Super Chipped Bachi?


Hi all!

So here I was practicing some my striking precision when I heard for the second time now a “snap!”. Here’s the result!

I checked Kyle’s tutorial on how to fix a chipped bachi, but his wasn’t nearly as chipped as this one. So I was wondering if I can do the same in this situation? I had already started on the other side of my bachi (you can see it’s slightly rounded on the right side and not quite a nice curve) . I was slowly sanding that on spare time.

I’m also wondering if this kind of chipping has happened to others? Is it caused by a technique issue or is this normal to happen?



Hello Calvin

well it sure has a lot to do with the material being used for the bachi; here it seems plastic. The playing style for the bachi you’re using is not primarely intended to be tsugaru-style (assumed you’re playing that partucular style), but all other forms of shamisen playing, as far as I know. Hitting too hard on the strings - and those for tsugaru are again much heavier/stronger - might strain the material of the bachi.
Furthermore the geometry is more prone to breaking, because of the larger radius/curvature from the handle to the tips.
Sanding sure is a good option, but keep in mind that the smallest resulting radius, and you have quite sanded down that corner :wink: will end in a more dull sound; just not as crisp or brilliant as it should.
I hope Kyle’s newly craftet bachis are coming soon. They are supposed to be quite affordable I heard.



Hi Alessandro!

Thanks for the reply! I’m indeed playing more of the hard hitting tsugaru style… well that explains it!

I did end up watching a movie while sanding this last night, here are the results.

Much better! I can use it now to play, and strangely enough it feels easier like this than before.

Looking forward to seeing these bachis made by Kyle! I was myself thinking of 3D printing one (I have a printer) but I was worrying about it not being able to withstand anything due to the construction of the object.




If you ever want to try faux bekko or wood bachi, we can meet and talk more seriously about shamisen. :wink:



Could be fun! Though I did got around to ordering myself a faux-bekkou with a tsugaru the other day since I had a nice surprise bonus in income! :slight_smile:

But it would be fun to meet up either way and talk more shamisen :slight_smile:


Meet up, you two!!!

Being that you both live in the same area, it would almost be a sin not to meet and jam. And to make it interesting, I will give you both a free Premium Shamisen Course if you meet up! :slight_smile:


Haha! Well we did meet up for lunch the other day! Just to get in touch and get to know one another :slight_smile:


Oh, good good!

Well, my offer still stands for the next meeting. :slight_smile:


You have got some tough strings!!
Well done on the reshaping - there are many antique bachi that are a similar shape, though I think they were meant to be that shape to begin with.
Consider safety goggles when twanging in the future :wink:


Actually… my ni no ito snapped overnight on Tuesday… :’(

I have to wait to receive my new ones sometime next week. I have impression I’m going to pulverize my nagauta if I continue this way (this is why I decided to invest in a tsugaru).


Well, no surprise strings failed after what sounds like a Liam Neeson style beating.

Just kidding (though maybe you do play like Liam Neeson). Strings break. I have to use fishing line on my high G string on my SanXian as the traditional twisted silk can barely stand being tuned, much less plucked. I think my nylon filament gives a better sound, actually, with longer sustain. I am no slave to tradition - if monofilament had been available to early shamisen players, they would have used it. The nylon fishing line also has the advantage of generating less tension on the instrument than the silk.

I’m certain that there are many variations on string material that would yield a variety of sounds. Anyone tried stringing their instrument with banjo strings? Or am I speaking heresy?


Haha! Well, I do come from a metal guitar background, so I’m usually not very gentle on my instruments. Even my electric violin took quite a bit of a beating and it’s mostly air!

As for strings, I’ve played around with various strings on both my violin and guitars before. My violin, the high E I use a silver plated string, it tends to give a nicer and smoother sound overall which is nice when you play in the higher octaves.

My guitar however… are typical steel strings but just a ticker gauge since I found those gave a nicer bassier sound (for playing rhythm it’s great!). I’d be curious to try out different material strings for the shamisen as well though maybe not metallic strings.


Did we ever get this free Premium Shamisen Course? Lol


I also have a nagauta which I tend to play a bit rough, lol. I thought I was the only one!