I had my first shamisen lesson today! Because there are no instructors in my area, I found a woman who teaches through Skype (as well as in studio). She was great! Very patient and easy-going. Though it was harder to see some details through Skype, most of it was easy to see and understand. And the sound was good and not lagging, so I might as well have been right there with her. She went over the 3 types of tuning, shamisen care, and the right way to hold the shamisen and strike the strings. It was all very fascinating, and I look forward to my lesson next week! Now, on to my "homework"!