The Bachido Blogcast

Episode 102:

Introducing Brian Chan

It's a special day here at Bachido! We are honored with a delightful visit from CAD extraordinaire Brian Chan! Watch.

Episode 101:

Introducing Reigen Fujii

I had the great pleasure to stay with Aomori champion Reigen Fujii! Having bought my book to learn how to make a shamisen himself, it was great to finally meet this young prodigy and listen to his thoughts on shamisen, as well as his own skill himself! Watch.

Episode 100:

Team Bachido

International shamisen attack! To appropriately celebrate the 100th episode of the Bachido Blogcast, we take a look at Team Bachido descending upon on the Tsugaru Shamisen Sekai Taikai in Hirosaki to take first place! As Kevin said, "If anything in the history of Bachido has truly been blogworthy, this is it!" Check it out! Watch.

Episode 99:

The Bachido Taikai

With the 100th episode just around the corner, we're skipping right to the two biggest events Bachido has seen. Starting with, the Bachido Taikai! Watch.

Episode 98:

The Bachido Booth!

For the very first time, we have a Bachido Booth! Grant, Anne and I attended the 28th Annual Japanese Cultural Fair of Santa Cruz, where we introduced shamisen to the fine Santa Cruz public, got sign ups for a Santa Cruz group workshop, and lastly performed on stage with the great jazz-trained shakuhachi master Karl Young! Watch.

Episode 97:

Bachido Shamisen Workshop

On December 15th, 2013, Bachido member Aki Takahashi san (of Ten Ten Canada) and I hosted the very first Bachido Shamisen Workshop. Folks who never played shamisen before came and played alongside others with experience. Everyone learned a lot and had a great time! It was a rousing success and was the first of many monthly shamisen workshops we've already done. Watch.

Episode 96:

The Best of the Rest (Part 3)

In this last installment of the Japan trip series, Nitta san, Kevin and I head to the park, where we do some street performance for the fine folks enjoying hanami and yakitori! Watch.

Episode 94:

The Best of the Rest (Part 1)

Well, the Tour of Team Bachido 2014 draws nigh and we haven't even used all the footage from last year! Thus, the stories have been condensed in order to conclude all the adventures from the Japan trip. Watch.

Episode 95:

The Best of the Rest (Part 2)

Well, the Tour of Team Bachido 2014 draws nigh and we haven't even used all the footage from last year! Thus, the stories have been condensed in order to conclude all the adventures from the Japan trip. Watch.

Episode 93:

The Cockpit

With the tour of Team Bachido over, we take some time off to go to the Misawa aviation museum to refilm a classic - Lady GaGa : Paparazzi on Shamisen in an Airplane! But this time, we set out to play Ninjari Ban Ban! Not only that, we did our best to move the same way and say the same things we did three years ago in the Lady Gaga version. What really solidified the production was Grant had the same color pants that he wore three years ago! Watch.

Episode 92:

Team Bachido - Part 20 (Awards 'n Karaoke!)

At the end of the taikai, it was time for the award ceremony. Team Bachido ended up taking 3rd place! Now, that might seem not as impressive considering there were only three teams competing in the division, but when examining the point score, we had only ten fewer points than 2nd place, so that's pretty encouraging! Watch.

Episode 91:

Meeting Bachido Member Lorraine

When we went to LA to lead a workshop at Asano Taiko, we had the honor to stay with Bachido member Lorraine! We had a great time with her and her pups. It's been a while since we've introduced a Bachido member on the blogcast, so I bring to you, the proud and very-active-on-the-forum Bachido member, Lorraine! Forgive the wonky harmony, I think I was drunk! Watch.

Episode 90:

Shamisen with the Saguaro

In February, Bachido member Takahashi san and I were invited to Tucson by the wonderful Karen Falkenstrom of Odaiko Sonora! Upon arriving, the first thing Karen did was take us to see the gorgeous Saguaro cactus. The amount of cactus in the was almost unbelievable, it felt like a canopy-less forest! Like always, when arriving at a scenic location, what's the first thing to do? Pull out our shamisen and play Kita no Hibiki! Watch.

