The story

While traveling in Japan, a friend I met on the road showed me an original instrument she got from her grandmother: a Taishogoto. It is a unique combination of a guitar and… a typewriter machine! Its sound resembles that of a harp or guitar, as well as other metallic string instruments like the dulcimer.

The Soprano Taishogoto has 5 strings: a drone which is a G, another G string, and three G strings an octave higher. You can choose to play all 5 strings, including the drone, or just the 4 strings without the drone. With the left hand, you press typewriter machine buttons, which function like the left hand on a guitar. Plucking the strings between the frets.

I then sampled it, recording every minor third with three round robins and three velocity layers, using an AKG C414 microphone as well as the built-in pickup mic. I also recorded the mechanical noises of the buttons, as well as the drone string.

What I like about this instrument is that you’re always playing across two octaves, on at least 4 strings that resonate with subtle differences. It produces a medieval, fantasy-like sound. I personally intend to use this instrument to double plucks, string instruments, or metallic tuned percussions in fantasy tracks, to add an organic element to the sound.

I hope you enjoy it and have fun experimenting with it! Here is a video I made of the creation process.

And here is an interview I conducted with my friend playing the Taishogoto.

All the best!


Reviews for Taishogoto

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Unique and well done

    nicely done, I like the multiple-velocity samples and round-robins, and an interesting sound.

    Volume is a bit low - would have benefited from some normalizing of samples

    mfbSamplist 20 March 2024