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Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register
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iontichy
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PostPosted: 2012-08-08, 12:32    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

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Hi,

I asked for advice about playing the kan register a while back and got some. Some of it helped, but I still have absolutely no degree of control in kan. While in Otsu I can play all notes with some degree of ease without thinking or 'watching' myself, no such ease is possible in kan. I have to watch things like a hog every second, the notes still sound way too shrill and loud for my taste. And I can not ease into kan register at all. I'm approaching my third year now and my frustration with this is seriously mounting up.

I listen to Shakuhachi music and find the tone so completely beyond what I seem to be able to achieve at this point, that the frustration is starting to keep me from practicing. I should be practicing more advanced pieces now. Instead I am noodling the same three pieces still, because I'm so terribly unhappy with my sound. I accepted that this instrument is a long haul to learn, but after three years I should at least have mastered at least the basics of tone production. I can not believe I am still struggling with something this basic.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-08-08, 19:58    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Hi Ion,

Do you practice music only or do you also do long tones and scales. Practicing long tones without musical context is a good way of building your sound. Just find an isolated place like a park and blow your brains out on long notes in Kan. Another good thing is to take individual notes and start in otsu, shift to kan, and back again. This develops control. Trombone players are notorious for spending many hours on long tones to build their sound.

Regards, BR
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LowBlow
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PostPosted: 2012-08-08, 20:58    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Practice is the key. You have to spend a long time on long tones. That realy helps. Try adding 30minutes of long tones to your practice. Every other day. Use a timer. 5 minutes per note. have a break every other note of one or two minutes to relax your lips. Or make up your own schedule. But practice long tones and then long tones and then again lon.....
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kerry
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PostPosted: 2012-08-09, 14:53    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

iontichy wrote:
Hi,

the notes still sound way too shrill and loud for my taste. And I can not ease into kan register at all..... I can not believe I am still struggling with something this basic.

Also, in your long tone practice, blow kan notes "softly" with a candle flame-flickering type breath. A sweet little composition to learn is Hachigaeshi Shinpu Ryu. It was played in a very soft manner, traditionally. And stop believing that you're struggling and just blow dude Smile
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iontichy
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PostPosted: 2012-08-09, 21:46    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Thank you all for advice and encouragement. I will keep trying.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-08-09, 21:48    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

The most important is keep on trying and not give up. For some people getting kan register is very difficult. But eventually everybody gets it!!!!
You could consider a skype lesson or two just to get you going. Wink
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Jam
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PostPosted: 2012-08-10, 00:10    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Kan is always difficult at first. Shakuhachi can be a very frustrating instrument but you just have to persevere. Once you get it, you get it.

The fact that you can play any kan at all is progress! One step at a time. You have to stay positive Smile

Viel Glück!
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Michael stJohn Hartley
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PostPosted: 2012-08-11, 10:53    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Hi, I am a two year beginner, really learning the truth that one is a beginner for the first seven years! and now it's ok for me. Kan is still tricky for me, disappears just when i need it... and what everyone is telling you practice practice practice, i have 'two cents worth' Namely, just get the hours in. that means when i walk I blow, when i am i the bath i hold my head underwater and blow fine streams of bubbles, with Kan mouth, - when i am driving I hold shak with right hand and practice LONG blows of re or ri, and count the 50 m. posts -record is 2 km, at 150 km st. then last month i had a visiter from Canada, also beginner, and we really did Ro half hour to an hour every morning for 2 weeks! made a difference to my Kan.
And best advice, go to Prague Festival... and in case your not already joined:https://www.facebook.com/groups/156126251071128/
See you in Prague. I am living in wettenbostel, by hamburg...
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JF Lagrost
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PostPosted: 2012-08-11, 14:50    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Michael forgets to give you his secret for kan and daikan, that a little odd teacher advised him in Prague two years ago: to train by blowing into a beer bottle... So yes, come to Prague ! Not sure that you'll leave knowing kan, but the sound of Czech beer bottles is inimitable ! Okay
http://www.komuso.cz/en/about-the-festival/
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Jam
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PostPosted: 2012-08-11, 22:57    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Definitely agree with blowing over the top of bottles, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend whenever I have a bottle to hand I insist on blowing otsu, kan, daikan and trying to meri/Kari!
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2012-08-11, 23:00    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Bob Herr came to Tasmania and gave a shakuhachi concert. Part of it was playing "Waltzing Matilda" on a soft drink bottle. Neutral Exclamation Question Crying or Very sad Very Happy Evil or Very Mad Idea Okay Crying or Very sad Confused
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Michael stJohn Hartley
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PostPosted: 2012-08-11, 23:46    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Wish i could 'like' the above comments! AND, I just got a restored flute from Perry Yung, and "suddenly, all my troubles seemed so far away!" This flute plays Kan by itself. €400.... Did anyone check out your flute?
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Nicolas Delhez
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PostPosted: 2012-11-17, 16:37    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

