Shamisen , a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument .

rustydusty

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That was incredible! Kind of a cross between a banjo and a sitar...
 
OP
OP
DJ Mango

DJ Mango

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... the track I posted made me think of the bark of a long neck soprano which is why I posted .
I think LN sopranos are popular in Japan .
 

plunker

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Wow, great. Wonder what she could do with four strings.
 

rustydusty

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I am fascinated by that thing they are using for a "pick" and the fact that they are plucking the strings with their chording hand. Incredible coordination there...
 

LarryS

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I am fascinated by that thing they are using for a "pick" and the fact that they are plucking the strings with their chording hand. Incredible coordination there...
And the vellum was traditionally made from cat skin
 

Peter Frary

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The Okinawans have a similar instrument called the jamisen but uses snake skin instead of deer skin (or vellum).
 

mrosenlof

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I consider the Shamisen the "king" of Japanese instruments in the same way that the violin is the "king" of european music. It's everywhere, folk music, classical art music, Kabuki, and recently shows up in pop every now and then.

I'm a shakuhachi player and play mostly traditional Sankyoku music. "Three voices", the traditional ensemble is Shamisen, Koto - a 13 string zither, and Shakuhachi, a bamboo flute. It's a great joy to study with and play with the string players.
 

Auffenauger

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Wow! Does that ever bring back memories of bar-hopping in Koza, Okinawa in the early 1970s. I was just learning to play guitar back then and the mama-sans at the bars would play their Shamisens when it got late and business slowed. When they tired of playing they'd let me try it. There was a method to their madness, the more I drank the better I played - at least to my ears.
 

Ahnko Honu

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My mother was a very talented samisen (& koto) player. She had a custom made instrument. The skin is traditionally cat skin. I always felt sorry for the kitty whenever I looked at her shamisen. I wonder what she ever did with it.

Here's the Yoshida Brothers playing "Kodo". Many oldtime gamers might recognize the song:
Nintendo Wii Mix:
 
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SleepyheadRooster

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You know, this isn’t so different from some of the extended guitar solos you’d hear from “guitar gods” in the Seventies. Fast playing, driving rhythm, some repetitive lines, lots of vibrato…

Cool stuff!