playing it very well; about how I will practice properly and take lessons from a great and inspiring teacher, and become quite good, and even perform in front of people sometimes and have an audience applaud rapturously and then carry me off on their shoulders into the streets, shouting "hip hip hooray!" but that when the day dream is over I will do what I have done in the past with guitar, piano, harmonica, Native American flute and many other instruments - that is, I will play for a while, dream about becoming good, never actually take the lessons, never quite learn or practice properly, and eventually settle for a mediocre skill level that is better than nothing but never quite satisfying. I will chalk it up to age and exhaustion and busyness and lack of natural talent or passion or whatever, and that will be that.

I am really hoping to change that pattern, this time, with this instrument. The shakuhachi is so beautiful to me, and when I play end-blown rim flutes, like the shakuhachi or the anasazi/mojave style Native American flutes, I do feel something I've never felt with other instruments. It's hard to describe or explain, but I love how it seems there are so many possibilities and such a potential of expressiveness (awkward phrase I know) in the subtle differences between blowing the air this way or that, at this or that angle, with this amount of force, with that tension in my lips, and all those things, before even thinking about which holes to cover or how much to cover them. It's a complexity that isn't necessarily about nimble fingers or a dexterous mastery of levers or buttons or switches or whatever physical mechanisms need to be worked; it's all in the breath, and the brain really. Of course I've been playing for a very short time so of course I don't really know what it's actually all about, but so far that's how it seems to me and there's something about that which appeals to me, and so my expectations - well, my hopes anyway - are that I will continue to be fascinated and enthralled with the exploration of that beautiful complexity. I hope that I will have many years of enjoyment exploring that, and I do hope that I will get good enough at it to play in front of people well enough that they will be able to share some of that enjoyment with me. And then applaud rapturously and carry me off on their shoulders into the streets, singing "huzzah!"

I want to play well because I've always thought of music as a kind of magic. It just seems like the closest thing we have to actual magic. It seems like being able to play an instrument masterfully must feel like magic, anyway. I've had dreams where I've played the piano beautifully, and the feeling was like flying, like conjuring, like doing the impossible.

And all kidding aside, I do want to play for others. I have been around musicians (and actors and artists) all my life, and I've always wanted to be one of them but I've always been more of an appreciator than a practitioner. I can play at all of it, but I haven't done the homework, the hard work, although I've done enough to know what's good and to appreciate how much hard work it takes to be really good, I've been jealous of those who have done all that, and of the appreciation they receive from others. Sure, that's an ego thing, in part, but I'm just human and I'm not going to pretend that I don't have an ego.

Along those lines, I suppose I should say that I am not a 'spiritual' person. I am not looking to play without ego, for some supposedly more 'pure' purpose. I'm not looking to find 'enlightenment', or anything of that sort. I am a critical thinker, an active member of the Skeptical community, a believer in science and reason, clarity, and truth. That does not mean I can't find beauty and transcendence in the world, or in music. I can. I can play my flute and feel a Zen-like focus and peace, and I can absolutely appreciate the effects of such beauty on my internal sense of health and well-being. I can appreciate the subtle, silent communication that goes on between people who share a musical experience. But I have no need for or interest in inventing unwarranted agents or explanations for things that are really perfectly natural. So, there's that. I'm not looking for the shakuhachi or anything or anyone else to guide me through some mystical, spiritual growth process. I am looking to work hard at exploring a beautiful musical instrument that can provide me with a lifetime of personal enjoyment and, hopefully, a level of skill that will enable me to share that enjoyment with others. Without getting tomatoes thrown at me.

I hope that is a satisfactory answer to the question. Thanks for asking it!

John
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Marek
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PostPosted: 2011-09-16, 12:42    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Question

1. Do you want to perform publicly?

Yes, it stimulates my practice

2. Do you want to perform professionally?

Well, it would be nice to receive money for something that one invests so much time and effort into. However, I do realise that it is necessary to spend several years in Japan in order to be eligible. I hope my life will lead me this way. I am determined not to have an office job. Smile However, I hope that my shakuhachi playing will complement my video-making and other stuff I do.

3. Do you aspire to play like professional shakuhachi players?

Sure! It is what stimulates my practice, I love to listen to these players. But, most of the time they are not around, so I try to emulate them, so I can listen to at least a fraction of their playing. Smile

4. Do you want to play for spiritual fulfillment? (If so, what does that look like to you? Describe that for us the best you can.)

I don't expect shakuhachi lead to enlightement. Nevertheless, it teaches me lots of things on physical and aesthetic level. I think it is good tool of showing you who you are at the moment.

5. Any other expectations? (All except 'attracting girls', because we all know that shakuhachi makes you guy-players real stud-muffins and makes women-players into Ultra-Wonder Woman, so let's leave the mating motivation aside for now.)

Well, I look at it the other way: If a girl likes shakuhachi, I may consider liking her Wink No puns intended.)
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Lance
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PostPosted: 2012-02-28, 03:18    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

I was attracted to the sound.. my first memory is of the haunting sounds from David Carridine's flute (or whatever other players they used) in the TV show 'Kung Fu'. Although that was a bamboo transverse flute I got a 'recorder' and fiddled with that quite a bit, but it never equaled the sound I was searching for... finally, many years later I came upon the Shakuhachi, and IT was that sound that had alluded me.. I've been playing, without lessons, not trying to play songs, just playing for 'the sound'... and I'm able more and more to reach it. I played a few years ago in a tunnel near a tourist destination where I had gone to look around.. and within a few minutes a guy came by and tried to give me a couple of dollars!!! I told him I was just playing because I liked the echo and didn't want any money, now I regret that, I could have been 'a proffessional'.

Shocked
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Big_e
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PostPosted: 2013-01-30, 00:56    Post subject: What do you expect from taking up shakuhachi Reply with quote

. Do you want to perform publicly? Not in particular. If anybody walks out to see what I'm playing, I don't mind but I won't be busking anytime.

2. Do you want to perform professionally? No.

3. Do you aspire to play like professional shakuhachi players? No, I'd like to play like the monks that play for spiritual edification and relaxation. I don't care for all that jazz and world music.

4. Do you want to play for spiritual fulfillment? (If so, what does that look like to you? Describe that for us the best you can.) Peace, a means to center my thoughts. I may play a few notes or I may just linger on one note.

5. Any other expectations? (All except 'attracting girls', because we all know that shakuhachi makes you guy-players real stud-muffins and makes women-players into Ultra-Wonder Woman, so let's leave the mating motivation aside for now.) No other expectations really...If I get to the stage where I play music on it, that will be good but that really isn't my goal at all.

6. No expectations? (If so, please tell us, to the best of your ability, what having no expectations for your shakuhachi playing looks like?) As stated above, peace and a means of centering my thoughts...but for me, that is plenty of expectations. I won't be standing on the corner with my tip jar playing my shakuhachi.
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