Episode 89:

Fireside Minyo

After the Feb. 1st Bachido Shamisen Workshop in San Francisco followed with a small concert in Sacramento, Takahashi san (of Ten Ten Canada), Tiffany Tamaribuchi (of Sacramento Taiko Dan) and myself (Bachido) relax by the fireside with a little minyo jamboree! (after scorpion tequila libations to loosen things up) Watch.

Episode 88:

Team Bachido - Part 19 (Kevin Kmetz Stage Attack!)

After Team Bachido's successful performance, we were relieved and relaxed but couldn't celebrate quite yet, as Kevin Kmetz still had some faces to melt! That's right, we piled into the auditorium to cheer Kevin Kmetz on in A Class! Watch.

Episode 87:

Team Bachido - Part 19 (Showtime)

The moment we have all been waiting and trained for has come! This is it, the debut performance of Team Bachido! Watch.

Episode 86:

Sac Taiko Dan Concert - Tsugaru Tanto Bushi

I had the privilege of joining the Sacramento Taiko Dan with Aki Takahashi to perform some minyo for their 24th Anniversary Concert. Watch.

Episode 85:

Sewer Cleaning

We had what would be called the Nightmare After Christmas. The sewer pipe under the house had busted in two places. The pipes are about 100 years old, so that's understandable. Anywho, not knowing this had happened, everything from the drains had soaked into the dirt. The dirt turned to mud and oozed back in the main pipe, fully clogging it. Watch.

Episode 84:

Team Bachido - Part 17 (Return to Hirosaki)

After a long, fun-filled night at 'Dadan' (the minyo sakaba), we wake up the next day to return to the Tsugaru Shamisen Zenkoku Taikai in Hirosaki!! One major highlight of the day was Jamie introducing himself to Kenichi Yoshida (of the Yoshida Brothers) and showing his skill to him. That doesn't happen every day! Watch.

Episode 83:

Ringo Bushi with Shamisen and Minyo Uta

As we saw in the previous blogcast, both Aki Takahashi and myself (as well as almost all of the members of the taiko group we played with) got struck down by the flu. At last, we recovered and could go out for a little busking! Watch.

Episode 82:

Autumn Leaves

After a great concert with Sacramento Taiko Dan, I had the pleasure of rocking the studio with Aki Takahashi of Ten Ten Canada, creating the first Bachido + Ten Ten Canada Superalbum! (working title) Unfortunately, the ongoing cold knocked our voices out a bit, but didn't stop us from recording scratch tracks (the initial base melody track for assembling instrument/vocal tracks on). Watch.

Episode 81:

Tasting the Flame

On my final night in Florida, Bachido member Medusirena Marina prepares a 'light' snack. Thanks to a swigging of Pepto Bismol, heartburn was avoided! Watch.

Episode 80:

Meeting Cody and Taking a Plunge!

After a high powered concert at the Morikami museum (video coming later), met the very active member Cody who drove 5 hours just to attend the concert and meet! After corresponding with him on the forum, it was very cool to talk with him in person! Good times, Cody! Next time I'm sure we will have more time to jam! Watch.

Episode 79:

Team Bachido - Part 16 (Live Sakaba Attack! - Trip to DanDan!)

After checking into the ryokan, Team Bachido heads off to enjoy drinks at DanDan, a local sakaba (drink-based restaurant place, like a bar but classier) featuring live tsugaru shamisen. Watch.

Episode 78:

Meeting Takeo & Yamaguchi Goro's Shakuhachi!

While in Hawaii, we visited Takeo Kudo, who was friends with my father Carl Abbott in Japan! Watch.

Episode 77:

Team Bachido - Part 15 (Live Sakaba Attack! - Trip to DanDan!)

