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Sunday, 29 September 2013

29th of September - Sakura Sakura (272nd Song)

Today I had my first Shamisen lesson. Shamisen is a traditional Japanese string instrument, with 3 strings and a weird massive pick to pluck the strings. I kind of learned how to play Sakura Sakura, very famous Japanese song. I asked my teacher to record me playing it and I extracted the audio from it. I had two takes and this is better than the other, although it seems a lie.

Thoughts:  It was horrifying discover that the good shamisen were made with dog or cat skin. Luckily I played a plastic one, but it definitely sounded worse than my Hibiki's (my teacher) one. The first thing that he did was put me like a fabric band held by my thumb and my index fingers of the left hand, it's used to slide easily through the fret. I grabbed the shamisen, a decorative part on the side had to touch my ribs and I the position is quite vertical, he was always changing my awful position.
The pick (I don't remember the name now) it's very difficult to hold and it plucks the strings very flat and letting it hit the cat skin. After trying some exercises he let me play Sakura Sakura (because "I was learning fast"). Very good experience, 30 minutes demo class, 10 pounds. I'll repeat a proper class if I have enough money, 1 hour, 30 pounds.

Enjoy it!

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