Shamisen notations on sheets


So I haven’t gotten a Shamisen yet but I plan to get one in the future.
It seems to be an uncommon instrument to play since I don’t really hear about it.
I’m interested in playing one once I get it but I do have a questions.

Note:I do not much about music or instruments.

1.I have looked at the Shamisen notations but is it possible to use music sheets?

2.How many notes can it go up such as E to F music sheets?

3.Can it play sharp notes?

4.Are there any examples of playing all the notes starting from low to high notes on a Shamisen online?

I’m new to the community and music so please forgive me if I might get some things wrong.
It would be nice if someone could answer my questions,if so then thanks



  1. When you say music sheets, are you referring to typical western sheet music? The answer is of course.

In addition, shamisen has two other kinds of written notation. One of which resembles guitar tabs - bunkafu. It’s typically used in song books.

  1. A typical shamisen has about two full octaves of A ~ G; however the final, highest notes can be difficult to play due to their proximity to the resonator/body.

  2. Shamisen can be tuned to whatever you like, so yes. However, you’re generally going to be limited to working within, as mentioned in 2, twoish octaves of range. You can hit sharp notes, but other instruments can certainly go higher or lower.

  3. I’m not aware of anything particularly limited to someone playing through the positions one by one. However, if you listen to someone playing Jongara bushi you’ll eventually hear every position hit.

Additionally, this youtube channel might be helpful to you.