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#1 2006-03-21 08:10:08

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Flute straight or to the side

Hello all,

I've been playing almost a year now and I had always blown from the center of the mouth, but recently I saw a video of Riley Lee where I saw him playing a bit to the side and I decided to try. I just move the flute to the side a little, leaning the head a bit and in a way it feels slightly easier.

I saw some reference to this on the "good lips" topic but the discussion didn't get too far so I thought about asking again. I don't have the tear drop that some people refered to so I don't really need to avoid it by puting the flute to the side. Now that I'm thiking about it maybe it has to do with the fact that when I put the flute in the middle it feels as my lower lips get too much into the flute and when I put it to the side it doesn't so much, does it make any sense?

I guess, as many times happens in Shakuhachi, there is not A way to do it, and evreybody should find its own, but can anybody tell me if there are any advantages to one way of playing and the other? Not that one is better than the other, but how different if any. It would be really interesting also to hear how people (great masters and the people around here) blow their flute as a reference.

Thanks

Alex


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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#2 2006-03-22 00:45:49

kyoreiflutes
Member
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2005-10-27
Posts: 364
Website

Re: Flute straight or to the side

All I can say is that changing to the side helped me immensely, but I have just the slightest dip in my lip. Diplip.

I can now get into Kan with little problem.

-E


"The Universe does not play favorites, and is not fair by its very Nature; Humans, however, are uniquely capable of making the world they live in fair to all."    - D.E. Lloyd

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."    -John Donne

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#3 2006-03-22 03:56:17

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Re: Flute straight or to the side

Hello Ed,

Sorry to insist on this but sometimes I get confused with English. So you say, it helps you but you have that tear drop in your lip or not? By the way, thanks a lot for your reply.

Putting it to the side I had the same feeling as you, getting into and out of kan was easier and I seem to have more control over the note. I wonder why is that as the air flow should come out of the throat eaiser if it is straigh, no? Bit strange but ti seems to work.

Anybody else would like to share their experience and thoughts about this?


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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#4 2006-03-22 08:19:32

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Flute straight or to the side

I almost always have it to the side. I find that gives more control over pitch, vibrato, everything. Ideally you control all 360 degrees of movement to play the flute, depending on the needs of the piece.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#5 2006-03-22 14:02:50

kyoreiflutes
Member
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2005-10-27
Posts: 364
Website

Re: Flute straight or to the side

I've noticed that there are a lot of pictures of you playing to the side, Brian. Interesting.

I meant that I do have the little point in my lip, and I do play to the side. It's not how the air comes out of your throat, it's how it comes out of your lips. If you have the point on your lip, it's basically changing the shape of the air coming out, and the Utaguchi doesn't like it. Just to the left of center, however, my lips are the right shape, so I play that way. I also have to shift my upper lip just slightly (as in mm) to the right, but it's so subtle that I don't think too much about it when I do it. Sometimes if I tilt the flute just right, I don't have to move my lip.

Hope that helps.

-Eddie


"The Universe does not play favorites, and is not fair by its very Nature; Humans, however, are uniquely capable of making the world they live in fair to all."    - D.E. Lloyd

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."    -John Donne

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#6 2006-03-24 10:15:07

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Re: Flute straight or to the side

Hi there,

I've been experimenting these past days and I still cannot figure out which one suits me better (that terrible uncertainty...). Anyway, thanks a lot for your input. I guess I'll keep on trying both and we'll see what comes out of it. Patience, patience, patience...


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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#7 2006-03-24 12:13:00

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Flute straight or to the side

Alex,
    Always patience with shakuhachi. You'll need to try something new out for awhile to let it reveal itself to you enough that you can decide how good of friends you want to become with it.
However, a word of warning as you can stay with something too long and it will become a "bad"habit. That means, not effective as something else. I would issue a note of caution in playing off to the side. You will eventually get the upper octave without doing it on the side. Everyone has their own way for sure and hopefully they will make it work well. But why consciously limit your ability to use the full range and capacity for using the rest of your mouth  that your lips will lead you too from the beginning? Yokoyama sensei played with the flute on the side too but he played so much that his facial muscles compensated by pulling the lips equally straight over the blowing edge resulting in a face that was not exactly equally symetrical. And I don't think the was the goal he set out for!

Good luck.

Michael Chikuzen Gould


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#8 2006-03-24 15:04:20

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Flute straight or to the side

chikuzen wrote:

Alex,
    Always patience with shakuhachi. You'll need to try something new out for awhile to let it reveal itself to you enough that you can decide how good of friends you want to become with it.
However, a word of warning as you can stay with something too long and it will become a "bad"habit. That means, not effective as something else. I would issue a note of caution in playing off to the side. You will eventually get the upper octave without doing it on the side. Everyone has their own way for sure and hopefully they will make it work well. But why consciously limit your ability to use the full range and capacity for using the rest of your mouth  that your lips will lead you too from the beginning? Yokoyama sensei played with the flute on the side too but he played so much that his facial muscles compensated by pulling the lips equally straight over the blowing edge resulting in a face that was not exactly equally symetrical. And I don't think the was the goal he set out for!

Good luck.

Michael Chikuzen Gould

Hi Michael,

I looked in the mirror and realized my basic orientation is in the center, but of course going to the side for furi, meri, etc.

Are you allowed to say that about Yokoyama's face? Won't the Dokyoku Police come after you? You better be careful!  They might take away your Chikuzen name and call you "Frankfurter" or something. smile smile smile


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#9 2006-03-24 23:47:41

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Flute straight or to the side

How very remarkable!!

It just so happens that 'Frankfurter' is Chikuzen's secret Masonic name....

eB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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