• March 23, 2015 /  Misc

    The accessories arrived today.  I put the shamisen together this evening. Here it is on a guitar stand. I didn’t have a choice on the neo (end piece that the strings are anchored to) or the doukake (pad on side of body). Both are purple. Could be worse I guess. 



  • March 19, 2015 /  Misc

    I recently took interest in the Japanese instrument, the shamisen after seeing a performance on a Nikkei TV episode.  The song, by the Yoshida Brothers featured the instrument being played in a modern song. The mix was quite interesting- old instrument being applied in a modern song with modern instruments. After much research I quickly learned that not only is one difficult to get over here but it’s also a very expensive instrument due to its materials. 

    I found www.bachido.com based out of California with a vast online base with store, video lessons and other useful material.  They not only sell a couple of decent shamisens but also sell a beginner shamisen, from the same manufacture who provides for the schools in Japan. To minimize cost, only the body itself is sold. The accessories such as the strings, koma (bridge), bachi (like a pick) and other required items are sold separately as there are different types to choose from. 

    I ordered the shamisen and accessories last Wednesday evening.  The shamisen body arrived yesterday.  The bachi as part of my accessory order is holding up that shipment as stock is low.  Hopefully won’t be too much longer. 

    The craftsmanship is amazing. The neck is in three separate pieces that have been crafted to fit and snap together which can also be pulled apart.  No fittings or tools required. All part of the way the notches are shaped.  Here’s a picture of the body after I removed it from the shipping box. 


  • March 5, 2015 /  Misc, Remembering Charles

    Today is the 6th year anniversary of my Dads passing. Hard to believe 6 years has passed.  I remember the day like it was yesterday….. Fortunately, I also remember many great moments too.   Just don’t ask me where I left the thingamajig yesterday.  

    “We all miss you, Dad!  Hope you’re doing lots of fishing.  I didn’t leave you all those fishing supplies in your urn for decoration. ;).  Your lifetime of influence and guidance definitely lives on in me more so today than before.  Like you, I have become so picky about cleaning the driveway after a snowfall.  Also like you, I now want to complete everything that needs to be done before sitting down for the evening.  And yard work and general house upkeep are very much part of home ownership.  I don’t expect anyone else to things that are my responsibilities.  We make life what it is.  We don’t expect anything to land in our hands.”


  • March 5, 2015 /  Misc

    Even I’m getting tired of the intense cold. Enough already!!  It’s March 5th and its -18 this morning.  Where the heck is spring?