By Kyle Abbott on September 05, 2016

Learn a Shamisen Solo from Kubo!

In LAIKA's amazing “Kubo and the Two Strings”, a film about a shamisen-wielding boy casting magic and sick beats, legendary shamisen pioneer Kevin Kmetz and London shamisen extraordinaire Hibiki Ichikawa both contributed their talents in the film's musical score.

In 'Kubo and the Two Strings', Kevin takes part in an awesome cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Around two minutes into the song, Kevin plays an awesome solo arrangement and would like to show you how to play it too!

Because Kevin is currently working on the next long-awaited God of Shamisen album, he asked me to show you how to play his solo section. So that's what I'm gonna do! Let's learn his solo in a comfortable step-by-step format in the video below!

Note: The solo shown here is basically the foundation solo which is more or less just a copy of the Eric Clapton solo. In the final mix heard in the movie, the composer layered in other shamisen phrases to give it a little more shami-zest. Thus, the foundation solo learned here won't be a note-for-note match with the soundtrack's solo, but it's pretty close! Feel free to add your own trills and additions if you want some more shami-zest too!


Thanks for the blog post. Great tutorial (and free!) and the Eclipse is a beauty of a shamisen, but next time can you use a bachi that's easier to see? Dark bachi played over dark skin makes it hard to follow the bachi technique.


Haha! Thanks Joel! Yeah, I realized that after recording! :-P Next time, lighter skins and bachi!

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