After Kevin and Travis/Kyle play a few pieces, Nitta Oyako takes the stage! Watch.

Episode 76:

Team Bachido - Part 14 (Live Sakaba Attack! - Trip to DanDan!)

After checking into the ryokan, Team Bachido heads off to enjoy drinks at DanDan, a local sakaba (drink-based restaurant place, like a bar but classier) featuring live tsugaru shamisen. Watch.

Episode 75:

Team Bachido - Part 13 (Post-Stage Attack Debriefing!)

Otsukaresama~!! Kevin, Jamie, Josh and I ran out to the lobby to congratulate Grant, Anne and Patrick for their performance in the individual division! Lastly, we jump ahead 5 months later, to yesterday. Adrian came over to show off his beautiful kouki shamisen which he just received from the Bachido Store! It's a dream come true for him! Watch.

Episode 74:

Team Bachido - Part 12 (Patrick Deaton Stage Attack!)

Today is the individual division at the Hirosaki Taikai. Patrick Deaton steps up to the stage! He has been playing shamisen for several years, and now he finally took the stage! Well done, Pat! Watch.

Episode 73:

Team Bachido - Part 11 (Anne Liljedahl Stage Attack!)

Today is the individual division at the Hirosaki Taikai. Anne Liljedahl steps up to the stage! She had only been playing shamisen about one year, so imagine the courage it took for her to compete for the first time! Bravo!!! Watch.

Episode 72:

Team Bachido - Part 10 (Grant Reimer Stage Attack!)

Today is the individual division at the Hirosaki Taikai. Grant Reimer steps up to the stage! Having found out that he was entered into the wrong class, he had to shorten his piece by 30 seconds to fit in the time limit. Miraculously, he pulled it off! Watch.

Episode 71:


A few days ago, I was invited to give a little speech at a growing event called PechaKucha. The subject matter could be about anything, preferably anything the speaker is passionate about. So we know what the subject of my speech was going to be! (Roller skate repair?) Watch.

Episode 70:

Team Bachido - Part 9 (Hirosaki Bound!)

On a bright and early May 3rd, we head out to the fabled and mountainous region of Tsugaru! (Hirosaki specifically) Watch.

Episode 69:

Team Bachido - Part 8 (First Practice)

With 95% of the team present, Hiroshi Nitta led the almost-full group (yet a few more members would be joining us later) through the first official rehearsal of Kita no Hibiki! Watch.

Episode 68:

The Japan Expo (plus Anime for Shamisen brainstorm!)

Today, Kakejiku expert Ryosuke Ueda ( and myself (Kyle Abbott, went to the 2013 Japan Expo in Santa Clara. Twas the first animecon I had ever been too. Thus, had never seen so many tights before in my life. Watch.

Episode 67:

Team Bachido - Part 7 (Kevin Sings)

A Bachido Exclusive! After practicing Kita no Hibiki with Hiroshi Nitta san, Masahiro and Tomoko Nitta arrived, so the party started! While everyone ate, Kevin rose up to present a very special performance. Watch.

Episode 66:

Team Bachido - Part 6 (Mobilization)

It's the day before we head off to the Hirosaki Zenkoku Taikai! Watch.

Episode 65:

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (for real)

For those who have seen Kevin Kmetz's recent videos or posts, you know that his recent healthy obsession with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has fueled him to cover her entire albums, and was the main theme in the 2014 Bachido Tour. So when Adrian discovered that KPP would be giving a free concert in San Francisco, we felt it was our Bachido duty to Kevin to witness this firsthand! Watch.

Episode 64:

Mendocino Music Festival

After visiting the lovely Levonson family, mastermind behind Tai Hei Shakuhachi (, we head over to Mendocino to play with Ensohza at the Mendocino Music Festival! Watch.

