A rather obvious topic that I didn't find good resources for when I was first interested in my shakuhachi. It got shelved for a long time because of that.
This topic isn't about the other necessary things:
- Finger placement and general handling.
- Embouchure - The shape of the mouth when blowing.
Other shakuhachi terminology.
If you can't put the flute to your mouth and make a decent note quite quickly, you probably aren't ready for anything more than Mary Had a Little Lamb and maybe not even that, yet. This is fine; accept your limitations so you have some place to set goals from.
The classic practice ∞
The shakuhachi isn't technically for playing music at all. Although its historical predecessors were musical instruments, the inception of the proper shakuhachi was as a meditative tool where pretty sounds happen to come out, and whose use has turned back into music. From there, masters arose who themselves only view and use it as an instrument.
As the meditative practice isn't necessarily about music, if all you play is one long note with all holes covered, and do so for ten minutes, you are practicing "the right way", as I've heard described by the old masters. Doing this well requires mastery of all the basics. Even with demonstrable expertise, this ten solid minutes is considered a good daily routine.
Also, stand, and as you get comfortable, try walking (or just pacing). Standing with a relaxed neck and shoulders keeps a lot of things much more simple.
Notation, fingering, diagrams ∞
See also HTML codes for music notes.
- Shakuhachi musical notation
- Possible Notations for Shakuhachi in Contemporary Music
- 5-Line Staff
Beginner resources ∞
A Beginners Guide to the Shakuhachi, by Alcvin Ryūzen Ramos
Somewhat useless ∞
Playing the Shakuhachi Flute, by David Zasloff
- on shakuhachi.com, but I cannot judge what is appropriate for a beginner. At this point I can only presume that nothing is.
- http://shakuhachiyuu.com/shakuhachi-yuu-store/ has some stuff.
Songs I've tried ∞
I've found nothing.