During a harp care class I gave at Lyon & Healy West in Salt Lake City, one of the attendees, Michele Rasmussen, was kind enough to shoot a few videos of me demonstrating some techniques for replacing harp strings. The videos came out great so I thought I’d post them here and include some additional explanation as well. The first one is shown above. You can find the next one here.
For a much more comprehensive demonstration of string replacement, Check out my DVD: Harp Care with Steve Moss. You’ll be restringing like the pros in no time.
Click here to learn more about the DVD.
The technique shown in this video applies to the first, second, and third octaves (and the “zero octave” F and G strings at the top of some harps). For these octaves, it’s important to use some kind of anchor that is thicker than the string you’re using, to insure that the string knot doesn’t pull into the hole and get stuck there. Trust me, you don’t want THAT to happen!
My anchor of choice is a one inch (2.5 cm) piece of 5th octave A,B, or C string, the three thickest gut strings on the harp. At Lyon & Healy we were trained that only these three strings were thick enough to provide a stable anchor. I haven’t tested this for myself, but I have seen instances where harps were anchored with thinner strings, and you can see them bend under the string tension. If they’re bending, do you think that string is going to stay in tune?
The video shows how I tie the knot around the anchor. I’m using a piece of nylon here. The same technique works for gut strings, but they’re a little trickier to work with because they’re stiffer. Stay tuned for another video in this series where I demonstrate tying 4th and 5th octave string knots. There, I use a gut string and you can see the technique for breaking the integrity of the gut fibers so you can form the necessary loops for your knot. If you don’t want to wait for that blog post, you can watch all three videos now on this web page.