The Beginner's Shamisen


At Bachido, we know that shamisen are very expensive instruments to learn. Though some people know shamisen is for them upon hearing the first snap of the string, it's difficult for most of us to spend $1000 on an instrument without trying it first. It's been my dream for years to find a source for affordable shamisen so people can start their three-stringed journey with greater ease. And at last, we've done it! I present to you, the Beginner's Shamisen.

FiberSen: Advanced Synthetic Skin available! Rugged and waterproof for carrying on adventures, yet responsive with a resonant tone fit for the stage! Order a Beginner's Shamisen with FiberSen: Advanced Synthetic Skin below, and play it anywhere you go! View image gallery (13 pics)

Specifications

Helpful Videos

Assemble the Beginners Shamisen (Click)
Making the Sawari Effect (Click)

Kyle’s Opinion

Having tested it out myself, I am very happy with the quality of this shamisen. The clear and resonant tone almost surprised me, it’s so nice! The tone gave me great satisfaction, which is something I wasn’t expecting from a shamisen of this price. Unlike other beginner level shamisen, this one sounds like… like a real instrument! Also, the itomaki are made from real wood and the shamisen sparkles with a luscious lacquer, making this a beautiful instrument to admire as you play it. This is a shamisen that sounds great and looks beautiful. If you are ready to start learning, this is the instrument for you. You may pick this shamisen up as a beginner, but you will cherish it for many years to come.

Note: To bring the price as low as possible, all recommended accessories are sold separately (at the bottom of this page). Find them at the bottom of this page, and get cases or other accessories in the Bachido Store!. (The Beginner’s Shamisen is shipped from a separate dealer, and can’t be combined with other items from the Bachido Store. Sorry!)

Special Bonus!

To help you get started with your new Beginner’s Shamisen, I am including several learning materials for free!

Testimonials

“I’ve been wanting to learn the shamisen for years, and thanks to Bachido, now I’m starting to! I’m really impressed with the quality and sound of this instrument. The videos and Kyle’s book have made learning how to play easy and fun!” – Kristen

“Just ordered one on the weekend cant wait to learn playing it!!” – Christian

“Oh my gosh, I can finally afford one. I just have to wait til after that holidays. YAY!”" – Gizmondo

Optional Fanciness!

All shamisen have metal sleeves called zagane. The zagane are fitted in the tenjin (headpiece) which prevent the itomaki (tuning pegs) from wearing down the wood. Until recently, the Beginner’s Shamisen only featured the regular round style. Now, the makers have just given the option to include a vintage style of zagane. This vintage style is called “Kikuza”, which has an extra ornamentation in the shape of the Japanese kiku flower (菊).

Order your Beginner's Shamisen!

(Please allow two weeks for fulfillment)

Important: Please read before purchase.

Beginner's Shamisen

(FiberSen: Advanced Synthetic Skin)

$ 549 USD

Zagane Style

Shipping method: EMS (Fast, safe, insured)
USA/International: $70
(Your order will be processed by PayPal)

Beginner's Shamisen

Natural Skin

$ 349 USD

Zagane Style

Shipping method: EMS (Fast, safe, insured)
USA/International: $70
(Your order will be processed by PayPal)

Get your Accessories!

Outfit your shamisen with these recommended accessories. Find even more at the Bachido Store!

Accessory Set

Price:
$127 USD

Beginner Shamisen Accessory Set 初心者用三味線小物セット (NS_SET)

This Accessory Set includes everything you need to get the most from your Beginner’s Shamisen. (Nagauta/Hosozao Size)

  • Fujaku (Position Mark Strip)
  • Yubikake (Friction Reducer) – Color: Our choice please!
  • Neo (Tailpiece) – Purple
  • Doukake (Arm Guard) – Purple
  • Dou Gomu “(Rubber Knee Pad)”
  • Ichi no ito (3) (First String)
  • Ni no Ito (3) (Second String)
  • San no Ito (5) (Third String)
  • Kamigoma (Metal Nut)

Bachi and Koma are sold separately. Please choose them below.

