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.Hibiki: 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 Hibiki: Advanced Synthetic Skin below, and play it anywhere you go! View image gallery (10 pics)
- Hosozao Shamisen (Nagauta)
- Sao: Mitsuori (Three-piece neck)
- Itomaki: Ebony
- Skin: Natural / Hibiki
- Wood of Sao and Dou: Karin
(Note) Darkness/color of wood may vary.
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.
To help you get started with your new Beginner’s Shamisen, I am including several learning materials for free!
- Bachido Shamisen Crash Course
- Premium Shamisen Course: Sakura
- Premium Shamisen Course: Ringo Bushi
- Premium Shamisen Course: Yasaburo Bushi
Note: A Bachido membership (free) is required to access the courses. To unlock the courses, please contact Bachido after ordering the Beginner’s Shamisen. Include the full name on your Bachido account, as well as your paypal receipt for the Beginner’s Shamisen. After your account and purchase has been verified, the courses will be unlocked to your account.
“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
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).
Please note that the maker of the Beginner’s Shamisen does not carry accessories (strings, etc), and so they must be ordered separately (available below the order boxes).
Why can’t accessories be combined with the shamisen?
It is because accessories are provided by a separate supplier. In an effort to lower shipping costs, we tried combining accessories with the Beginner’s Shamisen before, but the overall shipping costs became higher than two separate shipments. Thus, it’s actually cheaper for the customer if the accessories and shamisen are shipped separately. Thank you for understanding!
Order your Beginner's Shamisen!(Please allow two weeks for fulfillment)
May 2020 Update:Due to the Coronavirus, the Japan Post has halted EMS Air Mail. Currently, the only option they allow is Ground (Sea) Mail. It takes about one to two months for delivery. Please be mindful of this when ordering your Beginner's Shamisen. Thanks!
Vintage Tone (Natural Skin)
Shipping method: EMS (Fast, safe, insured)
$ 449 USD
Shipping method: EMS (Fast, safe, insured)
(Your order will be processed by PayPal)
Shipping method: EMS (Fast, safe, insured)
Get your Accessories!Outfit your shamisen with these recommended accessories. For the best shamisen experience, please order one of the Bachi, one of the Koma and the Beginner's Shamisen Accessory Set below. Find even more at the Bachido Store!
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.
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: On very rare occasions, the blades of these bachi sometimes crack or separate from the handle. (It used to be a frequent problem but that issue seems to have been eliminated recently.) That being said, these bachi are covered with one-year insurance. If your bachi cracks or separates from the handle within one year’s time, send it back and it can be replaced!
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!
Note: In the video, Nitta san plays an earlier model which we used to sell. The pictures show the current model available.
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.
Bamboo Koma 竹駒 (KM-T)
Soft and warm.
Bamboo Koma (Bone Tip) 先骨竹駒 (KM-TB)
Clean and crisp. Bone tip brings a sharper tone, compared to the Bamboo Koma
Base – Bamboo
Saddle – Bone
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.
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.