Squeaky Strings

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    diana-lincoln on #156248

    I have a L&H Prelude, L&H Ogden and Camac Telenn. They all have pedal gut strings and tension. They all squeak when I play. Is it all humidity? Any suggestions to mitigate this annoying problem. We also have a cat so any water bowl suggestions must keep this in mind. What else could it be? Can I wet down the strings? Any suggestions or observations will be greatly appreciated…I live near Seattle and yep, it rains a lot !

    catherine-rogers on #156249

    You already have plenty of humidity. That is not what causes strings to squeak when you play. Usually it’s because your fingers are too clean and dry. Try running your fingers through your hair before you play, or put some lotion on your hands but be sure it’s thoroughly worked in and not sticky before you touch the strings. You don’t want any residue on the strings because it will attract dirt. Never put water or anything liquid on the strings; it will cause them to fray.

    Sid Humphreys on #156250

    I agree with Catherine. It’s the lack of moisture/oils in your hands. This is apparent to me when I’ve been cleaning the house with scouring powders, window cleaners, dish soap,

    diana-lincoln on #156251

    Thanks for your thoughts on this problem. I’m trying the lotion idea. Interestingly, today I noticed my teacher’s fingers didn’t make my harp squeak as much as mine. It seems that my fingers slide slightly on the strings as I play, especially my thumbs. With your ideas and correcting the slide I think we may have found the solution. Many thanks for the reply!

    Diana L.

    kay-lister on #156252


    I would definately try the hands through the hair BEFORE lotion.

    diana-lincoln on #156253

    Wow, two “fingers through the hair” recommendations! I really appreciate your ideas! I’ll try it today! Thanks again to all!

    Diana L.

    brook-boddie on #156254

    Another trick that’s worked for me is to run my hands through cold water in the sink and let them air dry.

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