Can i turn a sanshin into a shamisen


hi my name is cedric, i figured out recently that the type of shamisen i have is a sanshin and i really wanted a shamisen and i was gunna buy strings for shamsien than the sanshin white strings and i just want to know if that will work


i may be wrong in giving an advice but i would just give it a try. if it doesn’t work, you can change the strings and give it to someone who’s got a suitable instrument …


As the scale length is quite different, normal shamisen strings will probably be much too taut on a sanshin. You’d need thinner strings, I think.

I play both instruments, and although they’re superficially similar, there are enough differences that they feel like very different things. It’s a bit like trying to play slap bass on a guitar. And you won’t be able to access all the higher notes on a sanshin: the fingerboard falls away earlier.

Asoviva make (or, at least, made a prototype) a sanshin/shamisen hybrid, sanshin-sized but with a longer playable fingerboard, different skin, and a few other shamisen-like features. I’ve played it. It was closer to a shamisen, but still not very close.