ShamiCamp: California (2016)


After our successful launch of ShamiCamp in Tokyo, we’re bringing this three-day workshop series across the seas to sunny California!

In the continued pursuit of sharing knowledge and developing bonds within the shamisen community, Bachido has established ShamiCamp — An intensive multi-day workshop series where the best Shamisen instructors unite to teach their skills, developed over a lifetime of dedication to their art, to passionate shamisen enthusiasts from around the world.

Are you a beginner?

Never played before? Want to learn a basic song or just to pluck a note? No problem! We offer a 60-minute hands-on workshop especially designed for beginners.

Are you intermediate?

Do you feel more comfortable with shamisen, but want to solidify fundamental techniques or begin learning higher-level skills? Strengthen your bachitsuke, kamashi, and vibrato skills.

Are you advanced?

Do you feel fluent with shamisen and want to take your skills to the next level? Learn and practice chords, modes, and advanced-level fundamentals.

All Skills Levels Welcome!

With six dedicated instructors (including myself, Kyle Abbott!) present at ShamiCamp, you’ll always have inspiring knowledge to enjoy, at any skill level!

The Instructors

I’m honored to be joined by five amazing shamisen instructors who have all made a big impact in the shamisen world. They share their skills and wisdom with the same excitement and passion around which shamisen enthusiasts from all over the world unite.

Instructor Introductions (Bachido Schoolhouse)

Kevin Kmetz
Mike Penny
Aki Takahashi (Ten Ten)
Masahiro Nitta
Reigen Fujii

Where else can you learn from positive, high-level instructors in the fun atmosphere with a group of fellow shamisen enthusiasts?

Join today!

Whether you’re just starting shamisen or have been playing for years, there’s much to learn from supportive instructors in a positive group environment. Get your passes, it’s time to join your friends at ShamiCamp: California!


Brown Paper Tickets Ticket Widget Loading...

Click Here to visit the Brown Paper Tickets event page.

About the Passes

Day Pass:

Valid for one day at ShamiCamp.

Are the workshops the same each day? I.e, Will I miss anything if I only attend one day?
The entire workshop curriculum is spread over three days. Because workshop material is not repeated, it’s encouraged that you take part in the entire event.

Complete Pass:

Valid for all three days at ShamiCamp.
Includes a FREE ShamiCamp poster signed by all the instructors!

Beginner’s Crash Course:

Never touched a shamisen before? Now you can! During ShamiCamp, we will be holding special Crash Courses for people who’ve never held or played shamisen before. In this course, you will be given a shamisen and instructed how to play under the patient guidance of a friendly instructor! The Crash Course session is one hour long, and several will be scheduled throughout the day.


From all of us at ShamiCamp, we’d like to express our deepest appreciation to the Japantown Business Association, Yu-Ai Kai, Akiyama Wellness Center and the Japanese Culture Fair of Santa Cruz for generously supporting ShamiCamp, and for allowing and making it possible for us to hold this fun and educational workshop in the fine community of Japantown! 心からどもありがとうございます!

More details!


San Jose Japantown

San Jose Japantown is a very special community nestled within the bustling city of San Jose. Unquestionably, it is one of my favorite places in California. The streets of Japantown are relaxed and cozy. Upon stepping onto the main strip, I feel a safe sense of calmness, often inspiring me to just pull out my shamisen and start playing on the street corner. Not busking, but knowing that my three-stringed beats are warmly welcomed in the community.

Ever since Aki Takahashi (Ten Ten) and I started hosting shamisen workshops in Japantown, the community leaders have been so supportive and encouraging us to continue bringing shamisen lessons and sounds to their warm community. Thus, I could think of no better place to host ShamiCamp: California!

Japantown is home to the San Jose Buddhist Church, a great supporter of Japanese cultural activities and education. Japantown also has many fine Japanese restaurants, fashionable shops and most importantly, a vibrant coffee shop in the center of town! Convenient for out-of-town attendees, Japantown is a short, 10 minute drive from the Mineta San José International Airport.

