Can’t decide what style to play? In my eyes, a shamisen like this one combines the best of all styles! This style of shamisen is associated with Minyo style, but it really is very versatile and makes any kind of style fun to play. It’s also pretty close to a futozao shamisen and will make playing Tsugaru style fun, too. As a chuuzao neck shamisen, it is a good choice for everyone who doesn’t know where the shamisen journey might take him or her. The width makes it comfortable to play no matter what hand size you have, and the thickness/height of the neck makes gripping it feel super easy! The overall length of the instrument is average and not shorter as can be often found in minyo shamisen. So this really is like a slender (and not as back-breaking) version of a Tsugaru shamisen.
The instrument is made from beautiful shitan wood – a high-end hardwood traditionally used for shamisen. I paired the instrument with a gorgeous purple doukake with an embroidered golden asanoha pattern. The harmonious purple neo has some tassles to further bedazzle the spectator. Also included in the package is a set of attached strings and a tenjin cap. The wood has a gorgeous grain that really pops in bright light.
The dou is skinned with natural skins that will wrap you in the authentic and warm sound of shamisen music. The tension is very good, so the instrument sounds great! The joints are crafted in a more intricate way to make them more durable. They sit super tight and reward you with a satisfying smack when pushing the parts together.
If you don’t have one lying around to use, please consider getting a washi bag to protect your shamisen’s skin from humidity.
This fingerboard is 28 mm wide and the neck 29,5 mm high at the top and widens slightly towards the dou. This makes the neck feel sturdy and super comfortable to play. The fingerboard ends in a sharp angle that makes playing high notes up to 20 and beyond possible. There’s a minor imperfection at the fingerboard joint (see pictures), probably from flattening the neck. It’s not noticeable when playing, so it’s just an aesthetic matter.
The installed azuma sawari lets you adjust the sawari (buzz) to your liking. This means you can switch it off completely (for modern pieces, pop/rock/metal genres or certain ensembles) and also have the perfect buzz no matter how high or low you tune your shamisen.
The tsukigata (the curved end of the tenjin) has a nick that is usually covered by the tenjin cap. This affects the sound of the instrument in no way and is just an optical nuisance. It happens easily, so please forgive the former owner for his or her clumsiness! The neck is crafted in mitsuori style: It can be separated into three parts. This makes travelling with the shamisen very easy – even if you have to get by with light and small luggage. The joints are crafted in a more intricate manner that allows for an extra durable snug fit of the joints. The itomaki (tuning pegs) are made from ebony wood and are carved in a traditional way that makes them easy to grip despite their relatively slender built. This instrument is a great companion and has a warm and full sound. If you have any further questions, reach out and send me a message and I’ll be happy to help. All you need to add to your set to start playing are a koma, a bachi and a yubisuri. Depending on the style you intend to play and your personal preferences, you want to pick a certain kind of koma and bachi. Yubisuri come in different sizes, and I didn’t want to deprive you of the difficult yet fun choice between all the wonderful colors. I also recommend getting an adhesive dougomu or a hizagomu that will prevent the instrument from slipping off your thigh. Depending on your personal needs, you might want to consider getting a fujaku strip to mark the positions along the neck. Alternatively, you can mark positions individually or play without any markings. If you need help with picking the right additions to this set, don’t hesitate to send a message and we will find the perfect match for you together.