Help on begining

Hello guys, brand new here! Sorry if I posted in a wrong section.

I have some issues lol i don’t really know anything about music, 3 years ago i moved to Kyoto and after a while I got in love with the shamisen " i cannot get out from my mind the Rokudan" lol so few ago a friend left japan and he bought me a Sanshin 三線 i like the sound but have started anything tho, so few ago i saw some used shamisen that it’s what I’m aiming, so i found one around $120 is a 細棹三味線 紅木 but seller say that the tenjin has a chip “which i don’t know what it means”, my dear is the drum that i have seen many people seeling shamisen around $50 us with the drum skin broke, so my question is i worth buying this one to start and practice?

Hey there. Welcome.

I’m having a little trouble understanding your message perfectly, but here’s what I can tell you:

A 細棹 (hososao) is a thin necked shamisen, similar to the Beginner’s Shamisen seen on the bachido store. 紅木 (kouki) is the kind of wood it is made from. Kouki is usually translated “Redsander” or “Red Sandalwood”. It is very hard and rather heavy.

The 天神 (tenjin) is the head of the shamisen - the upper most part of the peg box that curves. A chip on the tenjin has no effect on the sound of the instrument, but it is an obvious aesthetic flaw that many people dislike.

$120/ 1.2万円 isn’t a bad price for a playable instrument. I have seen cheaper ones, I have seen more expensive ones.

Repairing a skin is expensive. Even the cheapest options are generally over $100 for a single side.

Thank you for your answer, sorry I’m pretty bad on explaining myself hahaha, I tried to said like how often the skin get broken ?
I found a Nagauta Shamisen in a fair state for around $176

i don’t know how good was the deal tho, but near my place are like 3 store and price are really out of my pocket hahaha.

The longest I’ve heard of a skin lasting is 10 years, but they generally break before that.

As for whether that’s a good deal or not, I don’t like to comment on specific instrument valuation. There’s always a risk of buying second hand. I also cannot identify possible damage from a picture of that quality.

Again, that price point isn’t bad - depending on what might be included and the overall state of the instrument.

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sorry for the long delay, but seems that uploading pictures with my phone gives me error…

I just recieved it :heartbeat: it comes with a Bachi, strings, line finger tip and a small bag.

what do you think about it?

i was thinking about getting new strings.

Without measurements I can’t be sure, but it looks like you’ve got a pretty standard hosozao nagauta with yamasawari and fancy zagane.

I don’t see any large cracks on the neck, but there might be some wear from the strings - all very normal.

Your skin may be natural or plastic, I am unsure. Look at the dots on the front - if they’re holes, it is skinned with cat. If they’re just pencil marks, it may be dog or plastic.

Thanks for the answer, in the skin is pencil dots tho, I asked already and they said that is dog skin.
By the way what is the meaning for the dots

Higher grade instruments are skinned with cat belly which very, very thin and extremely responsive. High quality cat skin will have visible holes - the nipples.

The pencil marks are there to mimic the holes when viewed from a distance and make the instrument seem more valuable than it is.

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Oh i understood!
By the way the size from the Tenjin till the bottom is 100cm.

Length from tip-to-tip isn’t too important. Most shamisen are ~100cm long. Tsugaru tend to be bigger, but rarely more than 5cm total.

The most relevant dimensions for identifying the subtype are the width of the neck (measured near the peg box, at the middle, and near the body) and the dimensions of the body (length and width, measuring only the flat top of the skin).

Length of the overall instrument becomes more important in identifying a specific subtype of min’yo called a tanzao. Tanzao are generally 90-95cm long.