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» New To Shak, What to buy for first flute

Windwalker   


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Post #1

I have been playing the Native American Flute for several years. Really like it.
Recently Iíve experienced a Shakuhachi in a store while traveling. I could barely
make a sound. But loved the sound. Recently I ran into a local flute maker. He has a Black Bamboo
Shakuhachi for sale $500.00. Looks like an advanced student flute from my on line searches. The end part that you blow into doesnít have an inlay, so it just Bamboo.
I made a few sounds out of it. He plays it lovely. And Iím wondering if I should jump. Or Try something
less expensive. He assures me his flutes are top notch. A recent owner of one of his flutes told him his flute better than one he paid 2k for. Any help will be appreciated.
Thank you,


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Bainn   


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Post #2

My first Bamboo Shakuhachi was made by Steve Shepard of this very forum, a nice 1.85 Root end flute, good entry into the wonders of the Bamboo, here is one of his latest offerings on Ebay-

Steve Shepard - 2.0 Med Wide Bore

I found a groovy flute to start my journey with, I have moved onto flutes from the lovely Perry Yung but still take out my first from Steve smile.gif

Speaking of Perry, he makes wonderful Shakuhachi and I spotted some pre-owned flutes of his on Ebay, these are bigger bass flutes but are a potential bargain, both coming in less than the $500 you mentioned.

Note - 1.8 is considered the right size to learn while receiving instruction from a tutor but some teachers will teach on the size you play most often.

Perry Pre-owned 1

Perry Pre-owned 2


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Windwalker   


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Post #3

Bainn,
Thank you very much for the reply.
Iím think Iím going to go with the one I played. It is from a local maker.
And I know I really want to play it. So the learning curve will be a while.
And my Native American flute journey started with a inexpensive $45.00
Flute that I later donated to Goodwill, just so it wouldnít get totallly wasted.
Thanks for the reply. A hand crafted instrument that I made sounds out of in a few
minutes. I also played it in the second octave with so little effort, it shook me.
I guess an inexpensive one is a good idea to start with. But this is a opportunity
to get something that I can grow with.
Thanks for your support. Now,do I need a teacher? Or can I learn by myself?
Thanks.


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tootieflutie58   


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Post #4

Windwalker, I think you are making the right decision. You have played this one and you like it. It sounds like maybe you have a connection to it.

As to a teacher, everyone says to get one. I don't have the ability to get one, so I am making a go of it on my own (well, I am working on scheduling time into my day to do just that.

Maybe the maker of the shak you are going to buy can give you some pointers and point you to someone who can guide your playing some.

There is something very special about the shakuhachi.

Congrats and good luck!


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Windwalker   


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Post #5

tootieflutie58.
Thanks you for the support and ideas about teacher.
The maker of the flute gave me a few pointers and had me almost playing in a few minutes.
The flute maker has been making flutes for over 20 years.
Yes there is something special about the shakuhachi. The Native American is beautiful as well..
The Shakuhachi takes me deep within. And I hope to learn it.
Might as well start with something good. My Native American flute journey started with least expensive.
And as my skill developed so did my taste in flutes.
I read on line that the Shakuhachi is hard to play. And the musician said when he understood
The Tao, then he was able to play.
Thanks for all help.


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Rick McDaniel   


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Post #6

There are some very good flutes out there, by some very good makers, for less, but you can buy a Monty Levenson straight end, fine flute, for that price, so I can only say, without knowing who the maker is, I can't tell you, whether the quality is comparable with Monty's flutes.

One of the lesser known things about MGA, is that before becoming a great maker of the NAF, he was a shakuhachi maker.

I know of a maker in Plano, TX, who did a nice job of making basic shakuhachi, at very reasonable prices. I acquired several of his flutes. One of those, I play frequently, because it plays so well, it is easy to practice on. I have a number of shakuhachi, to choose from, including several Japanese made flutes, in root end.

The flutes I like the best, are not my most expensive flutes...........but I have never been a great player on shakuhachi. I have played great shakuhachi, and there is no question, that some flutes are absolutely worth a lot more than others, for the way they play. I just could never justify that expense, for my mediocre skills on the instrument.

This post has been edited by Rick McDaniel: Dec 5 2017, 06:19 AM


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rocksncactus   


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Post #7

Who's the maker? Nothing wrong with giving him some attention by sharing his name.

