Waking Spirit Productions
Vance Pennington - Flute Maker
KokoWorld Flutes

Traditional 5 Hole Hardwood Shakuhachi (Japan)

Waking Spirit Flutes Presents an American Made,
Traditional, Hardwood, Two Piece Shakuhachi
from the Flute Studio of Vance Pennington

Click on images for larger view

After many months of careful study of hardwood Shakuhachis, created by some of the finest Japanese Shakuhachi makers, I am pleased to present this range of American made instruments.

Carefully created in the traditional style of the Shakuhachi, I have endeavoured to continue the same craft traditions that have been utilized for centuries in order to create the highest quality instruments possible, both in sound quality and visually.

Created from a solid piece of wood, it is then cut into two pieces before being fashioned into shape. This makes the instrument very easy to transport or store in its accompanying soft case which has been specially designed and created by my wife, Marby.

These instruments can be custom made in any of the woods listed below or they can be immediately purchased from the World Flutes Shop Window as and when they become available.

If you are new to the Shakuhachi or have never played one before, I recommend you consider the 1.8 instrument which is easier to finger than the lower pitched 2.4 which requires slightly larger hands than most females or younger males have.

Useful tips on playing a Shakuhachi:

The Shakuhachi is not as difficult to play as most folks think but it may require a little practise at first. My advice is to keep the mouth soft and relaxed, shaping the lips into a round hole (rather like whistling) and blowing gently onto the playing edge. Higher octave notes are obtained by tightening the mouth a little, as though beginning to smile. The open end of the instrument should rest lightly against the area below the lips. Once you get a sound from the instrument, alter your mouth shape slightly (if necessary) to see if you can improve on the tonal quality. Always remember that each person's mouth is slightly different so experiment to find what works best for you. Have fun!



1.8 Traditional hardwood Shakuhachi:

The term 1.8 basically refers to the fundamental (root) note of the instrument which, in this instance is D4 (or D above middle C).

Tuned to the traditional pentatonic scale, the instrument has four fingering holes and one thumb hole. Fingering holes are easily playable using both the fore (first) finger and the ring finger of each hand.

Measuring just 21 1/2" in length when assembled it is easy to transport in two sections in its purpose made soft pouch that comes with this instrument. Cork grease is also included for your convenience.

2.4 Traditional hardwood Shakuhachi:

Often referred to as the 'Bass' Shakuhachi, this instrument has a fundamental (root) note of A3 (or A below middle C). This instrument is not as easily obtainable (elsewhere) as the popular 1.8 Shakuhachi because it is more suitable for those with medium to large hands.

This is a large Shakuhachi that measures 29" in length when assembled and yet it is very easy to transport in two sections using the special soft pouch that comes with this instrument. Cork grease is also included for your convenience.

Please do feel free to contact me with any questions you may have at vance@waking-spirit.com

I got my flutes yesterday. Thank you again so much they are amazing. I've never played a shauk where the upper register is so easily just right there...
OK... back to practice!

Joe Young (Renowned Flute Player/Musician)

Shakuhachis are available in the following woods:

Black Walnut
Claro Walnut Maple Black Walnut
Cardinal Wood Purpleheart Padauk
Without the beading.
  Zebra Wood  

1.8 Shakuhachi being played by Deborah Trevvett of the Pacific Northwest Flute Circle.

5 Hole Shakuhachi Fingering Chart