Desperately need help changing strings..

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Keymaster
    HBrock25 on #155978

    Please someone help..

    I just spent two hours trying to change two of my harp strings. All that has come of it is two destroyed strings, meaning I have to reorder new ones again..

    Honestly, I have no idea how to change harp strings. I’ve watched something like 15 different tutorial videos, and looked at loads of online instructions and I understand what they’re doing to tie these knots..and I can work the string in to the right shape when I tie them..

    For some reason the knots just won’t tie tight enough though. When I’m turning the tuning pin for the new string it remains all right for most of the turning. Then on the final turn or so the knot will come completely undone under the tension. You start to hear a creaking as the knot slips undone, and then it comes completely undone and the end pops up through the soundboard. I don’t understand why this is happening. I just want to play my harp, and I can’t 🙁

    Please can someone give advice? I’m so confused..this is making me so sad and stressed out..

    Also I’m so, so worried about my harp. I’ve been in some pretty intense depression for the past 9 months or so meaning I’ve ignored it..in that time three strings (two in the third octave, one in the second octave) have broken and have been broken for a few months now. I’m really worried this will cause some sort of damage to the harp..I can’t see any damage, but I’m just worried..will it be all right?

    Member
    Sylvia Clark on #155979

    It sounds like you’re not putting a string

    Member
    Autumn Burchett on #155980

    I’ve got some little wooden toggles, a couple millimetres in diameter, that I use as string anchors. I struggle to get the knot really tight around the anchor.. I’ve got some left over string from attempting to replace the two strings earlier, so I can try practising with that. I’m just wondering how I’m meant to get it tight and secure enough, especially without risking damaging the integrity of the string..

    I haven’t got a teacher, mainly because I don’t exactly have a huge amount of money at the moment (medical expenses..) and the only teacher I know of in my area is quite expensive. I know enough of the actual playing technique from when I did have lessons to get by for the time being as far as playing is concerned, it’s just replacing the strings that’s a nuisance.. And the only local person I know who has ever played the harp stopped playing something like 3 or 4 years ago so can’t really remember much about changing strings :/

    Participant
    Gillian Bradford on #155981

    Maybe your wooden toggles are the issue. Are you trying to just tie a standard knot around the toggle then string the harp? The maker of my harp originally anchored my strings with little plastic beads. Try as I might I cannot anchor strings in the same way. So I reverted to the method most people use.

    Make two loops in the knot end of the string, thread one loop through the other and pull tight until you have just one small loop left. Cut an ” long bit of scrap string (3rd octave thickness is good) fold it in half. Put that through the remaining loop, and pull tight until the knot is tight around the bit of folded string. Now thread your string and tune it.

    Participant
    Tacye on #155982

    I have seen wooden toggles work fine- I think Camacs had them?

    Member
    Autumn Burchett on #155983

    “An extra half hitch or two around the toggle often works. Another thing to try is to tie an ordinary overhand knot in the very end of the string to stop it pulling through.”

    This is probably going to sound really silly..but how would I go about adding an extra half hitch properly?

    I’m not sure the extra overhand knot would help me though I’m struggling to explain why.. Basically, I think part of the problem was..if you look at loop B in this picture: http://cdn.harpcenter.com/downloads/78Knot.pdf what happened (I think) was loop B slipped out as more tension was applied by the tuning pin in the same way as if I’d pulled on the loose end instead except far, far more slowly.

    Member
    tony-morosco on #155984

    Pull loop B over the end of the anchor. Knots used to drive me crazy. I always had anchors slipping out trying to get the string end in place to tune up. Then when I got my last harp from Lyon & Healy I noticed that was how they did the knots. I tried it and haven’t had a problem since.

    And Tacey is right. My Camac harp has wooden toggles and they aren’t an inherent problem.

    Participant
    shannon-schumann on #155985

    This helped me:
    http://www.harpcenter.com/category/change-harp-string

    Good luck!

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