How big is the Sanshin compared to the beginner Shamisen? Why is it cheaper than the beginner Shamisen even though it comes with extra items? I’m considering getting the beginner Shamisen with fibersen skin, and I’m assuming that the Sanshin doesn’t have FiberSen? Is that correct?
Hi and welcome. Shamisen and sanshin are different instruments, you can’t compare the prices :
They’re rather different.
The Okinawan sanshin predates Honshu’s Shamisen, and while there’s some overlap in construction, the sound and playing style are different.
Sanshin typically use a very different pick, lack the buzzing sawari sound, and make frequent use of the little finger in left handed playing techniques.
It’s comparatively more similar to the Chinese Sanxian that the shamisen, but still quite different.
Also for what it’s worth, the shamisen is also much larger. Even hosozao or tanzao variants of the instrument dwarf the smaller sanshin.