All about YUKAINA

An explanation of the “Yukaina”

The Yukaina is a square pipe made of wood from Ina, a city in Nagano prefecture in Japan.

“Yukai” means “amusing” in Japanese and the pipe was invented in Ina, so it was named “Yukaina”. It is made from cherry, walnut and maple wood, though the pipe can also be made from precious woods such as a rosewood or ebony.

The pipe has various types with different tonal ranges, so either beginners or experts can enjoy playing it.

The Yukaina is also good for those who have not played an instrument before, because it sounds easily when you blow into it. It is small and light, so you can enjoy playing it wherever and whenever you want, and you can wear it as a pendant too.
YUKAINA

Yukaina Club Activities

We invented the Yukaina because we thought it would be nice if there was a pipe made from local wood, one which we could carry easily and enjoy playing wherever and whenever we wanted.

One day in 2007 an elementary school asked us to make something using cherry trees cut down during road works. We dried and processed the wood, developed a fingering system and finally we designed the pipe and established the “Yukaina Club” to publicize it.

We hold lessons on how to make and play the Yukaina in many places, such as elementary schools in Ina.

 


Yukaina

Yukaina (small)
*Key: C
*Features: The basic type of Yukaina. You can play a low B and a high E with special techniques. There is a kit version so that you can assemble the Yukaina yourself.
*Semitones: You can play all the semitones. You use special techniques when you play a low C# and D#.

Dekaina (large)
*Key: C
*Features: An octave lower than a basic Yukaina. Very suitable for duets with the Yukaina.
*Semitones: Unlike the Yukaina, you cannot play a low C# and D#.



How to place your fingers

Press your fingers down so that the balls of your fingers touch the finger holes. You will get tired if you press your fingers too hard, but the holes will not be closed if you loosen your fingers too much. If you play the Yukaina and it produces a higher sound than the fingering chart shows, then the finger holes are not completely closed. Please close the finger holes tightly.




How to hold it in your mouth

1.Put the mouthpiece between your lips.
2.Put your upper teeth on the mouthpiece.
3.You can play either way, but it is convenient to put your upper teeth on the mouthpiece when you play fast music.
4.You produce a sound by pronouncing “te” or “tu”, putting your tongue on the upper side of your teeth. This is called tonguing.



Keep your third fingers on the underside of the Yukaina. The pitch of the high tones will be steadied by supporting the body with your third fingers.


How to get ready to play the Yukaina






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