Pressing the strings sounds..strange..



Still struggling with Kuroishi Yosare Bushi as I started playing about 1,5 week ago. I noticed that when I press a string it feels like the sound isn’t coming out clear and on the same volume as when you don’t have to press it.
Do I need to press less hard or do I need to “hit” the string harder with my bachi?..^^;;

I could use any advise ^^;;
Thank you in advance.


For all the notes on the san no ito (the thin string), are you using your finger nail? It greatly improves sound clarity.


Hi Ian,

Yes, I use my nail. The thin string sounds ok but when I have to press 3 and hit the middle string or 4 and the thick string it sounds off… like: “cling cling presses string cloong releases string cling cling”…
Maybe I should put more strength with my bachi?
I’m scared that the strings may break though :confused:


I’m not too sure if I get what you mean - if ihe issue is striking you could always practice the motion of chi-to-shan, which I detailed over in Robert’s thread about hitting the third string
Here’s what I wrote about that:

“The idea is that you (when playing in ushirobachi, or the lower part of the dou) put the bachi against the string, and scrape it off and down, and then lift it up to let the note reverberate. Same thing in maebachi (the position at the top of the dou) but there you keep the bachi “glued” to the dou before the next strike.”

If not that, could you maybe post a video of the problem? If we can see and hear your technique it would be easier to figure out why it sounds weird.
Also, tsugaru strings typically hold up against pretty rough playing, so I don’t think you’d have too much to worry about with them.


Hi Ian,

Thank you so much for your reply again!
I’m sorry for my late reply >


You’re welcome, and please don’t apologize!

Yeah, since you’re using nagauta strings they’re not going to be quite as strong, especially if all three are silk.
What I suggested earlier really is only applicable to Tsugaru playing (Kuroishi Yosare Bushi is a Tsugaru song after all) so the different kinds of shamisen have somewhat different ways of hitting the strings.
However, I mean, it is still a shamisen, so we should definitely be able to figure this out with that video. :stuck_out_tongue:


Hi Sas,

Why not post a video of you issue so we can find the best solution for you?


Hi Ian, Hi Jacinthe,

Thank you so much for your replies :slight_smile:
Makes me feel a bit less alone doing this completely new hobby.
I tried to focus more on the bachi and how I use it and I noticed that the weird noise I was talking about is gone now most of the times :slight_smile:
Seems I was a bit too soft with my strings…
I’m too shy for a video yet as I’m so new to this (never played any string instrument before in my life) :wink:

Anway, I really think it was all because of the way I handled the bachi and I hope I will get used to it soon and hope to play more relaxed soon. Thank you once again :slight_smile:


You’re very welcome! Glad you found out a solution.
We hope you enjoy this as much as we do :smiley: