One of the most difficult tasks in shakuhachi playing is getting meri notes low enough. I have already outlined the basic technique: let your head swing down loosely and deeply. But there are a couple of other tricks to try if you have trouble getting the pitch low enough.
- Make sure your lips are relaxed. Although your embouchure (the opening between your lips) may need to be small on a second or third octave meri, this should not cause you to tighten your lips. Relaxed lips fill the top of the shakuhachi more, causing a lower pitch.
- Try pulling the shakuhachi closer, actually pressing it into your face a little. By bringing your lips closer to the utaguchi (blowing edge of the flute), this should lower the pitch a bit as well.