Broken string :(


My shamisen arrived yesterday and I am very excited to have it, decided to start having a play this morning and to my dismay i broke the San no ito :frowning:
I am in the UK and now have to wait to get some replacement strings sent from Japan :sob:
Anyway, here is a little pic of my new addition (before I broke the string)
If anyone knows where I can get my hands on a replacement string quicker pls let me know!
Ps should I replace the whole set? I don’t know how old the strings are so maybe a full fresh set would be best :thinking:


Hey Shelly

don’t know where you live in the UK, but I suggest to get in contact with other shamisen players within the country. Maybe you heard about Ichikawa Hibiki-San, who leads a shamisen-group in London.
Try to ask somone from that group for strings to sell you.

edit: Ah I just saw your place of residence in your profile…not that far from London then :wink:


Thanks for that Ale!
That’s a great idea I will contact Ichikawa Hibiki-San and see if he can help :ok_hand:t2::+1:t3:


Hello Shelly,
Glad to see you logged into the Bachido community.
Where abouts did the string break? If it is near the bridge, then there should be enough string wrapped around the itomali to release and play. If it is near the tenjin (pegbox), then it will need a new string.
The set of strings is actually fairy fresh and the san no ito was brand new. I put on a silk string, but some people prefer to use nylon for the san no ito, as it is less likely to break, (a silk string will have a thread pattern on it, while a nylon sting is smooth). Some say that silk is a nicer sound, but I can’t tell much of a difference, so you might want to go with nylon, for the sake of longevity. Take care if you tune above a ‘B’ note.


Thanks Michael! Much appreciated. One of the lovely Bachido community members sent me a new string so i am just getting my head round restringing then i will be able to have a play.
Any tips on tuning? I dont believe i was tuning above a B but still managed to break the string… guess my technique needs some tweaking


The good thing (and occasionally bad thing) about the shamisen, is that there is no standard tuning note-wise for each individual string, as long as the strings are in tune relative to one another. I tune B E B, though alot of recordings I have of other players seem to be higher, at least C F C. I tried this at the start, but strings snapped too easily, (however that may have been due to a heavy-handed beginners technique). I don’t know if you are using a tuner of some kind, but you can use the positions on the neck to tune as well. (Depending on how good your ear is), for hon-choshi, you can play the ni no ito at position 6 and it should sound like the san no ito open. Then you can play the ichi no ito at position 4 and it should sound like the ni no ito open.