New version of Shamisen Composer! (+ more awesomeness)


Hey guys,

I’ve just uploaded a new version of Shamisen Composer.

There are lots of improvement, but it’s not perfect yet. Feel free to comment your experiences.

But hey, that’s not all!

I present to you, the Shamisen Scale Viewer!

With this little thing you can create scales and try out different combinations of scales and the standard tunings, effectively showing you where you can play the scale. This picture is a way of helping you to map your mind to the sao when playing. It will work like a pattern that you remember when improvising.

Also, you can select parts of the chord to highlight where you can play the chords on the shamisen. It is a helpful way when writing music for the shamisen that is physically possible.

The plan is to add a more beginner friendly version of this tool later where you get assistance in selecting chords without knowing anything about music theory.

And please tell me if the site goes down.


Ooooh!!! Play time has started!! :smiley:
What timing too (in terms of chords), as today I’ve been working on Kevin’s World Scales course (which he filmed here last year)

Would it be okay if I sent this to Nitta san now, or would you want us all to Skype first?


It is up to him! If we skype I can explain but the idea is also to test how intuiative it is.


Looks good!


Thanks, I want to make something more beautiful with all the combo boxes and stuff but I haven’t been focusing on such stuff yet.


Awesome Karl!


Ooops, the Scale Viewer had an error in it, preventing the view from updating when you changed the scale. It should be fixed now. If it isn’t for you, hold down SHIFT and press F5 a couple of times to reload the site completely.

Hope to hear some more feedback Kevin, thanks!


I think it’s working quite well!


Oh man, this is exciting! Awesome work, Karl~! Thanks for sharing it with everyone as well.


Karl お疲れ様でした!!!

For those who don’t know, Karl’s been working on the Shamisen Composer for a long time, so I’m very happy to see it finally ready for public use. :slight_smile:

When I get some time, I’m going to try transcribing “The Coffee Grinding Song”, debuted on episode 20 of the Bachido Blogcast. (6:04)!

Might as well transcribe The Austrian Taxi Driver as well! :slight_smile:

I’ll need to talk with the Boy Genius about good ways to host user-made PDFs on Bachido, somehow.


shame on me I didn’t get around to checking the composer out earlier when it was a topic on the forum already . . . awesome work Karl and it even looks like a lot of work and I know such things are a lot of more work than they look like . . .

absolutely the coffee grinding song should be kept in the spotlight and offering tabs for it along with the taxi driver song somewhere on bachido could also keep that idea of a series of theme songs in the spotlight without regard to whenever additional tunes may expand that series . . . could be featured even outside the forum as an open and permanent invitation for everyone to contribute a theme song about whatever topic at any time . . .

as for the taxi song I would of course also love tabs as I am not the total by ear genius and the different sound and measurments of my instrument make it somewhat harder to pick out finger positions (tsubos?) from clips and not to mention for learning a whole tune from start to finish tabs are always good to have . . . another cool thing I found about tabs is that you can keep certain cool sounding moves in mind once you have exactly seen them even when you can’t play them yet whereas otherwise you would rather discard them as too difficult at the time and not have as many cool and challenging moves in mind for practice sessions . . .

of course I thought about hitting Kevin up for an autographed tab version of the taxi song sometime after the taikai like you know to also have it framed and hanging on the wall that would definitely be far out :slight_smile:


One thing that is quite crucial to add is the arc with a 3 above it to show that it is a triplet. Right now you can choose the “Snap” function to set it on triplets and align the numbers closer, but I’m not sure if that gets through for everyone.

So if you have any ideas of how you would want to add such arcs, tell me about it. One idea that I have is that you select the first note of the 3-arc, and press a button. The it will make the arc cover that note and the next two notes on the same string. This is similar to how the current slide (suri) function works, only that it will now go over 3 notes instead of 2.



Definitely excited to use this and share whatever crazy songs I dig up. Again, you are awesome for having produced this, Karl!

If you don’t mind my asking, what software/scripting language did you use while designing this?


The editor is JavaScript only, used in a MVC3 ASP.NET website. Then I am using PDFSharp on the server.

PDFSharp is the main reason for having a Windows based website. If there is a good free-to-use PDF generator for Linux I would be down with making a Linux based site which could be hosted by the Bachido webserver.

Thanks for the encouragement btw! When I started out it was a mix of the need for a tab editor and me wanting to learn some more about web design.

Since then I’ve lost all desire to make web sites :slight_smile: The only thing driving me forward is to make it available to the shamisen community.


Hey man, I can totally understand the feeling! Programming is super fun, but necessity seems to be the drive behind most people’s efforts/projects. :wink:

I’ve worked a bit with JavaScript, but moved over to Python because I found it more useful for creating tools. To be square, all languages are relatively easy to use. It’s just a change in key-strokes and syntax; not far from learning a spoken language :smiley:

I’d be interested to have a look at your code, for personal use/study of course. I find it’s an awesome exercise to pour over someone else’s work and try to wrap your brain around it. nerding out Although, if you don’t feel comfortable with sharing it just yet (or at all for that matter), I completely understand. Just, yunno, two sets of eyes are always better for debugging~

Happy coding!


Happy coding!

I believe that’s what we call an “oxymoron”. :wink:

Sorry, just had to throw that in there!


Jättebra Karl :wink:


Har har har~ That’s a good one, Kyle.


uauu i completely missed this one…its great. well done Karl!! and thank you very much for doing this…

hopefully many people will start using it and soon we will have our Bachido full of various tabs transcriptions as well as newly composed songs…


Thanks Sid,

I don’t think it has seen much use yet, since I haven’t been hearing any complaints yet lol. But hopefully it’ll be helpful to shamisen players. The main goal was always for one musician to just transcribe something he wants to share, and not to make the best ultimate tool for making sellable books, although that might be a future goal if there is a demand.

PS. Thanks Anderson for the Swedish reply!