Frequently Asked Questions :
What is a shamisen?
It's pronounced "shah-mee-sen." It's a three-stringed fretless lute from Japan. Historically it has been used in kabuki theater for centuries. There is some very simple information about this instrument at artelino.com, and some great information in the wikipedia. Specifically, Kevin is playing the Tsugaru Shamisen, which is a relatively recent form of the instrument. He's made a pretty cool comic telling the story of the Tsugaru Shamisen; see our The Shamisen section. While Kevin plays the Tsguaru Shamisen from northern Japan, you can read this Okinawa Sanshin website for more information about the smaller shamisen from southern Japan.
Is Kevin available for private lessons?
Yes, if you live in the Santa Cruz / Capitola / Soquel area, Kevin is available for private lessons in shamisen or guitar. There is even a student model shamisen available to borrow, if you do not have your own instrument. For more information on private lessons, you can contact Kevin directly.
When are you playing next?
Confirmed upcoming shows are displayed on our home page.
Do you have a mailing list?
Yes, you can sign up for our email list, to receive announcements on upcoming shows and news! Emails are infrequent and you may remove yourself whenever you want.
I live in the USA; where can I buy a shamisen?
Unfortunately it looks like there is a rarity of online retailers who ship to America. There are many "ethnic instrument" retailers online, specializing in Asian and Indian instruments, but it is more rare to see the shamisen. Shamisen-Katoh is a manufacturer of shamisens but you'll need to be able to read Japanese to see his website. There is some more news, though: there is a new company called Triplex that will soon have an online store and will ship to the US! We'll post info here when it is available.
We have not used it, but there is website called Kotos and More also sell shamisens, including Tsugaru models.
(Please note that at this time we do not promote or condone the use of any particular manufacturer or retailer of shamisens. Purchase at your own risk, until we officially endorse a shamisen brand, we have no guarantees regarding anything whatsoever.)
Do the G.o.S. bandmembers play in any other bands?
G.o.S. members are featured in Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3, and the Fishtank Ensemble. Please see our Friends & Links page.
I believe you are mocking traditional cultures and wish to send you scathing hate mail. Where do I send it?
By all means, please use our contact form.
My band/venue wants G.o.S. to play a public/private concert/event! How do I book G.o.S.?
God of Shamisen is available for concerts and also private events. We welcome all invitations, pending the bandmembers' busy schedules. Please use our contact form and we will respond as soon as possible.
Any plans for an album?
How can I contact G.o.S. or the webmaster?
Please use our contact form. Or if you are interested in private lessons, contact Kevin here.