ShamiBuddy Bachi angle


#1

Hi everyone!
When it comes to playing the ShamiBuddy, I always find myself going from the 90° angle to something less bent. For me, it kind of works better and feels more relaxed.
Now my question is, is that a normal thing with the smaller sized shamisen or should I be strict here and stay with the 90°?


#2

If it makes a sound you like, that’s fine - but when you talk about 90 degrees I’m not sure what you mean.


#3

Around 5:30, the 90° angle between the hand and the arm. I don’t really have that angle most of the time.


#4

Ah, I see the confusion. I don’t mean the angle of the bachi itself, but rather between the arm and the hand. Sorry ^^’


#5

I’m only a little over a month in but I was having this problem as well initially. I find that all the form is there for a reason. Just like having the tenjin up higher and the dou on the correct place on your leg makes fingering technique easier… Playing with your wrist bent at a 90 seems to allow you to get the correct sound, particularly I think it allows for a more percussive strike where as having a relaxed wrist tends to allow you to strum a string as you would a guitar with a pick. With that being said if it works for you and it’s fun that seems to be a compromise for not getting the exact sound out of the instrument! This all comes with the disclaimer that somebody with more experience should weigh in here!


#6

I personally feel like that because of the smaller size, it’s not as comfortable to get the right angle as it would probably be on a tsugaru shamisen. Because I have to move my arm further back to be on the right position with the bachi.


#7

So having looked at the video, THAT 90 degree angle.

Personally, I find it pretty necessary in order to get the proper sound. When I play tsugaru, aligning the flat of the bachi with the flat of the skin means I can properly follow through with my strike to create the percussive snap.

Even when I play my comparatively tiny min’yo shamisen, it’s still something I do. The strike point on the dou may be different, but my wrist remains bent in order to get the (less prominent but still present) snap.

Look at this video.

Edit: Better angle, different stage

I’m the white dude in the center. To the right and left are my colleagues Mr. Matsumoto (bronze hakama) and Mr. Miyamoto (gold hakama). My form can always use more work, but they’re both excellent examples. Mr. Miyamoto plays tsugaru as well, and you can see that in the action of his arm; Mr. Matsumoto play akitabiki, his wrist is doing all the heavy lifting. Nonetheless, both keep that angle.

I lack a video for this but: my min’yo teacher and her mother both keep a nearly 90 degree angle as well. They also tend to angle the handle of the bach away from the dou somewhat, which gives them a gentler sound. I have been accused of having a very tsugaru tinged playing style on multiple occasions.