Shamisen as a Primary Instrument

Hello everyone in Bachido!

What a super cool neat community

I am interested in learning the shamisen as my main stringed instrument. I love its warm sound that reminds me of a bubbling river!

I wonder if it will be good for folk music. I am afraid I will put energy into playing the shamisen and it won't complement the American Folk genre.

I am thinking primarily of Joni Mitchell, early in her career before she started leaning towards pop music.
I see shamisen playing rock music and it sounds great! Do you think shamisen will sound good playing America's folk music or awkward? If you have any videos of playing the shamisen to folk music please upload them here, i'd love to see!

Thanks for reading, looking forward to your input!

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Sydnee, I play folk music (Appalachian music) on a dulcimer, a shamisen, and a gourd banjo. The shamisen is definitely the most interesting and you will always get compliments on it. I would recommend it for sure.

The Dulcimer, which can have similar interval tuning as the shamisen is a great instrument but as you say can be awkward to play. Also it is not always easy to incorporate into a band due to its lack of volume and some tuning difficulties.

Another option to try out is called a strum stick. It is a dulcimer tuned inexpensive instrument played like a guitar.

But, I would recommend the shamisen, it will give you a very interesting edge.


Is the dulcimer sound similar to the santur's?


No. A santur and a hammered dulcimer have something in common though.


Yeah, I think the sound is something similar. Last year, on a tv advertisement on tv, I heard a sound similar to both


I knew there was someone in this world who played shamisen and mountain dulcimer! :D Thanks for replying Ben.

I've been chewing on what you've said these past few days. It really is a hard decision (mainly because a shamisen is sooo pricey).
I was looking into a strum stick and was unsure if it was just a vertical dulcimer or something else so, thanks for clarifying that!

Looking at Kyle Abbot build his own shamisen as a youngin is very inspiring. Maybe that's a road i'll go down, who knows!

Thank you!

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