Okay so I'm completely and utterly new

So I’ve just started looking into everything and it’s pretty confusing to wrap my head around I see a lot of words and things that I don’t really understand so basically a rundown of everything I need to buy need to understand look at all that stuff so any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

Check out the crash course on Bachido schoolhouse. It will explain a lot of the basics and the various terms.


Kyle’s book (https://bachido.com/store/shamisen-of-japan) is great, too, and is a great reference to keep around.

One other piece of unsolicited advice: I started out learning shamisen in a weird way. Before I even touched a shamisen I started studying the notation (aka: scoring or tabs) as part of an ongoing software project. By the time I picked up an instrument for the first time, I has a pretty good handle on how to read the music I was trying to play. If you don’t have your instrument yet, don’t let that discourage you from watching the videos, learning the notation, and understanding techniques. You’ll have a great head start when you actually start playing!

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Okay thanks for the help I’ll definitely check it out!

Hi there.

Take a look at the Shamipedia section of the website; it’s a highly simplified version of things (especially in terms of shamisen types and identification), but will give you the gist of it.

Beyond that, the other sub-forums have numerous threads which should be helpful, but if you have specific questions feel free to ask.

To get started, you’ll need an instrument. Kyle’s book will show you how to build one, but buying is an easier (if likely more expensive) choice.

Options for buying include auctions, the bachido store, and other net-based outlets (such as https://shami1000rakuya.com/). The cheapest options, from highest to lowest will likely be: the bachido beginner’s shamisen, a lucky find on an online auction, and finally a shabo premier from the link I posted.

Depending on what you end up with, you’ll need different accessories to get going.