The ShamiBuddy (SOLD OUT)

August 2022 Update: As of this point, the last batch of ShamiBuddy has been sold out. Because the instrument takes a lot of time to build, I need to take a break for at least a year or two in order to refocus on making new learning materials and continue other projects (writing a updated version of my book Shamisen of Japan, for example). To those looking for an affordable shamisen to begin their shamisen journey, check out the Beginner's Shamisen in the upcoming months. Soon we'll be able to offer complete sets for the same price as the ShamiBuddy. :-) - Kyle

"What?? I have to spend that much money just to begin shamisen??" Those are words uttered by many newcomers to shamisen. It's no secret that shamisen has been an expensive world to enter. Years ago, it cost an average of $800 just to get a low quality, entry-level shamisen (made in China)! Thanks to our direct connections with shamisen makers, we were able to bring the Beginner's Shamisen (made in Japan) to the world for a fraction of the retail price! While the Beginner's Shamisen opened the doors to the shamisen world for many people, the total price combined with accessories still made starting shamisen difficult for some. At Bachido, our goal is to provide accessibility for all to enjoy this three stringed instrument. Having over 13 years of experience building professional shamisen for personal use, I decided it was time to use those skills to create an even more affordable shamisen with a streamlined design. In 2019, The ShamiBuddy was born! Built from high quality woods, this streamlined shamisen is a perfect way to enter the global shamisen world. It's light weight is easy for everyone to hold, and the tight synthetic Hibiki (Black/White Synthetic) skin yields a clear, resonant tone. The ShamiBuddy is 100% designed and built by Kyle Abbott, the Founder of Bachido (that's me!), at Bachido HQ in Santa Cruz, California!

2022 Update: ShamiBuddy V3 (SOLD OUT!)

Final ShamiBuddy Release! (July 1st, 2022)
At last, the newest ShamiBuddy is here! Built with Cherry, Maple and Black Walnut, this is the most luxurious model I've made, and the colors match so perfectly! I've fixed some small "bugs" here and there, but basically the build quality is about the same as the V2. It's a perfect shamisen instrument for any newcomer or experienced player who wants a durable shamisen to comfortably play around the house.

Note: Due to the amount of time and focus required to make ShamiBuddy, I've decided that this will the last batch of ShamiBuddy I'll make for the next few years. I'm so thrilled that the ShamiBuddy has been such an important instrument to bring newcomers into the Shamisen world, but I'm also feeling the urge to make new educational materials (informative videos as well as a new edition of my Shamisen of Japan book). With many responsibilities and limited time in the day, it feels appropriate to pause ShamiBuddy production for the near future. However, if you've missed your chance to get a ShamiBuddy, fear not! My partners and I are making arrangements to make more affordable shamisen available, so the quest for shamisen accessibility is still a thing!

2021 Update: ShamiBuddy V2

Update to the Update: Sold out within 27 hours!
For the initial release of the original ShamiBuddy, I endeavored to build 100 instruments, making it my top priority assuming it would take years to sell out. To my surprise, the original 100 ShamiBuddy (released in 2019) sold out within 5 months! As you can imagine, making a hundred instruments is a huge time investment and I postponed many Bachido/life responsibilities in order to build a massive fleet of ShamiBuddy. Thus, I redesigned my building process and invested in industrial quality tools which would allow me to build ShamiBuddy even more efficiently, and allow me to have a more balanced life. Check out the video for details about the new model: The ShamiBuddy V2!

フルサイズ (15 pics)


Strong & Streamlined

The curves of a Japanese shamisen are beautiful. Although I love the shamisen as a work of art, the beautiful curves are easy to break. Knowing how easy the curved tenjin can chip, I feel anxious when playing shamisen outside or at a party. Because of this, I redesigned the shamisen so it could be easily played anywhere with ease! Enjoy it at home after work, play it in the park, or share it with your friends/family!

Shaped for Comfort

The ShamiBuddy matches the average size of a Futozao shamisen. Because the sao (neck) is the same length as a standard shamisen, a Fujaku (position mark strip) can be fitted on the ShamiBuddy so you can easily start playing your favorite songs from the Bachido Schoolhouse! (The Fujaku is included with the Best Buddy model)

The ShamiBuddy’s dou (body) matches the outside curve of a standard Size 5 shamisen dou (for tsugaru shamisen). Combined with the light weighted materials, it is very easy to pick up and play anywhere!

Accessory Set

Want to play your ShamiBuddy right away? The ShamiBuddy V3 includes the full set of accessories, professionally installed so it’s ready to play right out of the box!*

*Minimal assembly is required, but instructions are included so it takes less than 5 minutes to do so.

Set Includes:

Special Bonus!

To help you get started with your brand-new ShamiBuddy, I am including several learning materials for free!

Soft Case

Want to conveniently sling your ShamiBuddy over your shoulder? I’ve invested in a wholesale lot of soft cases which are crammed in my closet and waiting to slip over your ShamiBuddy! Lined with a thin layer of foam (not quite as thick as the other Soft Case in the Bachido Store, but thick enough for the sturdy ShamiBuddy), this soft case boasts a sizable pouch to store your bachi case and/or notation books, and has a very nice strap to sling over your shoulder!

ShamiBuddy Soft Case is included with the ShamiBuddy V3. Simply scroll down to the Paypal box and select a “Soft Case Color” (Blue or Reddish) when checking out!

Helpful Videos

ShamiBuddy Setup Instructions
Making the Sawari Effect
ShamiBuddy: Studio Test

The ShamiBuddy is Sold Out

Important: Please read before purchase.

The ShamiBuddy V3

Includes full ShamiBuddy Accessory Set with FREE professional setup.

Import Tax

Please be aware that Bachido is NOT responsible for covering import tax, and must be covered by the customer. Because import tax varies depending on the country, please check your country's import tax and make sure you will be able to cover the cost of the tax as well as the items you are purchasing from Bachido.

Return Policy

There is a 90 day return policy (which starts on the first day of shipment) for the ShamiBuddy. All returns are subject to a 15% restocking fee, and shipping costs must be covered by the customer.

The ShamiBuddy must be returned in new condition. Any signs of wear or damage to the instrument, whether from use or during shipping, will void the warranty. If this is the case, we will provide evidence of the fault, and the refund will not be given. If this is the case, the customer must cover shipping costs to have it sent back to his/her address.

We apologize for the strictness of the policy. The shamisen is a fragile instrument, and there's always risk of damage during shipping, which is why we wish to keep returns to a minimum.


The ShamiBuddy is fully insured from initial shipment to until final delivery. If the ShamiBuddy is damaged upon arrival, please proceed with the following instructions to receive compensation/replacement.

1. Contact us within 48 hours of receipt notifying us of the damage.
2. Send us at least three photos: one photo of the full product, a close-up (or several) of the damage, and a photo of the package.
3. We may ask you to fill a “damage claims form” at your local post office for reimbursement purposes.
4. In most circumstances, we will pay shipping costs for your replacement. In special cases, we may ask that you pay shipping costs.

Read more about Care and Handling here!