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Music Theory for beginners, tip?
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Jarle Jivanmukta
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PostPosted: 2011-12-22, 20:57    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

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Hello shaku friends, one of my friends in Norway who happens to be a musician asked me if I could improvise with him, something in E.
I don't know enough to understand what he is talking about, so I only play a few of the things I know, japanese lullabies, folk songs and honkyoku.

Can somone suggest a book (or web resource) on musical theory for beginners so that I can understand more?
There must be loads of stuff, so if I am lucky someone here might be able to point to a starting point.
If there is a choice of genre, I guess I am more into jazz than rock.

Thank you to anyone who has time to reply. I will also look into amazon, hopefully there is something cheap for kindle.

Jarle
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Michael Komatsuzen
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PostPosted: 2011-12-22, 21:25    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

I think that he is referring to the key of E (major or minor) - what instrument is he playing? Brian could field this better than I, regareding the improv / jazz aspects.

Seems like a 1.6 would be in order.
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Jarle Jivanmukta
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PostPosted: 2011-12-22, 21:54    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

Thanks Michael! Now, is there a beginners book that explain what all that means?
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Michael Komatsuzen
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PostPosted: 2011-12-22, 22:10    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

Awesome. Any book on "music theory" should cover keys and rhythm in the opening chapters.

Or try this: http://www.musictheory.net/lessons
Or this: http://www.dolmetsch.com/theoryintro.htm

-m
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chikuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-10, 08:34    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

I would suggest learning to play shakuhachi in it's own context before learning how how to deal with western instruments when playing shakuhachi. One needs to know and use what the strenghts of shakuhachi are before attempting to play with other other instruments. The other instruments are going to try to get you to do something that is specific to their instruments. If you don't have clear mastery and understanding of the shakuhachi it will take longer and be confusing. However, if you want to play with them, it may lead to much awareness of the difference in the two and speed up your progress. So, do what you want, but be careful of what you ask for, you may
get it.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-02-10, 10:42    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

Indeed! Cool stuff, Chikuzen!!!
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Michael Komatsuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 00:06    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

chikuzen wrote:
I would suggest learning to play shakuhachi in it's own context before learning how how to deal with western instruments when playing shakuhachi. One needs to know and use what the strenghts of shakuhachi are before attempting to play with other other instruments. The other instruments are going to try to get you to do something that is specific to their instruments. If you don't have clear mastery and understanding of the shakuhachi it will take longer and be confusing. However, if you want to play with them, it may lead to much awareness of the difference in the two and speed up your progress. So, do what you want, but be careful of what you ask for, you may
get it.


Same goes for composing for shakuhachi, solo or ensemble, if you ask me.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 00:39    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

Michael Komatsuzen wrote:


Same goes for composing for shakuhachi, solo or ensemble, if you ask me.


Yes, most of the stuff non-players or bad players compose for shakuhachi is Bannir
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 15:21    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

Hi Jarle,
Jarle Jivanmukta wrote:
Hello shaku friends, one of my friends in Norway who happens to be a musician asked me if I could improvise with him, something in E.
If your friend can not play in the key of D, I think you will do much better if you have a 1.6 flute pitched in E.
Quote:
Can someone suggest a book (or web resource) on musical theory for beginners so that I can understand more?
There must be loads of stuff, so if I am lucky someone here might be able to point to a starting point.
If there is a choice of genre, I guess I am more into jazz than rock.


If you choose this approach, it will take a while before you can play with your friend. But, if your friend can improvise around what you can presently play, you will both learn more about the shakuhachi and quicker. For example, you can play Kyorei and your friend can easily follow and riff off the melody. If your friend is a good musician, you will sound good Wink
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 15:29    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

On one hand I agree it is very good to learn the shakuhachi in its own context... I think that is beautiful because there are aspects of shakuhachi playing that doesn't always go well with Western music theory. So it is great to just be in the presence of shakuhachi sounds without having to apply the shakuhachi into other contexts.

