Greetings! I’m new to the harp, have had an Ogden for three weeks on L&H’s Rent to Own program. Lucked out and found a Celtic harp instructor in Salt Lake City who is a gem. First lesson in a couple days! (I now know that the Ogden isn’t quite optimal for the folk tunes I’d like to play, but she’ll be fine for learning on the next five months of rental. My sainted husband agreed to accompany me to the Big Sky Folk Harp Festival–!!!–so I’ll have a chance to see many fine folk harps soon).
My dilemma: Over a week ago, the No. 8 string broke (Octave II, E, gut), and I bought a replacement from L&H. Hesitated on the replacement since the instructions in the L&H book intimidated me! Yesterday, though, lo and behold, the No. 9 string was broken. So I girded my loins, practiced the slip knot with a leather shoe lace, then went forth with the real E string with the bit of high gauge gut toggle and…broke the string each time I gingerly cranked the tuning pin. Two attempts, two breaks in the soundbox.
I’ve read Thormahlen’s, Harp Tech, and Sylvia Woods instructions (and reread L&H instructions), trying to nail down where I’m going wrong. My husband the Brilliant Engineer says the problem is at the slip knot–where the string appears to break each time–but I’m at a loss. Also running out of E string! One difference among these various string knot methods is where the toggle/spline is inserted. I’m thinking of next trying the Sylvia Woods alternative Harp Knot, which has the toggle wrapped a few times (instead of the one loop as in the L&H method).
I have to return to L&H to buy the D string, so I suppose they might take mercy on me and show me how to do it correctly. I also have my first lesson on Tuesday, so I could have my teacher show me, too. Just seems like I should be able to do this now without ruining the string.
Advice and pointers would be much appreciated. I’m going to give it another go today–maybe obliterating the rest of the poor tortured E string–but wanted to hear any words of wisdom from the forum first…