I have been working for some time with Michael Chikuzen Gould on Dokyoku style shakuhachi. Today I decided to record Honshirabe to assess how things are going. It was a really great learning experience. On the first recording, I noticed I didn't let the notes decay at all. So I worked on getting a better note decay and that led me to have shorter breaths because I was too concerned with the control of the note at the end and not letting the pitch drop. When I finally got everything as close as possible to a good mix of everything I wanted to do I noticed the meris were too loud and the dynamics were no good. So after another five or so takes I finally came up with something that was close. It was a great learning experience though. It brought all the little details I know I forget to practice to the front and now I am very conscious about them and it is really helping me practice more efficiently. It puts me more in a practice like a performance mindset where I play every little thing as well as I can. Before I recorded myself I didn't really notice these nuances were missing. I still practiced like I was performing and tried as hard as I could but it just wasn't apparent to me. If you are interested in hearing the results you can click here to hear me play Honshirabe on my YUNG 1.8.

I now play on a Perry Yung 1.8 and I love it. I bought it from Larry Mullins at Chikuzen's Fall RO Camp. Perry had initially crafted the flute for Larry based on Chikuzen's flute at the time. Larry had requested a nobe (one piece) flute and Perry came through in spades. You can read Perry's BLOG entry about this flute by clicking here. It is a very loud and strong player. Here are some pics of the flute.

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