Help for Tab improvement


Summer’s slowly approaching here in Germany and the Renaissance fairs are sprouting like weed. Usually my time to go busking here and there, swinging my lute and playing some folky traditionals with friends.

My shamisen just wouldn’t wanna stay at home, since I like to experiment. So I tried to transscribe some songs from lute to shamisen (basic melody only though) and I had a nice mashup with a bagpipe player today. The shamisen might be the first string instrument to outplay a larger market pipe, when it comes down to loudness.

But since I just fiddled myself into shamisen since December 2016 (bought one from Katoh-san, truly a great experience being there), I lack “complexity” in my playing. I can do some minyo pieces, as well as some tsugaru but far from perfection. So I’d love to have your opinion and maybe some improvement on my tabbing. One of my real problems are tacts or metrics, since I mostly play by ear… these are the first tabs I’ve ever done.

It looks really shabby and don’t mind my handwriting.
But I had no other possibility, since the shamisen composer is down or was nowhere to be found. Except for the site-files, but apparently I am to dumb to use it.


The first one is really good I think, I have a own version of the Palästinalied (the “the” always sounds funny on a german word :stuck_out_tongue: ) but mine is not as complex as yours.
Im just a beginner in shamisen as well but maybe too much complexity is not as good as smaller amounts. I mean, a good technique on a special place, can be more than techniques everywhere. Or maybe playing one part softer/slower or stronger.

The other one is katyusha, or?


Well thank you :slight_smile: .

I think the problem is (with most medieval songs, like “Loibere risen” or even “Ecce gratum” to a certain extent) ist the ornamentation of the vocals. I tried to apply that to the tab, as you see in 1st row, 2nd passage. But instead of playing this, you can play what’s written in 2nd row, 3rd passage, so it doesn’t have to be that complicated and can be adjusted to someones liking and playstyle.

The variation in sound and speed, comes while playing the song I guess, that always works quite well for me, since I can’t really read notes. ^^"

Yes, Katyusha is the other one. I think it’s a nice little tune without much to it and easily played and sung.


Hi there Jan, I also plan to play my shamisen at a local renaissance faire being held where I live in CA, and these songs may fit in nicely- I will check out your tabs when I get a chance, thanks for posting!


Feel free to download them, I also have some other tabs by now which fit the theme quite well, that I can upload here. (Would be another german and a swedish ballad).

But I’d really like to digitalize them, but the Shamisen TabViewer that was up on this site doesn’t work anymore, sadly.

I wonder how renaissance faires are in the US. Most of them over here are held in castles or remnants of actual castles and it always has some bruteish and savage flair to it. Great opportunity to sit in the dirt all day, drink loads of mead and play some music.


being far too inexperienced to try your tabs, jan, i’d like to know if there’s probably an example in sound or video at soundcloud or youtube available? do you wear a traditional japanese wardrobe when you’re going to play shamisen at a renaissance fair?


Why a traditional Japanese kimono, staying in a Renaissance place? (as I understood…)…


with playing a traditional japanese instrument one could probably wear a traditional japanese wardrobe as well, i think …


Hey there, I’ll be able to make a few sound samples in the upcoming weeks, if I have the time and get to set up my recording stuff. But the microphoning takes a while since my new apt has some cranky echo.
Maybe I’ll hum it :smiley: .

Oh I sometimes wear a happi or yukata, but sometimes it’s just a plain shirt, qilt and lots of fur. People at these event don’t give much of a sh**.

fun thing that you are from Dresden. Maybe we can meet up one day if you’re up for it :wink: , you’re only 2 hours away… if I am driving fast maybe just one, ha.