Caring for your Shakuhachi Flute

· Do not subject the instrument to extreme changes in temperature. Never leave your shakuhachi in direct sunlight or near sources of heating and air conditioning, even for short periods of time.

· Bamboo is sensitive to extreme changes in temperature and humidity. Stabilizing these conditions while storing your flute will ensure its longevity. The plastic bag in which your shakuhachi is packaged can be used as a humidifier to help prevent it from splitting or cracking. In most temperate climates a lined cloth case will suffice and is recommended. Available from Tai Hei Shakuhachi is a specially-designed case made with an invisible vapor barrier placed between the lining and outer fabric of the bag.

· I do not recommend using a Dampit or other humidifiers as a regular regime for storage of shakuhachi. Subjecting the bamboo to an artificially high humidity content over prolonged periods of time can do more harm than good. After many years of working with bamboo, I have come to the conclusion that it increases, rather than diminishes, the risk of cracking. It can also result in deterioration of the bore, damage to the utaguchi and growth of mold, if not monitored frequently. For storage, it is best to acclimate the bamboo to the environment in which it resides. Why use a Dampit at all? It is excellent when used intermittently during travel to areas where the climate is markedly different from your own, or if the ambient temperature and humidity at your place undergoes extreme changes.

· Do not allow your shakuhachi to become too dry. Periodic applications of walnut or camellia oil help to seal in moisture. A few drops rubbed into the bamboo is sufficient. Wipe off excess. Do not allow the surface of the flute to become gummy.

· In the event of splitting, don't panic! If the bamboo is unbound, even a small crack should be dealt with immediately before it penetrates through to the bore of the instrument. Contact Tai Hei Shakuhachi as soon as possible to arrange for repair. Do not attempt to seal a serious crack by filling it with glue. This will make it impossible to repair the bamboo properly later on. If the flute is bound and a crack appears, it will usually stop at either end near a binding. In this case, it is advisable to seal the split yourself. Apply a small amount of low viscosity superglue into the crack, allowing it to penetrate and dry thoroughly. Remove residue with fine (#0000) steel wool. (Be careful not to scrape off the skin of the bamboo.) Binding the flute is the best insurance against splitting.

· An utaguchi cover is highly recommended to safeguard the delicate blowing edge of the shakuhachi.

· Always run a tsuyutoshi or cleaning cloth through the bore of the shakuhachi after playing. Leaving moisture inside the flute allows dust and dirt to build up along the bore and will affect the tone of the instrument. Be very careful when cleaning the bore. Place your thumb over the utaguchi to protect its fine edge, then carefully drop the weight and string into the flute. Pull slowly until the cloth enters the bore without allowing the string to drag against the top or interior wall of the instrument. This may damage the blowing edge or remove paint from the bore. Pull the cloth through, then clean again.

Tai Hei Shakuhachi Catalog
Shakuhachi: The Sound of Nature
Origins & History of the Shakuhachi
Bamboo Used for Shakuhachi
Precision Cast Bore Technology

Models of Shakuhachi
Professional Root-End Shakuhachi
Jinashi - Natural Bore Flutes
Student Level Instruments
Meditation Shakuhachi

Shakuhachi Headjoint for the Silver Flute
Traditional Styles
How Shakuhachi are Graded
Flute Accessories
Shakuhachi Repair & Restoration
Frequently Asked Questions
Free Evaluation

Price List of Shakuhachi Flutes

In Stock & Currently For Sale
Precision Bore Shakuhachi
Jinashi - Natural Bore Shakuhachi
How to Order

Arrow Tai Hei Shakuhachi Homepage
Arrow Main Menu