New shamisen beginner!


Ah, I see!

Cedric, that’s a sanshin (三線)! It’s a precursor to the shamisen originating in Okinawa and also found on the Amami islands. Hence the tropical print on the artificial skin!

It’s usually played quite differently from the shamisen we have here on Honshu.

Look up some Okinawan or Amami folk songs to get an idea of its background.

Alternatively, modern bands like BEGIN use it too!


oh well is there anything that could change it to a shamisen or is it permanitly a sanshin



They’re pretty different instruments.

It’d be like converting a a ukulele into a banjo. By the time you’re done, nothing of the original would likely remain.

Sanshins are smaller and lack the characteristic sawari drone of shamisen (found also in biwa and related to the sitar’s jivari).

They’ve got their own neat sound.


Oh ok well guess I’ll save up my money to buy a shamisen


So what happends if I put on the ito string on it except the white strings, I’m just curious



I’m not sure what you mean.

Are you asking what will happen if you use the yellow shamisen strings on the sanshin instead of the white sanshin strings?

If you do, you’ll get a slightly different sound due to the material and string size differences. Shamisen tend to use combinations of silk, tetoron, and nylon. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what sanshin strings are made of.

Shamisen strings might not fit the holes in your sanshin’s tuning pegs, and are definitely longer than necessary for a sanshin.


Ok, so what is I put a doukake on my SanShin will it be too big for the box



Moreover, a sanshin’s comes with it’s own doukake (the cloth wrapping around the sides).


Hello… I was in the same boat as you…Love the shamisen didn’t know a darn thing about music or instruments…I got the beginner Nagauta form Bushido with the basics and haven’t looked back…I love it and its open a whole new world for me… Go for it and hopefully you can maybe find a teacher as well…I struck gold finding one her in LA…the great Mike Penny…