Humidity Causing Sticky Strings: Outdoor Gigs

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    Diane Patenaude

    Besides just saying NO to outdoor harp gigs, does anyone know how to effectively treat the problem of fingertips literally sticking to the strings in humid weather for outdoor gigs?

    B Y

    No 🙁

    I just played a series of outdoor gigs in the Hamptons and not only did my fingers stick, my strings began to unravel!!!! I seemed to have forgotten when this happened before, about 10 years ago. Anyway, it was a reminder for me: Outdoor gigs by the water are not worth it unless they’re paying over $1000!


    I would seriously consider using nylon strings then, at least for the summer season, and fresh coated gut strings. The only ones I can think of that would unravel are uncoated strings or really worn gut strings. Nylon strings also clean easily and should be less sticky. If you want that gut sound, just play lower on the strings with the same sharp attack and the nylon will sound just like gut.


    I powder my hands before I play outdoors.

    Diane Patenaude

    Thank you so much for your responses – I will try the powder!



    When I saw Mildred Dilling back in the 1960’s in the dead of winter in a heated auditorium, she had a little bag of powder and regularly stopped to “dust” her hands.

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