I have had my shamisen for one week now and have been practicing the Crash Course volume one and Kuroishi Yosare Bushi. I still do not feel comfortable holding the bachi or striking with it. Let me know what I can work on. Thanks.
Well as advice i would recommend you to dial more with your arm instead your wrist and get used in the correct way about holding the bachi, you’re doing good, don’t be afraid of striking strings and skin.
Remember everyone learns to walk before running!
Keep practicing hard.
Thanks, Brandon! That is good advice–especially the walking before running. It’s tough not to compare myself to others and I’ve wanted to learn to play the shamisen for a long time so I definitely need to remind myself of this.
When you say dial more with the arm than wrist what exactly do you mean? Do you mean that I should using my arm more when I am striking the strings or maybe I should be using the positioning of my arm more to make adjustments as I’m playing?
Comparing yourself to others is pretty hard… 'i still do it"
When i mean dial with your arm, means that you should use your arm to play instead the wrist.
You posted yourself playing, cool, that takes a lot of courage. I haven´t done that yet! I was thinking, as Brandon already pointed out, don´t be afraid to “touch” the skin with your bachi.
Also, if you haven´t done it yet, watch the Body Mechanics of the Shamisen course, it helped me a lot to adjust, understand, and correct some mistakes I was making
Hi Brian !
Here is an advice that was given to me to “use my arm” : the chicken wing.
As your forearm rest on the dou lift up your elbow (imitating a chicken).
The forearm should naturally go down.
First, try without the bachi just to get familiar with the motion without thinking about “Am I holding the bachi right ?”. Then with the bachi.
You’ll see it way easier to get your wrist relax once you use your arm (also you’ll get more power). Being relax also help a lot to have a good grip on the bachi.
I hope this could help you.
Thanks for the helpful advice everyone. I am am starting to feel a bit more comfortable holding and striking with the bachi–your tips have definitely helped! Unfortunately, I am about to got out of town for a couple of weeks and won’t be able to practice but I hope I can post a new video with improvements once I get back.
As a noob, I found having a relaxed wrist and hand was very important and made things so much easier. Good luck.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll add it to my list of things to mentally check off as I’m practicing.