Traditional bekko bachi for Tsugaru playing style. Bekko bachi are the standard for Tsugaru playing style. The flexibility of the blade and the distinct snapping sound when striking the strings is an important nuance of the authentic sound of Tsugaru Shamisen. Playing with a bekko bachi feels entirely different from playing with a standard student plastic bachi. And it transforms the sound of your shamisen immensely, too.
The blade of this particular bachi is especially thick and sturdy and will withstand harder playing styles. The coloring of the blade is what I call “a caramel dream”: dark brown and yellow blend together in a delicious swirl. The little bright spot nearly at the center of the blade’s edge gives this bachi an extra unique touch. So it’s easy to tell apart when you play with other people and you all happen to put your bachi on the same table. The corners show slight signs of use – one more than the other. Both are still absolutely fine to play. I do have different preferences when it comes to corner shape depending on the song that I play. So it can be pretty useful to be able to flip the bachi for a different feel. What’s also notable about the corners is that they are very firm! So if you prefer the super snappy sound of soft bekko, this is not the right choice for you.
The way the blade is fitted to the handle is especially neat. Other bachi usually have a fringed transition between blade and handle. This one has a neat edge, which took more effort and precision to accomplish.
The handle is of average length that should fit most adult hands. It has a crack at the bottom end that goes one third around the handle (see pictures). A drop of superglue will be enough to fix it. The flaw in the handle is the reason why I’m giving this bachi away at such a fantastic price. Grab it while you can!
With its weight of 108,5 grams, this bachi is pretty lightweight and feels less tiring if you have weak or injured hands. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to weight and it has nothing to do with your body size or playing style. It really is personal preference.
If you’re just starting out with playing the shamisen: It’s pretty common that the bachi feels a bit weird at the beginning. But it should not cause any pain – neither in wrist nor in any of the fingers of your bachi hand. Please make sure not to grip the bachi handle when playing but to have the bachi wedged in your hand in a relaxed way (I know, it’s hard! But that really is the key to a healthy swing, painless play and a great tone).
- blade: 9,2 cm
- length: 18,7 cm
- hilt width (bottom end): 26,5 mm
- hilt height (bottom end): 25 mm
- weight: 108,5 g