Founder of Bachido, Kyle Abbott began teaching himself shamisen when he was thirteen years old. As well as learning how to play shamisen, Kyle spent years building his own. After he successfully duplicated a professional-grade Tsugaru Shamisen, he published a book called Shamisen of Japan, a comprehensive manual to teach anyone how to build and play their own.

Kyle also recorded in and produced two Monsters of Shamisen albums and his solo album, The Cuckoo. Check them out!

Though Kyle loves to play shamisen, his main goal is to help people learn and discover just how fun the shamisen is. That is why he founded Bachido, the world’s first international shamisen community, to help enthusiasts from around the world come together, share ideas and positively support newcomers.

Since age 7, Kyle learned many stringed instruments before he even started shamisen. By playing Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo, Violin and Bass, he already had a deep understanding of music when he started shamisen. At the same time, Kyle and his family spent years teaching bluegrass workshops for beginners. Already having years of teaching experience, Kyle knew how to teach shamisen to beginners, presenting techniques and songs clearly and simply enough that students could enjoy learning without confusion. Together with Bachido Instructor Ten Ten, Kyle has led many shamisen workshops in the US, and is establishing a local shamisen group in California.

Kyle specializes in the step-by-step teaching of fundamental techniques and skills. He breaks down each technique, providing a clear path for beginners to learn the basics. At the same time, he highlights the finer points for intermediate players to refine their skills.

Before starting shamisen, Kyle avidly played and sang traditional Appalachian folk songs and ballads. Recently, Kyle discovered that the warm, resonating shamisen matched perfectly with those songs, and now makes shamisen lessons to teach his favorite classics.

Kyle also likes talking about himself in the third person, and is also pretty good at playing shamisen as well.

Fundamental Tsugaru Techniques
Appalachian/Old-Time ballads on Shamisen