Newbie wannabe but is it too late for me

Hi, just discovered shamisen online and YouTube. Just wondering if someone like me (66 yo and retired) could benefit from learning to play or am I just too far gone into left field to start to learn. I’m currently studying shakuhachi (just started that) and appreciate all Japanese music. Hope to hear from you guys.

Steve Delaune, Lafayette, LA


It’s never too late, give it a go!

Thank you for the encouragement.


Hey! Another fellow from LA.


You’re never too old to start, I think. Many people in Japan don’t get started learning until they retire (the work culture being what it is here).

The shamisen is, aside from a few sticking points, really beginner friendly. There’s only three strings, after all :stuck_out_tongue:

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Thank you. I’m torn right now. I am just starting to learn shakuhachi with an instructor and want to proceed with that but am taken with the shamisen also. I am retired with no commitments so have my days free. Since I am not training to be a professional on either one, I might be able to give time to each instrument to learn to play for myself. Any advice is welcome.

Hi Steve, don’t worry: if you love it, do it!
I just started 18 months ago and I’m enjoying a lot !!!
I’m 58 y.o. with no previous musical background, except listening to a lot of music with no difference of genres, sex, religion, colours :D:D
I’m having lesson online and about the free days … well, covid’s restrictions gave me an help :roll_eyes: :mask:

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Hey there I am 71 and just got my first one 2 weeks ago…


I started playing at 52. It’s all about immersing yourself in the experience and having fun. I hope you’re not to old to have fun. I love whacking away at mine with abandon! I have a saying in my house, “The shamisen is for playing, not for listening.” :crazy_face:

Hey . I have no musical background but found myself in love with shamisen long time . Then found this website and fortunately an awesome teacher ( Mike penny ) near me . I took the plunge and started with the beginner naugauta. It’s never too late - I I don’t think of terms in being too old . It’s about me learning and the joy it brings me . Im a midlifer. Don’t let age every be a roadblock. Just go for it.

Thank you for the encouragement. I’m studying shakuhachi right now but would like to bring the shamisen into my life at some point.


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