I had Shakuhachi class the other day. It continues to be interesting. Last month I did a demo/ test song, using my keyboard with drum beat as a backup I played Shakuhachi along with the track. It was kind of a Jazz mode. It was only so so. Mostly me testing notes, breath, etc. i played it for Sensei, his remark was this is a good way for you to practice. My technique said was not perfect but my “feeling” was good. Now he is saying he is looking forward to hearing me play live and strongly encouraging me to play in this mode. Playing blues is a good mode for the Shakuhachi. I told him i was working on it. I had some song ideas but my skill is not there yet. He said do it!
I have been getting a better feel for playing and adjusting my pitch. I am thinking, soon maybe by Spring i may have it together enough to try a piece in public. I know my parameters better now.
As far as lesson I am starting on the third octave for some notes. Still I need to practice more reading in Japanese.
On another note. I had mentioned in my last Shakuhachi post about the kumoso monk in Kyoto. Well I did hear from him. He was very apologetic about not replying sooner. Seems like a nice guy, answered a few questions I had and offered to show me a few places in Nara off the normal tourists path.
Another thing about my class is I get interesting historical data on the Shakuhachi from Sensei. I especially enjoy the Zen tie in from the old history view point. There is also modern history, for example, John Coltrane went to Japan to learn Shakuhachi.
I read he wanted to learn to make his horn playing more spiritual. Also he played it on one track of an album or a song called “spiritual” I have not heard it. I will have to look it up. maybe I can find it on Youtube. I did find a Japanese band doing a cover of his with Shakuhachi. It was pretty good. Another famous modern players was John Lennon. I do not know of he was any good or just learned enough to make sounds 🙂