About the bekkou bachi


Hello everyone!

My name is Ricardo and I’m a shamisen player/student based in Brazil. :slight_smile:
I have no musical education and actually the shamisen is my first experience playing an instrument. :smile:

I’ve been playing for a year and I use a plastic bachi. It has been serving me well but some friends started using a bekkou bachi and they totally swear by it, saying it’s a much better playing experience. :open_mouth:

But since my friends are much more experienced musicians and shamisen players, I wondered if a newbie like myself would actually feel the difference. :thinking:

Do you guys think it’s a good idea for a newbie like me to make the switch to the bekkou? Or should I get more practice and playing experience before acquiring it?

Thanks everyone!


Just my opinion but yes, you should get one as soon as possible. It’s your contact point with the instrument. It has a slide and a give and finesse that is impossible to achieve when playing with a rock hard slab of plastic.


Definitely try to get one. The playing feel is completely different in my opinion, possibly due to a very small amount of flex in the bekkou (faux) bachi. Expensive but definitely worth it.
Plastic are OK for nagauta style but the percussive nature of tsugaru is completely suited to the bekkou.


Assuming you mean a real bekkou bachi and not a faux one, I’ll be bold and say that I don’t think any beginner needs one. They are very expensive and until you are significantly more skilled you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a real bekkou bachi and a good faux bekkou or acrylic bachi.

I have been playing for a few months now and have made several different bachi from several different types of flexible plastic, including acrylic. Even when listening very carefully and having my sensei explain the differences he hears between the different types of plastic and his real bekkou bachi, I still can barely tell the difference.

Definitely upgrade from your rigid plastic bachi to something more flexible. It will make a world of difference. But do you need real bekkou? I don’t think so…