Episode 63:

Part 3 - Ringo Bushi

Aki Takahashi and I perform a rendition of the traditional Japanese folk song Ringo Bushi on Tsugaru Shamisen and stellar vocals! Watch.

Episode 63:

Part 2 - Kokoriko Bushi

Aki Takahashi and I perform a rendition of the traditional Japanese folk song Kokoriko Bushi on Tsugaru Shamisen and California Mandolin! Watch.

Episode 63:

Part 1 - Interview with Aki Takahashi

It's a special day at Bachido HQ! Phenomonal Minyo singer and shamisen player Aki Takahashi comes all the way from Toronto for a visit! (among leading Taiko workshops and other performing shenanigans) Watch.

Episode 62:

Team Bachido - Part 5 (Assembling the Team)

After reenacting Kevin's hunt for his car keys, we head off to pick up Josh and Kyoko at the station!....and more! Watch.

Episode 61:

Team Bachido - Part 4 (The Love Hotel)

While everyone is praciticing at home, Kevin, Adrian and I head out to get Curry supplies and to scout the area for potential shenanigans. Watch.

Episode 60:

Team Bachido - Part 3 (Misawa Shenanigans)

Day 2 in Japan! We all take the Shinkansen to set off into the next leg of the journey, shamisen training and hilarity at the residence of Kevin Kmetz! Watch.

Episode 59:

Team Bachido - Part 2 (Harajuku Surprise-Live!)

We are still on Day 1 in Japan! After parting at Yoyogi Park, Adrian, Jamie, Travis and I walked down Meiji Dori to enact the tradition of walking while drinking. On the way, we heard the faint sound of shamisen, shakuhachi and other instruments.... Watch.

Episode 58:

Team Bachido (Tour of 2013) - Part 1

A day after arriving, I head to Yoyogi Kouen for the Pre-Team Bachido Gathering, which was arranged by Bachido Members (Couple edition!) Anne and Grant. Watch.

Episode 57:

Post Taikai Recap

Like The Perfect Spy, this story starts at the end (but with a happier ending). Nitta san announces his plans for next year's Team Bachido tour. Those wanting to enter next year, check it out! Watch.

Episode 56:

Cherry Blossom Festival

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to be invited to play at the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival with Shirley Muramoto, Brian Wong and Karl Young. It was a smashing good time. Watch.

Episode 55:

Masahiro Nitta's California Bachiventure! - Part 4

With the Old First Concert finished, Nitta san and I have the honor to meet some real life Bachido members! Watch.

Episode 54:

Masahiro Nitta's California Bachiventure! - Part 3

March 10th arrives and we head out to San Francisco for the Old First Concert. As one who doesn't go to many shows, I can attest that it was truly an astoundingly good show. Watch.

Episode 53:

Nitta san's Bachiventure Part 2

In Part 2 to Nitta san's epic trip in California, we head to San Jose to give a workshop (lecture, demonstration and hands-on all rolled into one!) and meet several real life Bachido members!! Watch.

Episode 52:

Masahiro Nitta's California Bachiventure! - Part 1

In early March, Masahiro Nitta came to Santa Cruz, thanks to the generous powers of Shirley Muramoto and Chieko Yoshikawa who provided him with concerts to play at. This also provided a great opportunity to get Nitta san in the Bachido Studio to create some fun and educational shamisen courses! Watch.

Episode 51:

Check out Facebook!

Had an epicly (spelled something like that?) productive time with Nitta san this week! Because of that, I have gigs upon gigs of footage to catalog now. In the meantime, I've just posted a series of pictures from last week's events on Facebook! Watch.

Episode 50:


In an ironic celebration of the 50th episode of the Bachido Blogcase, I forgot to make one for this week. Literally, forgot it! Watch.

Episode 49:

Sid's Trip to Japan

Recently, Bachido member Sid took a trip to Japan to chillax and visit his friend Jack Matsumoto (who will be joining us in Team Bachido!). Not wanting to exclude the rest of us, he had the kindness to film some of his adventures there, including a great Raga/Shamisen fusion! Watch.

