1. Basic Notes
  2. Breathing
  3. First Tune
  4. Meri/Kari
  5. Chin Meri Type

Other Info

Lesson 4


Meri and kari are denominations for lowering and rising the pitch of the note. There are three ways to do meri/kari and everyone should be able to do all of them, in order to perform nicely.

Kari and meri have levels:

For example: dai meri, chuu kari, meri.

First method: finger method (meri only)

There are notes in the shakuhachi range that need to be done with holes half or 1/3 opened. Those are called <name note> + no dai or chuu meri. For example: Tsu no Dai meri.

Dai meri are done by letting 1/3 of the hole opened, while with chuu meri half of the hole is uncovered. Officialy there are only two finger dai meri (For Tsu and Ri notes), because you can do the rest of them with other fingerings, and chuu can be found on every hole.

For Ri no dai/chuu meri, the hole to be partially closed is the 4th one.

Training: Only dai meri needs to be trained, for not confusing it with chuu meri (some players tend to do dai meri recklessly and change all of the song feeling with one note).

Play with no pause, as long as you can, with equal tempo:

Dai meri sounds more solemn, while chuu sounds more festive.

One of Waraboushi's videos has a tune that extensively uses dai meri, namely Tsugaru yama uta. Check it out if you have a problem hearing the pitch of dai meri.

Tsugaru yama uta