How Much Slack to Leave?

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Q: What is the correct amount of slack to leave when changing nylon, gut, or bass wire strings?

Steve Moss, harp technician and author of the Harp Care with Steve Moss DVD; West Lafayette, Ind.

Steve Moss, harp technician and author of the Harp Care with Steve Moss DVD; West Lafayette, Ind.

On bass wire strings, the goal is to coil the wire three times around the tuning pin when the string is at pitch. The way I approach it is to make sure the tuning pin hole is pointing straight up and down, pull the string up through the hole until it is tight, and then let it back down about two inches (five centimeters). If you were to pull the middle of the string to the left as if you were going to shoot a bow and arrow, it would reach down about a ninth (nine strings).

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