For your problem, I do not know what have been already told so I hope I can help with something new. The best advice I can give you is try to found a teacher. If you can't, here are some technical pictures which I hope will help you found in Masayuki Koga's Japanese Bamboo Flute:


"The important factor is the distance between the two tips of the upper and the lower front teeth. When you blow with greater air pressure using the low register teeth form, you can get the high register note. However the pitch would be too flat, which is out of tune.



After, it is a matter of feeling. Feel your air stream and get used to this feeling.


Michael stJohn Hartley wrote:
Wish i could 'like' the above comments! AND, I just got a restored flute from Perry Yung, and "suddenly, all my troubles seemed so far away!" This flute plays Kan by itself. €400....


Yes! Perry's flutes are invaluable. His Tensei line's leitmotiv could be high quality instrument at an affordable cost always done with his low-impact approach to restorations.

Hope you find some help if you still need it!

Please don't give up.
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Erin
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PostPosted: 2012-11-17, 18:43    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

Ah yes, I think I recognize the 'three year slump'! You want to give up. You think you should be playing much better by now. You expected to be able to play some recognizable piece with a degree of ease. I have been there! Shakuhachi does not give you progress easily. You must just put in the hours, patiently, without forcing yourself, the instrument or the music.

Progress is glacial.

Progress is too slow and you are too close to it to recognize when it is happening. But it will happen over time.

I think to consider oneself a beginner for the first ten years is a good approach.

Having a teacher to infuse you with inspiration when you feel stuck and to help you avoid getting entrenched in bad habits is critical.

Play a variety of tones. Move in and out of kan randomly at times and with intention and focus at others. Long tones is good but don't labor over them or they will turn into a chore rather than a pleasure.

And most of all, if you want to make shakuhachi a life long study, keep studying for the rest of your life.
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x moran
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PostPosted: 2012-11-24, 09:29    Post subject: Re: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register Reply with quote

iontichy wrote:
Hi,

I asked for advice about playing the kan register a while back and got some. Some of it helped, but I still have absolutely no degree of control in kan. While in Otsu I can play all notes with some degree of ease without thinking or 'watching' myself, no such ease is possible in kan. I have to watch things like a hog every second, the notes still sound way too shrill and loud for my taste. And I can not ease into kan register at all. I'm approaching my third year now and my frustration with this is seriously mounting up.



My advice is to not worrying about if the notes sound too shrill. Blow what you got. Do they hit the pitch? Test it on you tuner (Yes you should have one, even a cheap KORG tuner will tell you if you are in the ballpark. All I have is cheap KORG, btw). Blow more softly and more to side of the utaguchi blowing edge to adjust pitch.

Then three other issues which will take time and awareness to do with as little stress as possible:

1. Are you holding your shakuhachi so tightly that you are actually creating leaks in the tone holes by wrinkling your finger-pad skin?. Do your best to relax into holding the tone holes closed lightly, particularly the 4th hole for kan-Ro. Make sure your riding loose on that hole, Firm but loose. And drink more water. A well-hydrated shakuhachi player makes a well-hydrated shakuhachi finger pad. Smile

2. Try to hold the shakuhachi on your lip and chin as lightly as possible (I find this very difficult , btw). Maintain the seal but notice how tensely you normally hold the shakuhachi to your chin. The bottom lip should be so light that it subtly vibrates like a soundboard or banjo skin. Let the increase of air pressure move the note up into the second register. The firmness should me coming from your diaphram, not tensing your lip or especially pressure on your chin. Your top lip , the fleshy inside of your lip, will adjust itself with increased diaphram pressure. Adjust for pitch control not forcible control.

3. Do as Brian says, practice playing softly from Low to High on each note. It works wonders. Keep diaphram pressure as solid and pure as possible without getting tight and nervous. Keep the tone pure and relaxed as possible so you get no vibrato from the tenseness of your gut.

Keep up and keep enjoying the process. You do not have to become a shakuhachi master in order to be a shakuhachi player.
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PostPosted: Today at 23:32    Post subject: Unable to achieve any degree of ease in Kan register

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