String String is a very important thing. Rope is thicker, But string, Is quicker.-King Sir Spike Milligan II
Strings are incredibly important things to consider when building your instruments. A lot of the tone and the aural qualities of your instruments sound will come from the strings.
Proper instrument strings come in a massive array of different materials, thickness’s, lengths and constructions. They can range from fairly cheap to reeeeaaaally expensive. But, luckily for you there are tons of great alternative sources for a proper DIY set of strings.
- Washing Line:
If you take a washing line that has a metal core and strip off the plastic sheath, you should get a twisted up core of brass looking wire. If you unravel this (there’s a knack to it) you can usually get up to 400 metres of decent sounding wire for the cost of a bit of washing line!
- Bike Brake cables:
I first came across people using Bike Brake cables for strings on a type of Kolitong which I have now completely lost the link for!
Much like the washing line, they come wrapped around each other and need unravelling, but you’re left with a decent, conductive string that can withold a lot of tension.
- Strimmer wire:
Garden strimmer wire is a strong nylon wire used for cutting grass. It also happens to come in a variety of different widths and is great for a nice soft tone (much like nylon guitar strings, because, well, they’re both nylon)
- Fishing line:
Just like the strimmer wire except much much thinner, also designed to withstand great tensions and comes in different widths!
- Plastic Bottles:
There are a number of ways to turn plastic bottles into string, usually for the purpose of shrink-wrapping but it can also be used for musical purposes.
I’d reccomend this video to see how easy it can be to do: https://youtu.be/iZVLGJrqEwo