The ShamiBuddy (made in Santa Cruz)


It’s FINALLY here! With great pleasure, I bring to you the first Made in Santa Cruz shamisen - The ShamiBuddy!! (

In the beginning of 2019, I started crafting streamlined affordable models to make shamisen even more accessible for newcomers. Made at my home in Santa Cruz, the ShamiBuddy is a true handcrafted work built with love!

With a ShamiBuddy in your hands, you can begin learning styles like minyo, tsugaru, nagauta, and more! Discover how easy it is to start learning shamisen with your ShamiBuddy!

In chronological order: A huge thanks to local carpenter Jeremy Davis who helped prepare materials and suggest great ideas for streamlined production practices! Highest gratitude to Arthur Mok for filming the promotional video and spending many hours editing to perfection. And finally, 最高est 感謝 to Su Bunjamin who played a huge role in the final stages of ShamiBuddy production (making all the kamigoma, fitting all the sao to the dou, assembling the accessory sets, and much more). Three cheers for Team Effort!


Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s finally here!! I always wanted a shamisen that was like this one!


Ach, this is the true meaning of fate! :smiley:


:musical_note: Merry Christmas to me :christmas_tree:
:musical_note: Merry Christmas to me :santa:
:musical_note: Merry Christmas :musical_note: ShamiBuddy :gift: (~still no shamisen icon!~)
:musical_note: Merry Christmas to me… :money_with_wings:


Congrats on the official release and happy holidays to the Bachido crew!


Yaay! I got your order! Thank you so much, Marilyn, and thank you for waiting so long! :smiley:
I’ll ship it out right after the holidays!


A question for you; the page says

To unlock the courses, please contact Bachido after ordering the ShamiBuddy. Include the full name on your Bachido account, as well as your paypal receipt for the ShamiBuddy.

What’s the best way to do this? Is it to send my info to the ‘store’ email address?



Yes please! :slight_smile: No need for the receipt, so just the name you registered with is enough.

Actually, the account mentioned is actually for the Schoolhouse page ( By signing up there (free!), your unlocked lessons are registered so you can watch them whenever/wherever you like.


Oh my god. I had a complete brain fart for the past 3 days and did not realise the beginners shamisen and the ShamiBuddy were two different things. (I blame xmas confusion!)

Ordering the moment I get paid in a few hours, without a doubt. Do you think it’ll arrive before the 11th?? (UK, lil’ birthday present to myself…)

P.S. Your videos are literally the best thing in the entire world and that’s a fact. Never stop doing what you do.


Hahaha! I can totally see the confusion! :slight_smile:
Thank you so much for ordering a ShamiBuddy, Ben! It’s in the process of being skinned, so I’m not sure it will arrive before the 11th. However, it makes for an awesome post-Birthday extended celebration!

Thank you, Ben! I love that fact, and hoping to keep it going! :smiley:


I totally get that, it’ll be kinda nice not knowing when it’ll arrive as it would then certainly be a nice surprise when it turns up! Will I get an email or something when its dispatched?

I described you to a friend as the Ryan Reynolds of shamisen, make of that what you will. Thank you again!

P.s. Kyle if you see this before shipping my Shamibuddy, if you could autograph somehow that would be amazing. :stuck_out_tongue:


Hi everyone, I’m new here.
One question: what is the difference between black and white skin?


Welcome! :wave:

@Kyle_Abbott is the best person to answer this question, but the only comment I’ve seen about a difference is that white skin can sometimes turn slightly transparent on the top perimeter of the body where the skin is glued to) (from the repairs page)


Thank you for the answer. :wink:


Big thanks to @Kyle_Abbott for making Shamisen more and more affordable for many people!
I’m so glad I could also order the ShamiBuddy last weekend, happy to be finally able to start playing ^^

I’m really curious though if Kyle knows about ‘The Lick’, since he played it in the intro :wink:


I’m really curious though if Kyle knows about ‘The Lick’, since he played it in the intro

Hahaha!! Finally, I’m glad someone caught that! :smiley: Yes indeed, it is! It took soooooo many takes to film it with that expression without cracking. :stuck_out_tongue:


P.s. Kyle if you see this before shipping my Shamibuddy, if you could autograph somehow that would be amazing. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ach, I’m so sorry, I missed your post! :frowning: If you order another one, I’ll be sure to sign it! :stuck_out_tongue:


@Kyle_Abbott I’m getting ready to purchase the ShamiBuddy, but I’m wondering what the differences are between the black and white versions. Is it purely aesthetic? I’m just curious about the reason for the price difference. I like the look of the black one, but if the white is higher quality, I might go that way.


Hi Jared! Excellent choice! :slight_smile: And excellent question about the colors. Yes, it’s purely aesthetic. The price is higher because the costs of producing the white Hibiki is higher than black. Thus, the final price reflects that. But sound and experience will be about the same.


I’ve had my ShamiBuddy for almost a month—loving it :heart_eyes:—and now seems like a good time to ask some questions:

:cherry_blossom: Should the koma be removed after every session? (I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving it in since this allows me to immediately start playing whenever the mood strikes)

:cherry_blossom: What kind of strings are on it? (My guess is that it uses the Ito Set (Nagauta) 【長唄 糸セット】 found in the Bachido store but I don’t want to assume. Besides, that doesn’t say what type of strings they are: Nylon? Tetron? Silk? Something else?)

:cherry_blossom: What maintenance is required for the ShamiBuddy? (I use a Nomad Tool to keep the dust off, but should I clean the sao with oil? Water? Never let liquid touch it?)

:cherry_blossom: Will replacement parts eventually be available in the Bachido store in case they’re broken or lost? (ex: itomaki, koma)



Hi Marilyn!

So happy you are loving your ShamiBuddy! :smiley:

  1. Good question! Well, it’s usually best to remove it from the strings, as removing tension from the strings increases the life of them. However, rather than completely removing the koma from the ShamiBuddy, you can just slide it to the side so that the thickest string pinches the edge of the koma, holding it in place. (Let me know if that makes sense, I can send a picture if not)

  2. It shouldn’t require any maintenance, although dusting with a damp cloth is totally fine.

  3. Good point! Yes, I think we’ll have replacement parts in the future for itomaki, but it should be known that the strings included is the ‘Ito Set (Nagauta)’ in the Bachido Store, and any koma in the store will work for the ShamiBuddy (and in my opinion, it makes the ShamiBuddy sound better too)