Sao and dou question


Hello everyone,
I’m brand new to the world of shamisen and am excited to start learning. I recently purchased an old nagauta shamisen from Japan which seems to be in pretty good shape minus the skin having been cut.
I’ve worked with intsruments in the past and I like to learn new skills. After reading pretty much every reskinning post on the forums I feel like I can do a passable job on it.
My question is, is it possible to “Frankenstein” a dou from a different nagauta shamisen? Ive found one with both skins intact. Would it be worth buying it and using it with the sao I currently have while I try to reskin the other dou?
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I figured I would ask before jumping on it.


Great question!
I think that it is quite possible though the chance that the dou exactly fitting the sao would be pretty low. If you’re handy with tools though, you should be able to fit it. You could use thin shims combined with chiseling on the rectangular side. The bottom where the end pin comes out could be a little trickier but certainly quite doable I would think.
A big issue would be how it affects the string action/neck angle. Kyle’s book could give you some good info on creating the proper neck angle I would think. And not too tricky to figure out on your own too.


Catherine’s on the money here!

A custom job in Japan generally begins with the person selecting a neck and the dou then being fitted to it.

The same idea would apply to frankensteining together one ;O!


OOH! A Frankenstein Shamisen, sounds creepy!


Thanks for the input! I ordered the dou. Once it arrives and I have it all together ill update this thread. Thanks again!


When I first saw the title to this thread referring “Frankenstein” I thought you were going to sew some skins together for that stitching effect.