I have two shaks now. I bought a nice Steve Shepard 1.8 used from someone on Ebay; before that I bought a yuu. I like the black bamboo one much better, for several reasons: because of its sound, because I prefer natural materials in my flutes, and because the yuu is heavier to hold. I will be selling the yuu when I get the time. It plays just fine and is a good flute -- and it's waterproof!

I don't see myself moving more deeply into shakuhachi. I was interested because they are rim-blown, but my heart is truly with my native American rim-blown flutes. I will keep playing my shakuhachi, but I don't see myself delving into the "life" as my friend Christian "Bainn" has. And that's all good. We each follow our own path. The point is to keep playing, right?


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Bainn   


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Post #8

QUOTE(rocksncactus @ Dec 5 2017, 08:57 AM) *
... but I don't see myself delving into the "life" as my friend Christian "Bainn" has...


*Puts down his Tamago Kake Gohan*

Huh, what do you mean ??



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Windwalker   


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Post #9

QUOTE(rocksncactus @ Dec 5 2017, 08:57 AM) *
Who's the maker? Nothing wrong with giving him some attention by sharing his name.

I have two shaks now. I bought a nice Steve Shepard 1.8 used from someone on Ebay; before that I bought a yuu. I like the black bamboo one much better, for several reasons: because of its sound, because I prefer natural materials in my flutes, and because the yuu is heavier to hold. I will be selling the yuu when I get the time. It plays just fine and is a good flute -- and it's waterproof!

I don't see myself moving more deeply into shakuhachi. I was interested because they are rim-blown, but my heart is truly with my native American rim-blown flutes. I will keep playing my shakuhachi, but I don't see myself delving into the "life" as my friend Christian "Bainn" has. And that's all good. We each follow our own path. The point is to keep playing, right?


It’s funny I just know his first name “John”. When I meet up with him I will get his full name. Native American Flute is beautiful and can be meditative as well. I like the sounds of the Shakuhachi. And when as you say the point is to keep playing. I don’t even know the size of flute 1.8? Or key. All I know is that it sounds good. I think it’s the road worth traveling for me. It may be revolting door who knows. As they say it’s the journey not the end game. Thank you for your help and support.

This post has been edited by Windwalker: Dec 5 2017, 09:30 AM


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Bainn   


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Post #10

QUOTE(Windwalker @ Dec 4 2017, 12:01 PM) *
Bainn,
Thank you very much for the reply.
Iím think Iím going to go with the one I played. It is from a local maker.
And I know I really want to play it. So the learning curve will be a while.
And my Native American flute journey started with a inexpensive $45.00
Flute that I later donated to Goodwill, just so it wouldnít get totallly wasted.
Thanks for the reply. A hand crafted instrument that I made sounds out of in a few
minutes. I also played it in the second octave with so little effort, it shook me.
I guess an inexpensive one is a good idea to start with. But this is a opportunity
to get something that I can grow with.
Thanks for your support. Now,do I need a teacher? Or can I learn by myself?
Thanks.


Anytime, agree that starting with the best Bamboo Shakuhachi you can afford gives you room to grow, I just tend to go for Jinashi rather than Jiari. Jiari can be loud, responsive and maybe a tad easier than Jinashi but for me you can't beat that sultry, evocative and shadowy sound that comes from a Jinashi.

There are various sources where you can learn the basics - Books, videos, web pages, which is fine to start with, but a teacher will become desirable. A teacher can help you get the most out of an individual instrument, helping with specific technique for that flute. A Teacher is really required to learn traditional pieces of music - You can read the notation yourself but Japanese notation lacks the key points of how the piece should flow, be expressed and those little things that make it live.

My teacher is Cornelius Boots who starts out teaching Honkyoku, we use Skype for lessons, so you don't have to travel to use a teacher. However, I think being there in person, one to one is probably best.

You can find a list of teachers here -

Teachers


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Windwalker   


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Post #11

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Dec 5 2017, 06:19 AM) *
There are some very good flutes out there, by some very good makers, for less, but you can buy a Monty Levenson straight end, fine flute, for that price, so I can only say, without knowing who the maker is, I can't tell you, whether the quality is comparable with Monty's flutes.

