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how often do you change your strings?

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  • #107071
    deb-l
    Participant

    Do the bass wires need to be changed more or less frequently than nylon/gut?

    #107072
    tony-morosco
    Member

    It really depends on how much you play. A professional who plays hours every day and needs the harp to sound it’s best at all times would probably do well to change all the strings once a year, and the top two octaves twice a year.

    For the average hobby player every two to three years is fine, although I would still change the top two octaves at least once a year. Particularly if you have it regulated every year or every other year (and yes, lever harps do need occasional regulation too). The top two octaves are the most likely to have stretched thinner or develop pits or to play false, and they are relatively inexpensive to change compared to the lower strings, so changing them more frequently makes sense and can vastly improve the sound of your harp.

    That said, I hate the way brand new strings sound. It takes a month or two of playing before they sound right to me so I wouldn’t change them less than a month before any event where I really need to sound my best.

    #107073
    deb-l
    Participant

    thanks Tony, I meant Pirastro not Pirazzi strings, think I’m just looking for an excuse to get my favorite strings on there.

    #107074
    kreig-kitts
    Member

    Nylon strings don’t wear quickly, which means they often outlive a decent sound long before they’ve broken. Wire strings can get dirty and tarnished-looking but still sound fine (maybe my skin chemistry darkens the metal more).

    If I’m doing a major string change, I’ll try to stagger them out a few at a time across the harp to keep the tension even, and once those have had a couple days to settle, change a few more, rather than remove a cluster of strings at once from the same area on the harp.

    My New Year’s resolution (I just made it this instant) is to keep a chart listing all my strings and when I last changed each, to see how old strings are, which ones break the most, and be able to plan changes and replacement purchases accordingly.

    #107075
    darth-mom
    Participant

    ==>My New Year’s resolution (I just made it this instant) is to keep a
    chart listing all my strings and when I last changed each, to see how
    old strings are, which ones break the most, and be able to plan changes
    and replacement purchases accordingly.<==

    Kreig,
    I have a document I made for myself in MS Word to help me do just that!

    #107076
    Sylvia
    Participant

    I would think on a lever harp that the wires would last a longer time than on pedal because there are no discs acting on them except when a lever is turned.

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