Episode 48:

Restoring Order

Due to the lack of coffee content for the past ten episodes, it's about time we corrected that! Watch.

Episode 47:

Special guest - Brian Mitsuhito Wong

Koto wizard Brian Mitsuhito Wong, who will be playing at the March 10th concert) came over earlier this week to tell you all this exciting news, as well as bust out a fresh koto/shamisen jam! Take vacation! Watch.

Episode 46:

Skype w/ Kevin - NHK Radio Live!

Was it odd that Kevin composed the piece last month yet we had to pretend that we just created the whole thing in five minutes? Probably. But that's what made it fun. Watch.

Episode 45:

How to Make Kale Chips

Filmed and edited in 2009, but somehow never got around to releasing it... until now. :) Watch.

Episode 44:

Ukulele break!

Bachido member Grant 'Shamisensation' Reimer had been broadening his musical outlets, Watch.

Episode 43:

Otanjoubi Omedetou!

It is a special day at Bachido HQ, as Father Abbott has just turned 70 years young! Watch.

Episode 42:

2013 Taikai Preparations

Preparing for the 2013 debut of Team Bachido in Hirosaki with a Skype chat with Kevin! Watch.

Episode 41:

The Abbott Brother's first instructional video

Behold. The very first instruction video we ever made! Watch.

Episode 40:

New Kawahari

Today, we pull out the super fancy microphone to hear how the newly skinned Bloodwood shamisen sounds. Watch.

Episode 39:


This is a continuation from last week's episode where kawahari master Taichi san came to Santa Cruz for a visit. Watch.

Episode 38:

The future of shamisen - Interview

Important thoughts on the future of Shamisen from Taichi san! Watch.

Episode 37:

The BH Taxi Driver Song

In this special, early edition of the Bachido Blogcast, we feature the first official rendition of the BH Taxi Driver Song - a tribute to active Bachido member BH. Watch.

Episode 36:

Kevin's Santa Cruz Attack! - Part 2

The second half of Kevin's Santa Cruz Attack! Watch.

Episode 35:

Kevin's Santa Cruz Attack! - Part 1

Active Bachido member Kevin Kmetz came back to his second-homeland of Santa Cruz to rediscover his roots! Watch.

Episode 34:

Gadgetbox Studios - Part 2

Day two of final mixing! Watch.

Episode 33:

Halloween Special

Take a stroll with most-of-the Abbott Family to Downtown Santa Cruz - Halloween 2012! Watch.

Episode 32:

Gadgetbox Studios - Part 1

It's time for final mixing of the two new Monsters of Shamisen CDs! Watch.

Episode 31:

Special Guest: 14 year old Sheng player!

Who is in the living room but a 14 year old Sheng genius! Watch.

Episode 30:

London Shamisen Shenanigans!

Blogcast contribution from Cana and Jamie! Watch.

Episode 29:

Site updates!

Reviewing new site updates, as well as a preview of the new MoS CD! Watch.

Episode 28:

Interview with Anne!

Bachido member Anne partakes in the popular Santa Cruz tourist attraction: Playing Shakuhachi at the Abbott's house! Watch.

Episode 27:

Creamy Kevin - Just released!

The wait is up and the teaser-ing is over! Enjoy Bachido's favorite shamisen beverage today! Watch.

Episode 26:

"This will be a short episode"

This may have been the doomsday the Mayans had predicted. Watch.

Episode 25:

Pickups and Chords!

While I try to install a cheap pickup in my shamisen, Kevin wakes up from his chordless nightmare to teach us how to make pleasing harmonies with our shamisen. Watch.

Episode 24:

The first Santa Cruz Bachido Mini-Fest!

Who knew what a pre-planned cup of espresso at 2pm would bring! Watch.

