Body Mechanics of Tsugaru Shamisen
Meet Christopher Took. He’s my oldest (not age) shamisen student who’s been a regular core member of my shamisen community group since the very first session five years ago. Since he started, Chris has spent years observing the bachi technique of tsugaru shamisen masters both in person and via YouTube. With his keen observational skills, he noticed the commonly used muscles and motions shared by all high level players as they execute clean and clear techniques. Combined with inspiration from Reigen Fujii’s Logical Lessons on YouTube, Chris related those motions with the correct (as far as I know) anatomical motions/lingo and prepared this hands-on lecture to help everyone achieve strong confident tataki, and more!
Admittedly, most shamisen players (including myself) really don’t know the actual body mechanics used for tsugaru shamisen and so rely on analogies to express the feelings felt when executing techniques. (“Imagine the bachi is pushing through the shamisen skin to touch the stomach”, and such) Analogies are very useful, but together with knowing the actual mechanics, one can achieve a full understanding of bachi technique. The combination of practical knowledge and analogies can be the key to yield authentic tsugaru tone even without an in-person teacher to observe.