Good bachi alternatives


#1

Bachi seem a bit too expensive for me, could anyone recommend a good alternative? I’m thinking a giant guitar pick or something lol but I can’t really find one. On the plectrum video he used a mini bachi at one point, is there a place I could buy one? That sounds just about perfect.


#2

hello connor,

where’s your financial limit? i got my first bachi from a japanese ebay-seller for quite a reasonable price …
in tokyo there’s a craftsman producing small shamisen that goes out with a small plectrum in the shape of fuji san. i started playing with that but it is different from plaing with a real bachi and if you change from the small to the large one it’ll become difficult.
another option could be to start with a payable used bachi …


#3

You can play with just about anything, including just your fingers.

But if you’re interested in traditional playing, there isn’t really a substitute for a proper bachi - short of making one yourself.

If you’re interested, I have a spare bachi I’d be happy to send to you for the cost of shipping.


#4

That would be cool, what kind of bachi is it? Good condition? Also, how much would shipping be? If it’s above like 15 or 20 bucks I could probably just get a cheap bachi myself lol.


#5

I paid $20 for mine.


#6

Guitar picks are cheap. Many people play shamisen with a pick, even traditionally.


#7

That would be cool, what kind of bachi is it? Good condition? Also, how much would shipping be? If it’s above like 15 or 20 bucks I could probably just get a cheap bachi myself lol.

Since I’m Japan based, the shipping would be at leas 20 bucks, my dude. If you can source another one for cheaper, you’re probably better off :p.

The bachi i’d send you are generally damaged on one side and are nagauta (that delightful all-rounder size) and made from wood or plastic.

I have a beefy jiuta laying around somewhere as well.


#8

Check your DM


#9

I have made bachi myself before, material is definitely more than $20, but I was aiming for faux bekkou which would cost $300 or more. Mine are pretty rough compared to the commercial ones, so it’s just for my personal use. I have also resurrected a broken plastic bachi with a new top part, quite fun.

I assume you’d want something better than a hard plastic or a wooden one. Otherwise you could find good used bachi on ebay. I own a bekkou bachi, and still use my diy bachi from time to time. After making myself, I understand the skill level needed to make a professional one. If one diy, the cost is basically replaced by one’s own labor and time. If you are interested, I have typed up a report.

http://www.chungwanchoi.com/2017/08/diy-shamisen-bachi/

Mini-bachi? Haven’t heard of! If you mean to learn a style that uses regular bachi, to me, it seems more important to learn to hold the bachi correctly in the beginning. Therefore there’s no shortcut in terms of getting a bachi that is other than the ordinary shape. I mean, if one already has the foundation to hold regular bachi properly, then it’s fine to use other shapes with one’s judgement. Just my opinion, anyway.


#10

Mini-bachi? Haven’t heard of! If you mean to learn a style that uses regular bachi, to me, it seems more important to learn to hold the bachi correctly in the beginning. Therefore there’s no shortcut in terms of getting a bachi that is other than the ordinary shape. I mean, if one already has the foundation to hold regular bachi properly, then it’s fine to use other shapes with one’s judgement. Just my opinion, anyway.

Smaller bachi are used, on occasion, in kouta.


#11

I know how you feel. I had a custom shamisen made because I’m left handed and I still need to buy a decent bachi. I found a cheap wooden one on amazon, but its pretty poor quality.