Confused about the Store

So I'm interested in starting the Shaminsen, and think the Beginner Shaminsen looks great for a beginner. Unfortunately, I am confused as to what all I need to order to get started.

so far, I think it's:
The Beginner Shamisen
Beginner Accessory kit
A Bachi
A Koma

I would like some help figuring out what I need so I can budget. Obviously buying this full package is a lot more expensive than just the shamisen, so if any of this is more a useful bonus than strictly necessary I would love to save it for a future purchase. However, I want to be able to practice and play when my shamisen arrives, so knowing what's essential is… essential.

All help is appreciated!


Welcome aboard!
The beginner's shamisen is a great instrument from what I've heard of it, you can't go wrong there :D

Yup, that's exactly what would be necessary to begin playing. It's a lot more inconvenient (and if I'm right about this, expensive) to purchase all of the same things a la carte anyway, and everything in there is pretty much the minimum (minus bachi and koma as sold separately) to get started. For a bachi there's nothing wrong with a plastic one to start out with, which is a lot less expensive than other materials.

As for a koma, I'm really not a fan of the plastic one (having used one myself) for the same reasons described on the page, but as a way to get started it's alright. It does dig into the strings a bit so in my opinion as opposed to letting it cut into your strings (and having to replace them) I'd go for a bamboo koma which sounds, treats the strings, and holds up way better.

Hope this helps!

Edited 4 times; last edited Dec 28, 2017 by Ian S.

Thanks! That's exactly what I needed to know, especially about the plastic Bachi and the bamboo Koma. I really appreciate the help :D


You're welcome! Chances are depending on which style you play you'll want to eventually upgrade to a bachi more suited for it, but that probably won't be a concern for a while.

Glad to help! :D


You can experiment with different koma easily, as eg. they are one of the cheapest components. I have three: I like a low-ish bone koma the best for a more authentic nagauta sound, a high bone koma sounds too sharp, while a bamboo koma is in the middle in my preference, the sound will be warmer and softer than with a bone koma. How about the koma with a bone tip in the store?

The fake bekkou bachi is more flexible, and is therefore easier to play with if you go hard into the tsugaru style (though, would you do that with a nagauta style instrument?). I'm using a wooden bachi, haven't played enough to even chip it yet, and so far I've been perfectly happy with it.

The (deluxe) shinobi koma is really useful for times when you don't want to disturb the neighbours. I mean, they probably just adore your interpretation of Gion Kouta or Metallica solo, but maybe not at 2 am …

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