Learn how to play the wire-strung harp with this instructional video tutorial - Tie a Wire String Part 1
Tags:How to Play the Harp - Tie a Wire String Part 1,clarsach,cynthia cathcart,early gaelic harp,how to play the harp,monkeysee,wire-strung harp
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My name is Cynthia Cathcart and I am going to show you how to tie a wire harp string. First and foremost, you want to have your string chart, so you know what size of wire to use. You should have got one of these from your harp maker. If you haven’t, give him a call; get a copy of the string chart. If you can’t get the string chart, you can take, what are these things called, calipers. I bought this from a harp maker, but you can buy at a hardware store. They’re pretty common. With this instrument, I can measure the actual string, that’s broken, take it, measure the string and it will tell what size of string it was. That’s the string you’re going to pull out of your supply of strings. Now, your strings may have come nicely packaged up for you from your harp maker with little labels on them showing the size. Get the same size as your caliper showed you or string chart showed you, or you can buy them in coils like this from a specialty music shop. There are shops that sell instrument wire, that’s what you want, instrument wire. Other things you’re going to want as you are getting ready to tie your knot, you’re going to need your harp key. If you don’t have a harp key, get one from your harp maker. Sharpies; red, black or blue; this is to color your strings. The red strings are your C strings, black or blue are your F strings. So, you want these, especially if you’re changing F C or an F string. You will also need well, I’ve got several examples here, some sort of pliers that can cut wire. This could save you, this is a vise grip. All we did, go to hardware store, bought a vise grip, tied a length of clothes line to it in a loop. We’ll see why in a moment. Then, the last thing you’re going to need is the toggle. Now, then you may be able to salvage the toggle from the broken string. Toggle can be made out of wire or out of a nail that’s had the head part cut off of it. You can also make your own. You can find them some times, they are made out of a bit of wooden dowel. You can just go at the hardware store buy a wooden dowel and cut it into little sections, the length you need for a toggle. I have run out of toggles, so I am going to have to make one. I will choose the thickest wire I have and get my pliers here. Okay, this is pretty thick wire here. So, I’m going to take a thick wire and make a zig and make a zag and cut it. It’s so long, so I’m going to cut it little shorter. There is my toggle and this little zigzag in here is where you’re going to tie your knot. The zig and the zag keep the knot from slipping off. Now, if you’re using a wooden toggle, your knot will go into the wood a little bit and that will keep it from sliding off the toggle, the wooden toggle. Okay? That’s half of it; we need the length of wire.