Tdlr: My student made an invaluable resource for understanding the body mechanics of Tsugaru Shamisen! The course is free and is in the Bachido Schoolhouse! - https://bachido.com/school/body-mechanics
The full story
Similar to many high level shamisen players, I learned shamisen through observation of players (both on youtube and in person). Shamisen instruction is often conveyed in the form of analogies to express the feelings experienced in proper technique. For example, “Imagine the bachi pressing through the skin and striking your belly” is used to describe the follow-through needed for tatakibachi (percussive striking).
Although analogies help, it can also be very beneficial to know the exact muscle mechanics used for shamisen playing. Unfortunately, because most all shamisen players (like myself) learned only by observation/analogies, we never took the time/interest to study the actual anatomy involved.
Meet Christopher Took. He’s my oldest (not age) shamisen student who’s been a regular core member of my shamisen community group since the very first session five years ago. Since he started, Chris has spent years observing the bachi technique of tsugaru shamisen masters both in person and via YouTube. With his keen observational skills, he noticed the commonly used muscles and motions shared by all high level players as they execute clean and clear techniques. But he didn’t stop there! Chris also studied the anatomy involved so he could relate those motions with the correct (as far as I know) anatomical motions/lingo. Together, we prepared this hands-on lecture to help everyone achieve strong confident tataki, and more!
Did I mention the course is completely free? Yes, it is! Check it out and experience some deeper knowledge behind the motions of Tsugaru Shamisen! - - https://bachido.com/school/body-mechanics