Strings keep popping..help!!

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #159803

    So I just received my new blevins harp in the mail today and it’s absolutely wonderful. This is my first harp and so I spent most of my afternoon tuning it with my KORG chromatic tuner. I’m near the first strings and I pulled too tight and one of the popped. Great. So I’ve read it’s best to leave your harp alone until you replace your strings..and unpractical me didn’t other a spare set of strings so I ordered the replacement string from Dusty strings. I put my harp away in the case and a few minutes later I hear a pop! I open it to find that my 8th nylon string has popped as well.

    Participant
    unknown-user on #159804

    I’m also wondering. In what position should I rest or not rest my harp? My blevins harp has little legs you can attach to it so it becomes a floor harp. I took them off since they do not fit in the case and I placed the harp upright. Should it be laying down while it is in its case?

    Participant
    Karen Johns on #159805

    So, let me see if I understand what you are saying- you have had 8 nylon strings pop on you? If so,WOW. If not, then I think you mean only 2 have popped, right?What is your tuner at- is it set at 440? I’m sure if just a couple of them popped it could be attributed to the drastic change in humidity, but if eight of them have popped then something else may be going on. Are they popping in a row, or just sporatically all over the harp?

    Karen

    Participant
    unknown-user on #159806

    Sorry I wasn’t clear enough! Only two have popped. But it just really surprised me that one popped while it was in its case. I hadn’t touched it or anything. And yeah, it’s set at 440. I think I’ll go ahead and buy a pick-up while i’m at it. I only plucked a couple strings, but they’re already out of tune again. I’m not going to tune anything, though. I’m afraid that other strings are going to pop as well! I decided to leave it out of it’s case for a couple of days in a corner. No drafts of sunlight. Maybe that might help.

    Is having missing strings causing any kind of stress on any part of the harp without me playing it?

    Participant
    Dwyn . on #159807

    Are you sure you’re tuning them to the correct octave?

    Participant
    unknown-user on #159808

    They both broke near the top near the bridge pin. They sounded about right when I played them, especially the one that snapped while it was still in the case. I believe I stretched the first one way too much and thats why it snapped, but I’m not sure why the other one snapped the way it did.

    Participant
    Briggsie B. Peawiggle on #159809

    You should replace the missing string as soon as you can, as having strings gone causes the pressure on the soundboard to be off.

    Briggsie

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #159810

    Briggsie is correct; replacing a broken spring as soon as possible is very important, in order to keep the pressure on the soundboard evenly distributed from all of the strings. Otherwise, nearby strings to the broken area are apt to break much sooner. Keep on hand some 30-pound test nylon fishing line for such emergencies, which will be replaced as soon as you can, with an authentic harp string. Besides saving possible additional string breakage, it will also provide something for your fingers to pluck,

    Participant
    unknown-user on #159811

    I replaced the other strings with fishing line, like you suggested. I’m worried that I’ve probably tuned all the strings too tightly. How would I know if they’re in the correct octave?

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #159812

    To know whether you are ordering the correct harp string from the maker, check with the maker about the “stringing” of the particular harp that you have. All will have a “middle C” red string, somewhere on the harp, which will sound like middle Cs in the middle of piano keyboards. Harp string companies call the string for this pitch, “Fourth Octave C”. On lined paper, write C on a line in the middle, and then on the lines upwards from this, write on each

    Participant
    unknown-user on #159813

    Well, I do have the string chart that came with my blevins harp. I’m going to order an octave or two from blevins, but I ordered the strings that snapped from dusty strings yesterday. (which was when it happened) However, they said it could take a week or two, so hopefully I have better luck with blevins on monday. I was so scared the rest of the strings would snap, so I loosened them up. Was that a bad idea? I don’t really want to tune anything until I purchase a pick-up.

    Participant
    Karen Johns on #159814

    When you said you were near the first strings when one popped, did you mean the shorter, higher strings? If it was only two that popped, I think it could have been caused by shipping stress and the change in humidity. If anything, I would only slightly release the tension on the strings above and below your broken strings. I don’t think you should get too anxious about this. Here is a link to an online tuner that may help you. http://www.harpkit.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=onlinetuner

    Also, on your Korg tuner there should be a sound feature that will allow you to hear how a full octave should sound, starting at middle C. Just ignore the sharps and flats and tune to the naturals.

    Blevins makes great little harps- one of my students owns one and loves it. I’m sure this is just traveling pains.

    Karen

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #159815

    You probably brought it up to pitch too quickly. Do not use fishing line. Use harp strings, the kind the harp is supposed to have.

    Participant
    Dwyn . on #159816

    The trouble with the electronic tuners, at least the Korg tuner I have, is that they don’t tell you which octave you’re in.

    Participant
    Briggsie B. Peawiggle on #159817

    Good point, Dwyn. Maybe everyone should have a

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