Brand new harpist — worrying about potential string breakage

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Member
    Chris Boehm on #156575

    Hi everybody,

    I just got my harp on Wednesday. It’s a Lyon and Healy Ogden and it’s awesome and I love playing it. I’m in the rent to own program right now so potentially it could be getting sent back in six months but I doubt it because I love playing it. Anyway, I am kind of worried about string breakage in the future after reading some stuff online. Thus far I have been washing or sanitizing my hands before playing (letting them dry completely beforehand in both cases) and tuning the harp every day to the best of my ability, and all my strings are intact, which seems to be good given some of the reports on here of the harp’s first arrival!

    jennifer-buehler on #156576

    Buy a set of strings now.

    Chris Boehm on #156577

    Monofilament meaning?

    Thanks for your reply

    barbara-brundage on #156578

    I really wouldn’t stress about this. It’s desirable to have a set of strings, but if you don’t have the money right now, you don’t. Broken strings are a fact of life, but if you just put aside a couple of dollars a week, you should be able to afford to deal with them as they happen.

    It’s not ideal, and it will be less ideal next year when the mail slows down (so it will be longer without the string while you wait for the new one), but if that’s how you have to do it, that’s how you have to do it.

    It’s really nothing to lose sleep over. Some harps break more strings than others, and people don’t usually come to complain about normal behavior. You only hear about the string eaters here.

    kreig-kitts on #156579

    Monofilaments are

    Chris Boehm on #156580

    That’s very reassuring, thank you. I’m just grateful my harp seems do be doing great so far. I might be able to purchase a set at some point but I’m glad to hear it won’t be the end of the world to replace them individually

    Chris Boehm on #156581

    I might be able to manage the top nylon ones.

    You have an interesting name…what’s the origin?

    tony-morosco on #156582

    I would have to go with the idea of getting the first two octaves worth of strings to keep on

    Chris Boehm on #156583

    Coolio, that’s my plan of attack. I’ll grab the top ten strings. Thanks for the tip.

    rod-c on #156584


    When it comes time to change a string, the video at this link might help:

    In this video, harp technician Steve Moss demonstrates how to change a string. I find his method to be the easiest I have ever seen.

    Rod C.

    Gretchen Cover on #156585


    I can appreciate your anxiety about broken strings. I remember when first playing I was fearful of a string breaking. When one finally did, it was a low gut string and it sounded like a gun was shot. After that – and after I learned to change strings –

    unknown-user on #156586

    I had my harp in my bedroom as a friend was staying in the spare room. Nothing quite like the sound of a string breaking in the middle of the night, to wake you up.
    My harp is less than a year old…and I have had, um, 5 strings break so far – big wet season too, so lots of tuning. I was very nervous of breakages at first, but I sort of factored in about $100 a year for strings and I seem to be well inside that allowance. At first, it was agony to order and WAIT for a string….each time I order a string, I look for wear and tear on others and order them as well (er, they often hang in there and a perfectly healthy string breaks instead). Broken down into small outlays (that also justify the postage), the expense isn’t so bad. I’m just kind of working it out as I go. My harp teacher recommended that I make a ‘table’ of strings on hand and cross them off when used…it has made it easy to grasp ‘stock’ at a glance. I’m just a newbie and I understand your concerns – I was positively paranoid about the harp I’d hired….much more relaxed about my own. Good luck!

    deb-l on #156587

    think about ordering a skeleton set, as explained on Vanderbilt’s webiste ‘ the colored C’s and F’s for each octave, as
    well as the D string and the A string.

    Chris Boehm on #156588

    Thanks for all your advice everyone, I appreciate it. By the way it turns out the second octave is nylon by default, gut is optional. So getting the top ten is cheaper than I thought.

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