Electronic Shamisen For Live Performances


Hello, I’m new and considering a shamisen purchase. Due to my live performances, I would like to purchase an electric shamisen. Most of the venues I play are setup for electric guitars, hence going electric. I really like the Tsugaru sound and style.

I saw one ebay below, but I don’t want to gamble. Any thoughts on a good first electric Tsugaru Shamisen?

I was looking to spend under $1500 USD.

If not, I was going to consider the Sakura on this site. Any thoughts on electric shamisen’s? Anyone know a good place for purchasing quality electric shamisens? Thank you!

Mugen21 Electric Shamisen

Random Ebay Electric Shamisen


Hi. The second one is definetely not a tsugaru shamisen. Good luck and welcome.


Ah, thank you. Yeah, ebay is such a huge risk when buying a shamisen, especially with my very little prior knowledge. I guess the Mugen 21 is the way to go, especially after reading this article


Anyone else have any experience with electric shamisens for live performance? My other option was just adding a mic to the Sakura Shamisen from the Bachido store?


If you’re handy then you can just buy piezo disc elements from amazon (you can get a dozen for a few buck on amazon), hook it up to a jack cable and you’re good to go.
I basically just cut one of the jack cables pin of so I could keep the housing. Then the housing goes between the dou and the neo and the piezo element goes between the skin and the koma. Then you can just use the tension from the strings and koma to keep the piezo in place.


I have a piezo for mine that I just tape to my skin and it works great for both live and recording.


A “Nagauta tsugaru”

What will they think of next? haha


Honestly, if you’re interested in the shamisen sound I’d suspect you’re better off with a pick up or a mic-set up. Electrics don’t sound bad, but they do sound different.

As the others have said, a piezo style pick-up (see the shop here, or look at one of the Fishman options) with a pre-amp would be ideal. You could also use a nice condenser mic, and just angle it at the body.

A “Nagauta tsugaru”

What will they think of next? haha

Pffthaha Gotta get them search pings, right?


For a great example of the Mugen 21 check out Beni Ninagawa, according to the Wagakki Band official scorebook that’s what she uses and it sounds amazing.


OMG, the Wagakki Band is incredible. No way I’ll be that good, but Beni is definitely a beast and very similar to the style I’m going for! Alright, my decision is made. I’m starting small with just mic’ing up a beginner’s shamisen with a piezo then saving up for the Mugen21 and melting faces with it. The support on this forum is incredible. Thank you guys!


That’s what I do and it works great. Cost me all of $250 in total.


Cool, i went with the beginner’s shamisen from the bachido store. In a few months, I’ll post some vids of my face melting status. Thanks all!


Shinichi kinoshita also uses the mugen 21 ad stated from his score book and it also sounds amazing