Remaking the Sanshin

Peg-tsuki Sanshin from Sanshinya Tururunten

We’ve seen sanshin+guitar hybrids in the past (not to mention what we’re seeing done with kankara sanshin) with Rinken Teruya’s Cheren, BEGIN’s Ichigo-Ichie (Nirai, Kanai) and now here’s a “peg” sanshin from Sanshin-ya Tururunten (above images are via their blog). Anyone tried one of these yet or seen it played by the members of Okichin? It looks pretty neat but I wonder if it’s difficult to keep in tune?

Not Your Father’s Sanshin Uma

Continuing with the sanshin-related posts…

Sanshin Mute

Driving your family or neighbors (or both – yikes!) nutty with your late night sanshin practicing? There’s a uma (the free-standing bridge for the sanshin) that greatly mutes your playing no matter how heavy your picking style is and can be purchased for around ¥800. As pictured above, the uma practically runs the length of your chiiga (the body of the sanshin).

Sanshin Uma

The heavy-duty uma pictured above was made to withstand Okinawa’s typhoons (of course, I think I’m kidding) so you can bet that it’ll never slip (I’m already cringing as I can just hear that snapping sound from an improperly set uma as it slaps against the chiiga) on you — ever. A regular uma costs around ¥100 and this one, the “dark one”, costs around ¥300.

(Note that I use the word “around” for costs because it’s possible to find them for cheaper or at a higher price than the amount I paid for them. And if you do [find them at a cheaper price], let me know. 😀 )

Other Ways to Tune Your Sanshin

Tuners for the sanshin.

Here’s additional information on gear you can use to help with your sanshin tuning.

  1. AW-1 Micro Tuner from Korg — all the cool kids are using it.
  2. TU-12 Chromatic Tuner from BOSS — the ol’ standby which I’ve owned for over 15 years but used mostly for guitar/bass tuning.
  3. Pitch Instrument (P-13E) from Tombo — your grandfather’s father’s tuner! Durable, easy to carry around in your pocket.
  4. iPod from Apple — Me? An Apple fanboy? It’s possible to make an audio file of different pitches and have it on the ready in your iPod. Yes, really. 😉
Korg Micro Tuner on a sanshin.

A reference pic for those who may be wondering what that thing (it’s the AW-1 Micro Tuner from Korg) is on the ‘ten’ of a person’s sanshin. Now you know. 🙂