Episode 23:

"Tsugaru in Ireland" Special (Part 2)

Part 2 of Sid's 'Tsugaru in Ireland' episode, followed with a little shami-jazz at the local bistro! Watch.

Episode 22:

"Tsugaru in Ireland" Special

We have a very special episode today, as it is contributed by Bachido member Sid! Watch.

Episode 21:

Sapporo Adventures! (Part 4)

Concluding the Sapporo story, and trying out some pedals with an electric shamisen! Watch.

Episode 20:

Sapporo Adventures! (Part 3)

More fun in Sapporo, as well as a live debut of the recently composed 'The Coffee Grinding Song'! Watch.

Episode 19:

Sapporo Adventures! (Part 2)

After checking out the Alex II Duetto, we head back to Sapporo for some more adventures! Watch.

Episode 18:

Sapporo Adventures! (Part 1)

Highlights from adventures in Sapporo - 2012! Watch.

Episode 17:

New Mods, Japan shenanigans, and a bang!

Wrapping up before heading to Sapporo (Japan). Explosives at the end! Watch.

Episode 16:

MTV (Memories, Tabi, and Victory!)

After spending a whole week of tirelessly guarding Grant's jika tabi and reflecting on the past, it's time to finally try out the Bloodwood shamisen! Watch.

Episode 15:

26th Annual Japanese Cultural Fair!

Special day in Santa Cruz, as the yearly celebration of Japanese culture was upon us! Watch.

Episode 14:

How to remove a skin from a tsugaru shamisen! (In case you want to)

After *finally* succeeding in tightening the skin tight enough for the authentic tone of a tsugaru shamisen, I pull it off. Watch.

Episode 13:

A new shamisen player and a new shodan!

Bachido member James Ong gets his first shamisen, and Grant 'Shamisensation' Reimer gets his first shodan! Watch.

Episode 12:

Making Shamisen Nori

Today, we roast coffee, check out Nitta san's questionnaire and make some nori! Watch.

Episode 11:

Surprise Visit!

A special surprise this week! Active Bachido member Jamie Low came to town and stopped by for some shamisen shenanigans! Watch.

Episode 10:

Feeling in Tsugaru

In this episode, I share thoughts on the improvisational side of the tsugaru style. Watch.

Episode 9:

Inside an Azuma Sawari

If you are interested in shamisen, you probably know about the azuma sawari. But have you seen one up close? You'll see one today! Watch.

Episode 8:

Making Itomaki for Tsugaru Shamisen

In this episode, we explore a bit of the shamisen construction process - the Sao/Tenjin joint and Itomaki making. Watch.

Episode 7:

Blowtorch Roasting

Last week, my friend expressed an interest in blowtorching coffee beans. Having a blowtorch in the shop, I figured, why not? Needless to say, the results were blogworthy. Watch.

Episode 6:

Koma Tone Test with Carlo

Very special episode today! Interview with local shamisen enthusiast Carlo Chung, and testing the sound quality of various koma! Watch.

Episode 5:

Making a Shamisen Sao

In this episode, we take a moment to work on the homemade shamisen, made out of Bloodwood. Watch.

Episode 4:

Setting a practice regiment

In this episode, Kyle offers some ideas for keeping practice sessions meaningful and beneficial. Watch.

Episode 3:

Holding the Shamisen (extended)

Starts with a phone call from Nitta san, continues with trying out the new Mazzer Mini, and ending with Shamisen! Watch.

Episode 2:

Polishing a Tsugaru Shamisen Dou

We see what a simple river stone can add to the surface of a shamisen dou. Also, a sneak preview of The Nitta Collection! Watch.

Episode 1:

How to Hold Tsugaru Shamisen

Today's episode is about how to hold a tsugaru shamisen, answering a question a Bachido member had on the Bachido forum. Watch.

Episode 0:

BachiTV - Pilot

This is the first trial of, what will hopefully be many, weekly shows for! Watch.