I’m pretty new myself. Got the Shamibuddy last year, about this time. I’m in a pretty remote location, so finding a physical teacher/class is a nonstarter. (I’d be shocked if there was another shamisen player in my town)
The crash course is a good place to start. I struggled a bit trying to figure out where to go next. I found a few tablature sources, but the hardest part is sorting out some of the timing/rhythm, when you’re not familiar with the tune.
I need to have a little bit of variety / new material to keep myself interested, so that was a bit of a struggle, figuring out what next.
I ordered Kyle’s book off of Amazon - mostly for the hardcopy tablatures in the back. Again, nice to have as a physical reference. Same issue though - tablatures aren’t great if you aren’t familiar with the tune. There’s a couple songs I’d picked up, but never could get to sound right because my timing and rhythm were wrong.
Which is what brings us back to the Schoolhouse videos. The schoolhouse lessons are a pretty solid place to go next. You get both the sheet music as well as the videos, and that goes a long way towards solving the timing issue.
Also finding some good “easy pieces” to practice on are nice. Kuroishi Yosare Bushi (the crash course song) gives a lot of different techniques to try and practice, but it has some really long phrases that I still struggle with memorizing and doing properly.
Yasaburo Bushi is the next lesson I bought. It’s really good for a basic song. The tune is catchy, it’s traditional, and it’s not as complicated as Kuroishi Yosare Bushi, as there’s only three main sections (the second one repeats for however many verses you want to play). So as a noob, I feel pretty good being able to say I know one complete song now! Yasaburo Bushi was one of the songs in the Shamisen of Japan book, but the videos made learning it much easier.
Kuroda Bushi is the third song I’ve been working on. Again, it’s pretty simple. But it sounds good. And you can build up on it if you want. Downside, it’s popular so there’s a bunch of variations that might not match the arrangement/tablature you’ve got. I think Kyle did this as one of the online classes on Youtube last summer, but I found out about it too late (and haven’t yet joined the patreon to get the back catalog of material).
I really like the format of the schoolhouse classes for that reason. Having the play-alongs for the different sections at different speeds makes it much easier to build up the muscle memory to start playing it faster and putting together the full piece. And then you get the “Here’s how to fancy-up this song with some extra techniques…” when you feel like leveling up.
@Brandon - what is Aoyama Ryu? Sounds like a practice app; what platforms is it available on? I may have to look into this…