Sound of a nagauta shamisen


So i’ve been looking up some examples on the internet for nagauta shamisen stuff but im confused as I somehow find that it has 2 types of sounds wherewith sawari it can make a long buzzing sound while on the other hand, I found that it also makes a quick tinkling noise when plucked.I tried removing the sawari on my nagauta shamisen but it sounds the same but without sawari.can anyone explain?


Are you talking about a technique on the ichi-no-ito similar to what Kyle does in this video at the 0:20 mark?


No not exactly it more of sounds like these examples




The sawari can sound on open strings, but it can also ring if you play a sympathetic pitch on either the ni no ito (position 4, 10, 14 in niagari) or san no ito (position 6, 10, 16 in niagari). These pitches resonate with the open ichi no ito and cause the sawari to sound out.

With that said, both of your examples included striking the open ichi no ito. The reason for sawari being shorter in these examples is that the string is either muted with the fingers or struck again quickly instead of allowing the string to ring out completely.


So how do I play a sympathetic pitch?


Make sure all of your strings are in tune, and play one of the positions I mentioned above, while keeping ichi no ito open. If your intonation is correct, it should buzz on its own while you’re playing the note.


Wait so just to be sure the quick tinkling noise is just a position being played while the ichi no ito is open?


Yes it can be, but the examples you linked actually had ichi no ito being played, either alternatively (vid 1) or simultaneously (vid 2) with the other strings. Try experimenting around with each option and see if you can replicate the sound you’re looking for.


So I tried doing this on my shamisen but it doesn’t work it more of sounds like the respective string without the sawari.Is it possible it be an outside source?