One of the lesser known things about MGA, is that before becoming a great maker of the NAF, he was a shakuhachi maker.

I know of a maker in Plano, TX, who did a nice job of making basic shakuhachi, at very reasonable prices. I acquired several of his flutes. One of those, I play frequently, because it plays so well, it is easy to practice on. I have a number of shakuhachi, to choose from, including several Japanese made flutes, in root end.

The flutes I like the best, are not my most expensive flutes...........but I have never been a great player on shakuhachi. I have played great shakuhachi, and there is no question, that some flutes are absolutely worth a lot more than others, for the way they play. I just could never justify that expense, for my mediocre skills on the instrument.

Rick,
When I met the flute maker John Chilten, he had several flutes with him.And one was a Monty Levenson.
He said he got it in a trade. I played it it was sweet and a little deeper key than “John’s” Flute. John Childon told me I could buy either flute for same price. The one I was going to buy has a root end black thick walled black
Bamboo. Marty’s was an older model 20 years and looked to be in good condition.
I can barely make a sound on the Shakuhachi, and just want to buy something that sounds and plays easily, once I get the technique down. Let me know the Plano Texas maker.
Thanks for your help
Larry

This post has been edited by Windwalker: Dec 5 2017, 10:19 AM


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Prairie Wolf   


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Post #12

Attached File  TamagoKakeGohan.png ( 1.85MB ) Number of downloads: 10


This is the closest I could come... huh.gif


QUOTE(Bainn @ Dec 5 2017, 09:27 AM) *
*Puts down his Tamago Kake Gohan*

Huh, what do you mean ??



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rocksncactus   


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Post #13

QUOTE(Bainn @ Dec 5 2017, 09:27 AM) *
*Puts down his Tamago Kake Gohan*

Huh, what do you mean ??


laugh.gif tongue.gif


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Rick McDaniel   


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Post #14

I am not familiar with that maker, Larry. Can't really speak about the quality of his flutes. I know Monty's flutes are good for the money. His newer flutes are far better than his older ones, though.

The Plano, TX maker's name eludes me at the moment. He mostly sold on ebay at the time, but that was several years ago, now. He was a repairman of silver flutes, for a Plano music store, who branched out into making shakuhachi, in his free time. His flutes were just basic bamboo flutes, mostly root end, but they played well, and were only in the $100.-$150. range, on ebay. I think his name was James Shikule, but I can't be certain. I may have the last name slightly wrong, in the spelling. Stan Richardson, would know for sure. He is the Dallas area master who teaches. I cannot remember the name of the music store, where he did repairs, but in looking it up, it seems to be Wlliamson Music. The store can switch you over to the repair shop.

I have not kept up with him, because I have all the shakuhachi, I want to invest in, as I have 18 flutes in a wide range of keys from 1.6 to 3.0, with both bamboo and wood, and a Hane' Yuu. rolleyes.gif

If he's still selling on ebay, his handle was Ryofu shakuhachi. I found all of the flutes I got from him, to be good players, but the long ones could be a reach for me. My longest, is 33 inches. I stopped there. biggrin.gif






QUOTE(Windwalker @ Dec 5 2017, 10:10 AM) *
Rick,
When I met the flute maker John Chilten, he had several flutes with him.And one was a Monty Levenson.
He said he got it in a trade. I played it it was sweet and a little deeper key than “John’s” Flute. John Childon told me I could buy either flute for same price. The one I was going to buy has a root end black thick walled black
Bamboo. Marty’s was an older model 20 years and looked to be in good condition.
I can barely make a sound on the Shakuhachi, and just want to buy something that sounds and plays easily, once I get the technique down. Let me know the Plano Texas maker.
Thanks for your help
Larry


This post has been edited by Rick McDaniel: Dec 5 2017, 03:37 PM


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tootieflutie58   


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Post #15

Larry, one thing that I read is that with the shakuhachi, it is best to get one and stick with it (instead of getting several and playing on all of them). As a beginner, we have to perfect our embouchre and sticking with one shak at first is best. (That is not true of NAFs. They have a different type of mouthpiece - as you know).


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Windwalker   


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Post #16

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Dec 5 2017, 03:28 PM) *
I am not familiar with that maker, Larry. Can't really speak about the quality of his flutes. I know Monty's flutes are good for the money. His newer flutes are far better than his older ones, though.

