cant hit 3rd string correctly, advice?


Hi all. I’m only three weeks into shamisen (but addicted in bad way). One of the things I sometimes have trouble doing is hitting the third string (and somethings others, but mainly the third string) consistently.

Sometimes I miss it completely and just hit the dou, below the third string. Other times I come straight down on the さんの糸but am not sliding off, so it doesn’t sound.

I exaggerated it in this video to explain what i’m talking about:

Any mental things I can think of to help, or drills, to help?


Hi Robert,

In tsugaru-jamisen, there’s a motion called “chi-to-shan” which might help you.,
The idea is that you (when playing in ushirobachi, or the lower part of the dou) put the bachi against the string, and scrape it off and down, and then lift it up to let the note reverberate. Same thing in maebachi (the position at the top of the dou) but there you keep the bachi “glued” to the dou before the next strike.
You can try practicing this scraping and lifting (or again, in maebachi, keeping the bachi on the skin) motion slowly to get the feel for it, and when put into practice with actual playing, your accuracy might start to improve.
Shamisen is by no means impossible, but it’s not /that/ easy either. It takes practice - stick with it and you’ll find yourself hitting every note you need!