Chinese root and non-root shakuhachi are relatively inexpensive flutes
which have a
smooth, rich tone. These are completely natural and unadorned bamboo
shakuhachi. They are made entirely by subtraction under the philosophy
of maintaining the integrity of the material while following the path
of least resistance. Many jinashi shakuhachi teachers use these for
The bamboo has a naturally tapered bore which gives the flute back
pressure. This allows for greater depth of tone than cylindrical
flute making approach is designed to attain the best possible sound
quality and playability at the lowest possible price. I find it an
interesting and demanding challenge searching for this compromise. Much
of my experience with professional grade madake shakuhachi go into
these flutes. I enjoy making these as an alternative tomy
higher end shakuahchi. I'm pleased with their quality as well as with
customer feedback. It is ideal for beginners or experienced players who
desire a mechanically sound, meditative/solo level flute for a
relatively low price.
Click on video of a Chinese bamboo shakuhach in
the key of C#
All Chinese bamboo shakuhachi are cut to their natural length and well
tuned to themselves.
Prices usually range from $150 to $500 depending on bamboo quality,
playability, application of urushi, etc. These are excellent values
considering their quality. Please contact me for availability.
PVC shakuhachi is an economical alternative to a traditional madake
bamboo shakuhachi. Sold at a fraction of the cost, these flutes play
surprisingly well with a clear, bright and confident tone. There are a
number of teachers who use plastic shakuhachi for their students
because of their low price and playability. They are also waterproof
and virtually indestructable. Each flute is cleaned, polished and
accurately tuned (A=440). The blowing end head is shaped for comfort
and the finger holes are beveled for fluid playing and second register
in making your own 1.8 PVC shakuhachi? Try thesespecs.
Three Piece, 5 in 1 Bauhaus Shakuhachi $150 Interchangeable
mid sections produce 5 keys: 1.7
D#, 1.8 D, 1.9 C#, 2.0 C, 2.1 B. (3/4" bore)
Shakuhachi in A
quality as the 1.8 model but longer and wider. There is also
an iki kaeshi ring inserted at the top end of the flute. This
creats a smaller end opening which makes the flute much more
playable. Holes can be inline or offset to players specifications.
Bauhaus 2.4 (A)
piece, 4 in 1 ZenTube Shakuhachi $210 Interchangeable
midsections produce 4 keys: 2.3
Bb, 2.4 A, 2.5 Ab, 2.6 G. (1" bore)
1.8 bamboo shakuhachi shown for size comparison.
ZenTube Shakuhachi developed through collaboration with shakuhachi
player and teacher Brian Tairaku Ritchie. Read Brian's story and review
bags were confiscated by the TSA when traveling in the States and I had
to worry about my long nobe flutes for a week until I got them back.
This led me to ask Ken LaCosse to come up with a set of travel long
flutes based on the concept of interchangeable mid-sections joined to a
mouthpiece and a "root end". We can take our 1.8's on the plane with us
but not nobe 2.7's as they fit into the same category as baseball or
cricket bats. I am very happy with the result. I already like plastic
and wood flutes, and this is very useful. The Bb, A, Ab lengths are
useful to me for any kind of playing. G length gets a bit raw due to
aspect ratio but for travel honkyoku playing it's OK. I have been using
them on gigs and people are amazed by the design and quality of the
sound, considering the material used."
-Brian Tairaku Ritchie