However, if playing the shakuhachi has awaken an interest in music theory as in knowing more about how is sound organised etc... I see nothing wrong with it. As long as one doesn't try to apply theories or methodologies immaturely to the playing of shakuhachi....

I knew Western music theory before I began playing shakuhachi... and I only felt it supported me... on the other hand I didn't use much it much in the beginning.

Jarle, have you ever tried to play with your friend just using your ears? And if you have, how did that go?
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Marek
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 17:39    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

Hi,

I was recommended at my school Music Atlas by Ulrich Michels, perhaps you can find it in English or in other languages you speak.

I started to study music theory just several months ago when I chose to attend course on electro-accoustic music and it did improve music I make.

Cheers,

Marek
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CharlesKoeppen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 19:17    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

This online source looks pretty good: http://tamingthesaxophone.com/jazz-theory.html

I learned most of what I know from this book: http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Improvisation-Tonal-Rhythmic-Principles/dp/08230…

Geni Skendo is a good teacher if you want theory.

You could just have your guitar playing friend capo it up a notch, if he played in F it shouldn't be hard to find the notes that fit on a 1.8 shakuhachi.

There is this online tool that I wrote that might be helpful to those wanting to match different length shakuhachi with the Western note names for each note based on the Zensabo fingering chart: http://shakuhachi.atspace.cc/online_finger_chart.html

I'm learning PHP right now so between that and the AJAX I used for the above tool I should be able to do some really cool stuff, so if anyone has suggestions for added features to the above tool or similar applications please let me know.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-02-11, 22:56    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

CharlesKoeppen wrote:


You could just have your guitar playing friend capo it up a notch, if he played in F it shouldn't be hard to find the notes that fit on a 1.8 shakuhachi.



I'm glad someone finally said this.

Or he could tune his guitar down a step to D.

Or he could use open D, or dropped D tuning.

Guitars are chromatic instruments, it's easier for him to adapt to your 1.8 than it is for you to learn how to play an unwieldy scale on it. But if it must be E for some reason 1.6 is probably the best choice.

Tell your friend to google "dropped D" and "open D" and try that! Okay
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chikuzen
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PostPosted: 2012-02-13, 07:10    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

It seems that we went from a "approach this with healthy caution" attitude to an all out embrace of a western music experiences. Ok, the "we" was really "me". Encouraging the idea of letting other instruments match up to you is good advice. I believe, that even if you are playing a solo piece, like some Fukuda Rando songs, for example, that is heavily influenced by western thought and style, if you try to keep ."shakuhachiness" in your playing, it will make for a worthwhile activity. That way, you don't end up sounding like a transverse flute. "Shakuhachiness", by the way, is a highly technical term meaning to use the shakuhachi in some way that might be unique to the shakuahci and differentiate it from other flutes. For some, the attempt to do this will bring to clarity what it is that is unique to shakuhachi and make for a good learning method. I would also urge you to create some melodies yourself and then introduce them to whomever you are playing with. This keeps you very active in the activity. It also will keep things interesting as playing "effects" and riffs from honkyoku will last a while but but becomes more theatrical in nature after a while and eventually loses their attraction, for the player. Making something new and offering it will make you feel more a part of things in a real sense.
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karlshak
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PostPosted: 2012-02-13, 07:16    Post subject: Music Theory for beginners, tip? Reply with quote

Hard to top the advice that's been dispensed so far, particularly about finding the shakuhachi's own voice and asking for accommodation from instrumentalists that will have an easier time of it than you. But as also mentioned it can also be fun to try and stretch yourself by playing with a variety of instruments if you're careful about your expectations. And since you mentioned jazz, for future reference, the book that is considered the current bible of jazz theory by many is "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine. It's by no means a beginners book but it's a pretty complete reference and if you want to have something on the shelf that tells you what you might want to try with the weird chord some guitar or piano player is playing it's pretty handy.
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