Tamboura or Tanpura Stringing Diagrams.
COPYRIrian Godden 1/1 /2000.

Below is  Fig 1 shows the anchoring mechanism for the stings of all tambouras. The string is passed up through the hole in the tail piece, and a one half inch hook is made. The rest of the string is folded up over the bridge. The hook is clipped over the string and the hook is then pushed down into the same hole, which pinches the string down--Fig.2

The string is threaded twice through the hole in the shaft of the peg, and a tail of about 3/8ths of an inch is folded down as shown--Fig. 3. The windings of the string wrap around the shaft and over the tail to prevent slippage--Fig. 4.



Tamboura Tuning.
The actual pitch for a tamboura depends on: The size of the tamboura, the gauge of the strings, and finally the desired pitch for your singing voice. The tuning range of any tamboura can be varied by using heavier or lighter strings.
 

Below are the Indian Sargam equivalents to European Solfege
Sa = Do
Re = Re,
Ga = Mi,
Ma = Fa,
Pa = Sol,
Dha = La,
Ni =Ti,
Sa = Do

There are roughly four sizes of tamboura: Male, Female, Tenor, and Instrumental. Sizes vary considerably between makers.

Male Tamboura 39" scale length ( largest ) - tunes to A# ~ D lower octave
String gauges: 1st. string Pa .022" phos. bronze, 2nd and 3rd string Sa .020" steel, 4th string low Sa .028" phos bronze.

Female Tamboura 33" scale length  - tunes to G ~ A# upper octave
String gauges: 1st. string Pa .014" steel, 2nd and 3rd string Sa .012" steel, 4th string low Sa .022" phos bronze.

Tenor Tamboura 30" scale length tunes D to G between male and female
String gauges: 1st. string Pa .015" steel, 2nd and 3rd string Sa .013" steel, 4th string low Sa .025" phos bronze.

Instrumental Tamboura 26" scale length ( smallest ) - tunes to B ~ C# upper octave
String gauges: 1st. string Pa .014" steel, 2nd and 3rd string Sa .012" steel, 4th string low Sa .022" phos bronze.
( The above string gauges are for standard tuning. All string gauges are in thousandths of an inch. )

The distinctive tone of a tamboura comes from the curved horn or bone bridge called the Jawari. The fine adjustment of the Jawari tone is done by sliding doubled over cotton threads under the strings. These threads can be moved back and forth until the desired amount of Jawari is achieved. We use standard cotton sewing thread. Sometimes you will need to double it again to four strands to get the desired sound.

Tamboura Strings and Parts

Contact us via this Email link 
 

 Perfect Third Studios
Post Office Box 87
Tabulam, N.S.W. Australia 2469
  (02) 6737 6884


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