Note: The size of the Beginner’s Shamisen is ‘Hosozao’, (generally known as ‘Nagauta Shamisen’) and these accessories are specifically meant for this kind of shamisen. . Please be aware, these items are NOT meant for Tsugaru/Futozao Shamisen.

Bachi

Price:
$357 USD

Faux-Bekkou Bachi べっ甲調撥 (BA-BC)

Hardness level: 5.
Highly Reccomended! Perfect for beginners and advanced players alike. It has the same feel & flex of a natural bekkou bachi, but is stronger and will potentially last many more years of hard tsugaru playing! The tortoise will thank you too.

Note: Recently, the production of these bachi were moved to China. Though still flexible, there have been new issues with the bachi blade peeling from the handle and such. Fortunately though, these bachi are covered with one-year insurance. If you bachi breaks within one year’s time, send it back and it can be replaced!

Price:
$164 USD

Wooden Bachi 木撥 (BA-K)

Hardness level: 7.
The Wooden Bachi can be used for a variety songs and techniques. It’s only weakness is that it can break fairly quickly with hard tsugaru playing. Perfect for wood lovers!

Price:
$41 USD
Color:

Plastic Bachi プラスチック撥 (BA-P)

Hardness level: 8.
Reccomended only for trying shamisen with little investment, or if you need an ice scraper. Unfortunately, it is difficult to use and can make the shamisen experience less enjoyable.

Koma

Price:
$48 USD

Bamboo Koma 竹駒 (KM-T)

Sound quality:
Soft and warm.

Material:
Madake (bamboo)

Height:
8mm

Price:
$48 USD

Bamboo Koma (Bone Tip) 先骨竹駒 (KM-TB)

Sound quality:
Clean and crisp. Bone tip brings a sharper tone, compared to the Bamboo Koma

Material:
Base – Bamboo
Saddle – Bone

Height:
8mm

Price:
$13 USD

Shinobi Koma 忍び駒 (KM-SNOBI)

Neighbors keeping your sound levels down? Desperately wanting to play shamisen now but still recovering from that hangover? The shinobi koma (Stealth Bridge) is made for you!

Replacing your normal koma with the Shinobi Koma will lower the sound level tremendously.

Sound quality:
Muted (intentionally)

Material:
Plastic

Height:
7mm

Note: Though the sound from striking the string is significantly reduced, the percussive sound from the bachi snapping against the skin isn’t affected by the koma.

By Purchasing the Beginner's Shamisen, you hereby understand that...

Bachido is NOT responsible for covering import tax, and must be covered by the customer. Because import tax varies depending on the country, please check your country's import tax and make sure you will be able to cover the cost of the tax as well as the items you are purchasing from Bachido. There Are No Refunds/Returns: As a service to shamisen enthusiasts, we take special measures to keep the price low as possible, and thus we're able to provide affordable shamisen for the public. These measures required for us to provide affordable Beginner's Shamisen means we are unable to accept returns nor issue refunds.

Skin May Break in Shipping: The skin on Beginner's Shamisen is a natural material, and thus is naturally affected by environmental change. Durable skin is used on the Beginner's Shamisen, but there's always a risk of the skin rupturing during shipping, or upon arrival in your country. We cannot guarantee the longevity of the skin, nor are we held responsible if the skin does break.

Note: This case happens very rarely, but please understand that it's a natural risk when shipping shamisen, and a factor we are not responsible for.

Please read before purchasing the Beginner's Shamisen.

To ensure longevity of the skin: Keep your shamisen inside, in a cool, dry environment. Extreme heat (inside a hot car, for example) or cold stresses the skin.

Remove the koma from the shamisen after every practice session. The koma puts pressure on the skin. When the shamisen is not in use, removing the koma will increase the lifespan of the skin.

Play your shamisen often! The more you play, the better your shamisen will sound! Just like how doing yoga keeps your body flexible and limber, playing the shamisen often will keep the skin vibrating. Vibrating the skin keeps it supple and responsive. On the other hand, when the shamisen isn't played often, the skin will get brittle, and thus prone to breaking sooner.

Read more about Care and Handling here!