Shamisen : Famous Japanese Instrument

Shamisen means which carry three string, It is a Japanese instrument which is traditional musical instrument. Shamisen can also be pronunciate as samisen or sangen. This shanisen instrument is version of Chinese instrument known as sanxian. You can also say a Japanese lute.It is similar like that of the Indian sitar.

Talking about the shape of the shamisen it varies.It is square in shape and has thin neck and generally small piece called a bachi is used to play bachi is also different according to the shamisen shape. It is not really hard to play any instrument it is just you need concentration to play and learn. When we hear the music it is just similar to that of banjo.

Playing Shamisen

It is not really hard to play the Shamisen it sound similar to banjo.But somewhat it is really difficult to hear such music because we are not used to it. Know thyself

Have you an idea out of which material Shamisen is made of

Shamisen is made out of skin of cats and dogs. Generally it is made up of the wood or ivory and covered with the skin of cats and dogs(pet lovers sorry to say this). Approx 30 inches or one metre long neck. People prefer the wood one if it is affordable and most did not like the plastic one.


Shamisen is expensive

When we compare the prices of any international musical instrument it is really expensive and when we talk about the many Japanese instrument Shamisen cost really high. Generally a special training is needed to crave the instrument.

What are the reason of instrument cost high? May be cost of making, material, demand of this instrument everything should be kept in mind while setting the price. One also important factor is that the material should be available easily otherwise cost of making already goes up.

Construction of Shamisen

As we already seen in the picture shamisen is similar looking to guitar or you can say sitar , banjo type of instrument.It has long neck which is similar like the length of guitar., but the neck is slimmer as compare to guitar.

Moving forward it has rectangular body which is known as do, and this the part which is covered with the cat or dogs skin, but sometimes it is also heard that in the past some kind of paper type material is used to cover the body, and recently it is common that many kind of plastic is used.

when we talk about the skin it is made up of some silk material or nylon kind of thing. Have you ever notice the buzzing of a sitar commonly called jawari some sort of same sound can also be notice in this shamiaen which is known as sawari.

Do kake is a cover which protect the upper part of the shamisen body. Player need to wear a cloth like band on the left hand so that he can easily move up and down the shamisen. The band is known to be yubi kake.

The expensive wood is used in the construction of the shamisen, which is a rose wood and it is very hard material. Apart from rosewood,walnut and mulberry are also used in the construction of the instrument.

Talking about the length of the neck it is around 62.5 cm. Moving towards the thickness it divides the instrument in of three types hosoza, chuzao, futozao.

Talking about hosoza it has a narrow neck and is used for Nagauta, secondly chuzao which has middle sized neck generally used for Kiyomoto and Shinnai and lastly is futozao which is the thicken one generally used for Gidayu.

This is very expensive Japanese instrument which is love to hear and many people want to learn to play this traditional musical instrument of Japan.

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