Why hajiki? (Why ask why?)

I am struggling mightily with hajiki (430, measure 5, Kuroishi Yosare Bushi) and while I was practicing someone asked me why not just use the bachi to sound the string instead? My answer was because that’s the way the sheet music says to do it but can someone with more experience please explain what the advantage is to using hajiki instead of the bachi?

Because it was done this way for about 400 years? :joy::rofl:

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I think it’s just another way of making a different kind of sound. All of the techs used for playing shamisen make the songs more interesting to listen to in my opinion. But I think there’s nothing wrong in doing it differently :slight_smile:
What I noticed though, at least considering Kuroishi Yosare Bushi, is that the bachi strikes remain the same as in the simple version through the entire piece. It always remains at the same rhythm, the added techs are there for the color of the music.

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Hajiki, Tataki, Sukui, Uchi all make different sounds.
Mae and Ushiro also have different sounds.
The angle you hold the bachi affects the sound.
The tightness of your wrist affects the sound.

Technique and form are tools for you to utilize.

In music you compose, you may opt to not use some techniques - but from a teaching perspective it’s important to learn it.


Also once you get the hang of Hajiki you can play passages much faster/flashier than what you would be able to do with just repeated down strokes, by alternating between tataki and hajiki - if you YouTube jongara bushi and watch a few people’s examples you’ll see what I mean!

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I am more and more under impression what the need in different ways to produce sound comes from the constant rhythm of the bachi. Especially if the heavy bachi used. It can be used only so fast. So, If you want to insert any other shorter sounds in between the bachi rhythm you have to use left hand for producing the sound. And depending on if the string was plucked before or not you need to use either “hammer” or hajiki. This allows to speed the things up without changing bachi speed and pattern. Again, IMHO only.