Kora strings thickness or diameter

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  • #546
    Kora Lessons
    Community Manager
    @koralessons

    Just now, another kora friend asked me about kora strings thickness…
    I open this topic to speak about that…
    Time ago, with another friend we talked about the diapason, that is how to calculate the right thickness basing on the lengh of the string… but I can’t report how it works, sorry, just because I didn’t understand correctly…

    But, for now, I copy this text, ragarding my set… Share your opinions, if you want… Bye!

    How to choose the right thickness or diameter for kora strings?

    The answer is no so simple, because each kora has different measures or characteristics.
    For my, that is a traditional kora, the best set is to use european-harp strings in nylon for the base and middle notes; classical guitar nylon strings (or nylon strings of other instruments) for the other middle range; fhishing line for the high notes (just beacause harp strings don’t suite to my kora at this range).
    The diameter of my strings goes from 1,30/1,40 mm to 0,50/0,25mm… it depends by time and by my economical possibility…
    Specifically, my last set is:
    On the left, starting from the first lover:
    F= 1.33 mm (the string as a total length of around 120 cm)
    C = 1.18 mm
    D= 1.08 mm
    E= 1.02 mm
    G= 0.98 mm
    B= 0.88 mm
    On the right:
    F= 1.00 mm
    A= 0.88 mm
    C= 0.90 mm
    E= 0.82 mm
    Then I use a 0,70 / 0,60 / 0,50 mm (and maybe a 0,25, I’m not sure) for the others.
    Fundamentally, for the low notes I never had particular problems; while for the highs I broke a lot of string try to find the right thickness for my kora.
    Usually I proceed like this: if a string keeps the tension is good, otherwise… I wasted my money!
    Unfortunately, there is no insurance when you do this work… I’m sorry.
    So, best adwices are:
    1) Always use Nylon String, no other material.
    2) If you are substituting old strings try to measure them with a micrometer… if you haven’t one, one cheap is around 10 euro I think… In this way you can replace the exact (o nearby) thikness of your strings. Yes, maybe, if the material of the new string is not too good, you can risk to break them for this last reason.
    3) If you want to try new type of strings, don’t buy them all together (for example don’t buy all an european harp mute if you are not sure that is good for your kora) but buy one (also two or three but not more) at time.
    4) Consider that exspecially for the low notes (bigger size), if you increase a lot the thikness, maybe you could have to modify also your bridge because the hole or the string’s cut on it will result too small…
    But, I’m sorry… must to say that is all at your own risk of breaking new strings!
    Hope that could been helpfull…
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by Kora Lessons.

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