Beginner needs help: What ito string to get for a Nagauta shamisen?

I saw that there is a ichi no ito, ni no ito, and san no ito string. I know you can buy a set of 3 with each of those 3 strings, just enough for your shamisen, but then I watched the video on information on the shamisen strings.

Can I just buy one type of string to be on my shamisen?

The guy said that Ni no ito, which is the tetoron type is the strongest and will last longer. So I was just thinking of buying the set of 3 tetoron strings, for my beginners shamisen.

Is this right?

you really do need to buy the 3 different types. they are all different thicknesses which allows them to reach the corrrect tension at the 3 different pitches. if you were to string all three strings with the same string you would have 1 good string and 2 very floppy (or 2 very tight) strings that would either not make a good noise (volume, tone) or would break very very easily/ would be impossible to tune (too much tension will pull the itomaki loose)


I think this is most important. Strings are made from a couple of different materials but the thickness really influences the sound.

I wouldn’t worry to much about the strings ‘lasting’. Beginners aren’t as hard on their strings as professional players.

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Golly, I dunno if I agree with that, haha. I used to break strings much faster!

Anywho, as everyone has chimed already:

The standard practice is to vary the gauge of the string. The first should be the thickest, the second and third usually get progressively thinner - but occasionally match each other.

For Nagauta, one often finds the following gauges:
1 - 15
2 - 13
3 - 12

Traditionally, you would use silk, but tetoron and nylon are used on the second and third strings to extend the life span at the expense of tone.

Some of our peers here substitute strings for other things - @Peter_Larson is a bit more familiar with alternative options than I am.