Address of ShamiCamp

Akiyama Wellness Center
Address: 110 Jackson St, San Jose, CA 95112

The Akiyama Wellness Center is part of the Yu-Ai Kai, a nonprofit senior center and huge part of the Japantown community ( As well as being an advocate for all seniors, they host activities for local community. Together with the Japantown Business Association, the Yu-Ai Kai has generously allowed us to host ShamiCamp in their fine Center!

Class Schedule

(Please arrive at the Akiyama Wellness Center on time with Shamisen tuned)

Note: All workshops include curriculum for all skill levels. (Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced)


12:00 - 12:30 Meet & Greet
12:30 - 01:30 Warm-up / Orientation
01:30 - 02:00 ShamiCamp Song (Introduction)
02:00 - 03:45 ShamiCamp Song (Learning)
04:00 - 05:45 First Workshop

Instructor: Aki Takahashi
Title: Finding Freedom in Minyo
Aki teaches how to learn and play Min’yo Songs the way she learned it growing up in Japan. Learn how to mimic the melody line and create fun phrases to accompany yourself with shamisen. Discover just how versatile and adaptive Min’yo is!

06:00 - 08:00 Second Workshop

Instructor: Kevin Kmetz
Title: Classics of Kmetz
It’s time to learn some sweet licks! Kevin will teach phrases to classical songs (like Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5) and original pieces. He will conclude his workshop by sharing ways players can infuse personal flavor into their shamisen, making one’s own unique sound come alive!


11:00 - 11;30 Meet & Greet
11:30 - 12:15 Warm-up
12:30 - 02:15 Third Workshop

Instructor: Mike Penny
Title: Chop Building 101
From comping with chords and world rhythms to fun-to-play melodies and CHOP BUILDERS! Also, Mike will share tried-and-true training techniques for increasing your skill level!

02:30 - 04:15 Fourth Workshop

Instructor: Reigen Fujii
Title: Cocktail Hour
Reigen will teach cyclic chords and scales, with extra focus on ‘groove’ for advanced players. Workshop concludes with everyone playing “Isn’t She Lovely” together!

04:30 - 06:00 ShamiCamp Song (Separated in Groups)
06:00 - 07:00 ShamiCamp Song (Combined Rehearsal)


11:00 - 11;30 Meet & Greet
11:30 - 01:15 Fifth Workshop

Instructor: Kyle Abbott
Title: Appalachian Roots
Kyle will be leading everyone through a classic Appalachian fiddle tune; complete with chords, solos and etiquette for playing together. Workshop concludes with an old time shami-jam session!

01:30 - 03:15 Sixth Workshop

Instructor: Masahiro Nitta
Title: Nitta Ryu Attack
Masahiro will be teaching fundamentals of his family’s shamisen style. Instruction will consist of basic and advanced bachi technique, how to beautify phrases, cleanly combining techniques, and more. Much wisdom to gain for all skill levels. Workshop concludes with a Jonkara Jam!

03:30 - 04:30 Bachido Song Premiere
04:30 - 05:00 Closing Celebration (casual!)

More details to be announced!

Click for Map of San Jose Japantown!



There will be a short 15 minute break at the end of every workshop.
Because time is limited, there will not be an official extended lunch break. Please bring lunch or snacks to eat when you get hungry.

Care of Facility

In return for holding ShamiCamp in the beautiful Akiyama Wellness Center, we MUST keep the facility clean as possible. This includes putting the chairs back at the end of the day.


Though there isn’t any hotels directly in Japantown, there are several hotels within a mile or two. Please use to see what hotels are available (use the address “110 Jackson St, San Jose, CA 95112” to find hotels closest to ShamiCamp)

Plan Your Route

The Akiyama Wellness Center is easy to find and close to the Light Rail station, but it’s highly recommend to prepare directions from your lodgings to ShamiCamp in advance.

See you there!
Kyle Abbott
Founder of Bachido & ShamiCamp


IT HAS BEGUN!!! JA JA JANG!!! :smiley: