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The most necessary accessory to the shamisen, besides the shamisen itself. The koma is a bridge which, like all stringed instruments, transfers vibrations from the string to the skin, producing sound which you can hear.
Plastic Koma (basic) プラスチック駒 (KM-PR)
Plastic… it was all the rage in the 70s. Does it make good koma? Well…
Hollow. “Has the tone of olden shamisen” – Masahiro
Plastic. Be careful, this koma breaks easily.
String notches are small, so it may cut into the strings.
Acceptable if it’s all you can afford, but upgrading later is recommended to bring out the most sound quality from your shamisen.
Bamboo Koma 竹駒 (KM-T)
Soft and warm.
Bamboo Koma (Bone Tip) 先骨竹駒 (KM-TB)
Clean and crisp. Bone tip brings a sharper tone, compared to the Bamboo Koma
Base – Bamboo
Saddle – Bone
Shinobi KomaBecause the feeling of the Shinobi Koma is different from a normal koma, using it as your primary koma isn't advised. However, it's very convinient to keep one in your case, because there will always be times when you want to play shamisen when others are asleep.
Shinobi Koma 忍び駒 (KM-SNOBI)
Neighbors keeping your sound levels down? Desperately wanting to play shamisen now but still recovering from that hangover? The shinobi koma (Stealth Bridge) is made for you!
Replacing your normal koma with the Shinobi Koma will lower the sound level tremendously.
Note: Though the sound from striking the string is significantly reduced, the percussive sound from the bachi snapping against the skin isn’t affected by the koma.
Shinobi Koma - Deluxe デラックス忍び駒 (KM-SNOBI2)
Prepare for extra-awesome! This Shinobi Koma is loaded with extra features!
1) Unlike the Shinobi Koma (Standard), the Shinobi Koma (Deluxe) is shaped in such a way that you can freely execute maebachi and ushirobachi techniques without being constrained by the size of the koma.
2) Though the Shinobi Koma (Standard) mutes the sound from the string, the loud percussivness of the bachi striking the skin remains at full volume. The Shibobi Koma (Deluxe) reduces the percussive volume as well as the volume from the strings, providing a satisfying and balanced low-volume experience.
3) The timbre of the (muted) sound quality can be adjusted.
Plastic and Aluminum
Shinobi Koma - Kobashiki こば式忍び駒 (KM-SNOBI3)
This is the best Shinobi Koma available. Far superior on many levels:
1) The Kobashiki Shinobi Koma is shaped in such a way that you can freely execute maebachi and ushirobachi techniques without being constrained by the size of the koma.
2) The Kobashiki Shibobi Koma reduces the percussive volume as well as the volume from the strings, providing a satisfying and balanced low-volume experience.
3) The koma is made from Take (bamboo)
4) The height of the koma can be adjusted.
5) The amount of volume suppresion can easily be adjusted at the touch of a dial.
6) It is light and can be installed easily.
Sound quality: Muted (intentionally)
Material: Koma: Take (Bamboo) Bachigawa: Plastic and Aluminum