The Plano, TX maker's name eludes me at the moment. He mostly sold on ebay at the time, but that was several years ago, now. He was a repairman of silver flutes, for a Plano music store, who branched out into making shakuhachi, in his free time. His flutes were just basic bamboo flutes, mostly root end, but they played well, and were only in the $100.-$150. range, on ebay. I think his name was James Shikule, but I can't be certain. I may have the last name slightly wrong, in the spelling. Stan Richardson, would know for sure. He is the Dallas area master who teaches. I cannot remember the name of the music store, where he did repairs, but in looking it up, it seems to be Wlliamson Music. The store can switch you over to the repair shop.

I have not kept up with him, because I have all the shakuhachi, I want to invest in, as I have 18 flutes in a wide range of keys from 1.6 to 3.0, with both bamboo and wood, and a Hane' Yuu. rolleyes.gif

If he's still selling on ebay, his handle was Ryofu shakuhachi. I found all of the flutes I got from him, to be good
players, but the long ones could be a reach for me. My longest, is 33 inches. I stopped there. biggrin.gif


The seller wants $500 for the 20 year old Monty Shakuhachi, I played it and it seemed nice.
The new one he ( John) made seemed nice as well. The Monty Levenson one was a little deeper tone.
I just want to buy one and stick with it. I think I canít go wrong with either one.
Thanks Rick




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Windwalker   


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Post #17

QUOTE(tootieflutie58 @ Dec 5 2017, 05:13 PM) *
Larry, one thing that I read is that with the shakuhachi, it is best to get one and stick with it (instead of getting several and playing on all of them). As a beginner, we have to perfect our embouchre and sticking with one shak at first is best. (That is not true of NAFs. They have a different type of mouthpiece - as you know).


Now that is good advice. I really donít have deep pockets.
And good NAI flutes can be had from $100 Kuzin Bruce, one of the best bargains or Butch Hall.
With in tune flutes by High Spirits. And great flutes for $300 from JP Gomez. John Stillwell flutes are great as well, Ancient Territoryís. We are so lucky in this country to have so many great NAI flute
Makers selling at reasonable prices.
Shakuhachi seem to be a different breed. And inexpensive ones donít take you to the next level.
I know very little about them, other than a calling to play them
Thanks for your help.
Larry



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rocksncactus   


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Post #18

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Dec 5 2017, 03:28 PM) *
I am not familiar with that maker, Larry. Can't really speak about the quality of his flutes. I know Monty's flutes are good for the money. His newer flutes are far better than his older ones, though.

The Plano, TX maker's name eludes me at the moment. He mostly sold on ebay at the time, but that was several years ago, now. He was a repairman of silver flutes, for a Plano music store, who branched out into making shakuhachi, in his free time. His flutes were just basic bamboo flutes, mostly root end, but they played well, and were only in the $100.-$150. range, on ebay. I think his name was James Shikule, but I can't be certain. I may have the last name slightly wrong, in the spelling. Stan Richardson, would know for sure. He is the Dallas area master who teaches. I cannot remember the name of the music store, where he did repairs, but in looking it up, it seems to be Wlliamson Music. The store can switch you over to the repair shop.

I have not kept up with him, because I have all the shakuhachi, I want to invest in, as I have 18 flutes in a wide range of keys from 1.6 to 3.0, with both bamboo and wood, and a Hane' Yuu. rolleyes.gif

If he's still selling on ebay, his handle was Ryofu shakuhachi. I found all of the flutes I got from him, to be good players, but the long ones could be a reach for me. My longest, is 33 inches. I stopped there. biggrin.gif


Hmm. I don't recognize that seller name from Ebay, although I might just have missed it.


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Bainn   


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Post #19

QUOTE(rocksncactus @ Dec 5 2017, 11:24 AM) *
laugh.gif tongue.gif


LOLZ


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Bainn   


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Post #20

QUOTE(Prairie Wolf @ Dec 5 2017, 11:12 AM) *
Attached File  TamagoKakeGohan.png ( 1.85MB ) Number of downloads: 10


This is the closest I could come... huh.gif


Oh mine is much humbler that that - Steamed rice, raw egg yolk and perhaps some soy sauce.

wink.gif



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