This bone koma is for Nagauta playing style. Nagauta style koma are pretty narrow and usually a bit higher than Tsugaru koma. They can also be used for Minyo playing style.
This koma is carved out of one piece of ox bone. The hard material provides a typical lovely crisp sound. It’s old and thus turned yellow (see pictures).
What’s a koma? The koma is the removable bridge that lifts your strings up over the skin. Koma come in different materials, shapes and heights, which will all affect your shamisen’s sound. With the right koma you can alter your instrument’s sound and adjust it to your needs and liking.
How to use it right: The koma is placed approximately 3 fingers away from the neo knot. To slide it under the string, simply pull up the strings with one finger first and then insert the koma with a swift movement and as little friction on the skin as possible. When in place, let the strings slide into the notches. Watch a super short instructional video here.
Make sure to always remove the koma after playing to keep your shamisen’s skins happy and tight. To remove the koma, use the same technique as when inserting the koma. You can watch a super short instructional video here.