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Ito (strings)

Stock up on ito (strings) to keep your shamisen producing glorious sounds! Available in Silk, Nylon and Tetron.

Learn about shamisen ito and watch how to string a shamisen.

String gauge (thickness)

Higher-gauge strings are thicker, lower gauge strings are thinner. If you don’t have a preference, go with our recommended defaults.

Tsugaru Ito Set (Black) 糸セット ブラック

This is a very special set of ito made by Marusan Hishimoto Co. (the most trusted maker of shamisen strings, and the only brand of string I sell in the Bachido Store) All strings are dyed black and look very striking against a white shamisen skin. Just be careful when playing shamisen in the dark!

From what I’ve heard, these strings don’t have the best sound quality (especially compared to the Gokujo string), but they’re still very good and the color balances the rest!

Includes one Ichi no Ito, a pack of two Ni no Ito and a pack of five San no Ito.
String Gauges: 28-1 / 15-2 / 14-3

Price:
$30 USD

Tsugaru Ito Set (Red) 糸セット レッド

This is a very special set of ito made by Marusan Hishimoto Co. (the most trusted maker of shamisen strings, and the only brand of string I sell in the Bachido Store) All strings are dyed red and look very striking against a white shamisen skin.

From what I’ve heard, these strings don’t have the best sound quality (especially compared to the Gokujo string), but they’re still very good and the color balances the rest!

Includes one Ichi no Ito, a pack of two Ni no Ito and a pack of five San no Ito.
String Gauges: 28-1 / 15-2 / 14-3

Price:
$30 USD

Tsugaru Ito Set Pack (Fujiito) ふじ糸津軽糸セットパック (IT-TS)

This is the Fujiito brand of ito. They are the most common brand of string for shamisen. It’s considered to be average quality for ‘practice use’, but I use them for performance and nobody notices the difference!

Includes one Ichi no Ito (2X), a pack of two Ni no Ito and a pack of five San no Ito.
String Gauges: 29-1 / 15-2 / 14-3

Price:
$46 USD

Tsugaru Ito Set Pack (Gokujo) 極上 三津軽糸セットパック (IT-TS-GJ)

This is the Gokujo ito. They are the considered to be the highest quality string for shamisen, and ideal for stage use.

Includes one Ichi no Ito, a pack of two Ni no Ito and a pack of five San no Ito.
String Gauges: 29-1 / 15-2 / 14-3

Why is this set cheaper than the “Tsugaru Ito Set Pack (Fujiito)”? It’s because the Fujiito set includes a double length (2X) ichi no ito. The double length ichi no ito is higher quality than the single length of the Fujiito. The Gokujo string is single length, and so the price comes out relatively cheaper. Personally, while I am perfectly happy using the average quality Fujiito, I do notice a difference in sound quality. The Gokujo ito has a more delicate and richer tone than the Fujiito ito.

Price:
$30 USD

Tsugaru Ito Set (Fujiito) ふじ糸津軽糸セット (IT-TS-S)

This is the Fujiito ito. They are the most common string used for shamisen. It’s considered to be average quality for ‘practice use’, but I use them for performance and nobody notices the difference!

Includes one Ichi no Ito, one Ni no Ito and one San no Ito.
String Gauges: 29-1 / 15-2 / 14-3

Price:
$14 USD

Ito Set (Nagauta) 長唄 糸セット (IT-NS)

Inludes one Ichi no Ito, one Ni no Ito and one San no Ito.

Price:
$24 USD

Ichi no Ito (Fujiito) ふじ糸 一の糸 (IT-1)

Fujiito – Regular Grade

The thickest string. Material – Silk.
Available in sizes for both Tsugaru and Nagauta styles.

Special Note for Tsugaru

The feel of this string is harder.
This string is recommended if a hard bass and overall forceful tone is desired.

Price:
$10 USD
Style:

Ichi no Ito 2X (Fujiito) ふじ糸丸三 一の糸 (IT-1F)

Fujiito brand – Regular Grade

This Ichi no Ito is double length, so you have enough string for two shamisen.

You might be wondering why this double-length string costs over three times as much as a single-length “Ichi no Ito (Silk)” string above. Excellent question! Compared to the single-length, the feel of this silk string is softer and higher quality. It is recommended if you want the bass tone to have more delicate resonance with richer harmonics.

For Tsugaru style.
Gauge: 25.

Price:
$33 USD

Ni no Ito (Fujiito) ふじ糸 二の糸 (IT-2T)

Fujiito – Regular Grade

The middle string.
Material for Tsugaru style – Tetoron
Material for Nagauta style – Silk
Sold as a pack of two strings. (Note: The outdated picture was taken when three strings used to be included)

Price:
$7 USD
Style:

San no Ito (Fujiito) ふじ糸 三の糸 (IT-3N)

Fujiito brand – Regular Grade

The thinnest string. Material – Nylon.
Sold as a pack of five strings.

Price:
$7 USD
Style:

Ichi no Ito (Gintsuki) 銀付 一の糸 (IT-1)

Gintsuki – High Grade

The thickest string. Material – Silk.

For Tsugaru style.
Gauge: 29 or 30

Price:
$12 USD
Gauge:

Ni no Ito (Gintsuki) 銀付 二の糸 (IT-2)

Gintsuki – High Grade

The middle string.
Material – Silk
Gauge – 15
For Nagauta, Jiuta, and Tsugaru styles.

Sold as a pack of two strings.

Price:
$9 USD

San no Ito (Gintsuki) 銀付 三の糸 (IT-3)

Gintsuki – High Grade

The thinnest string.
Material – Silk
Gauge – 14
For Nagauta, Jiuta, and Tsugaru styles. (Note: Silk San no Ito generally aren’t preferred for aggressive tsugaru style, as the thin silk breaks faster than nylon)

Sold as a pack of five strings.

Price:
$9 USD

Ichi no Ito (Gokujo) 極上 一の糸 (IT-1)

Gokujo – Best Grade

The thickest string. Material – Silk.

For Tsugaru style.
Gauge: 29 or 30

Special Note for Tsugaru

The feel of this string is supple.
This string is recommended if a delicate tone is desired. (A delicate tone can be a great balance for aggressive tsugaru style)

Price:
$14 USD
Gauge:

Ni no Ito (Gokujo) 極上 二の糸 (IT-2)

Gokujo – Best Grade

The middle string.
Material – Silk
Gauge – 15
For Nagauta, Jiuta, and Tsugaru styles.

Sold as a pack of two strings.

Price:
$10 USD

San no Ito (Gokujo) 極上 三の糸 (IT-3)

Gokujo – Best Grade

The thinnest string.
Material – Silk
Gauge – 14
For Nagauta, Jiuta, and Tsugaru styles. (Note: Silk San no Ito generally aren’t preferred for aggressive tsugaru style, as the thin silk breaks faster than nylon)

Sold as a pack of five strings.

Price:
$12 USD