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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:17 pm 
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Katharine wrote:
By the time I get done tuning a harp, even a 22-string, I'm already tired.

Italics added by me. Tuning and changing six strings was aggravating enough for me. Having to change 22 of them is one reason I'd be at a loss with a harp! These days, I prefer my instruments sans consumable parts. Cork grease, polish, and such are okay, though.

Those of you who have forgotten how to read music are one up on me; I never properly learned. Saying my understanding of how to read music is rudimentary would be extremely kind.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:07 pm 
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For me it depends on how high my level even was. I played (boehm) flute for only a half year when I was 13 (so more than 30 yrs ago) and I was able to play sheet music. I forgot everything about that. Playing itself still worked but sight-reading -- no way.
But I can still play the guitar, which I did play much longer and practiced much harder. I did forget most of the tunes though but the basics are still there (playing chords and scales).
Luckily my ability to play by ear has not diminished over time.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:39 am 
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Dan A. wrote:
Katharine wrote:
By the time I get done tuning a harp, even a 22-string, I'm already tired.

Italics added by me. Tuning and changing six strings was aggravating enough for me. Having to change 22 of them is one reason I'd be at a loss with a harp! These days, I prefer my instruments sans consumable parts. Cork grease, polish, and such are okay, though.

Those of you who have forgotten how to read music are one up on me; I never properly learned. Saying my understanding of how to read music is rudimentary would be extremely kind.


Yeah, I dread the day I have to change a harp string. I have noooo idea what I'm doing. Luckily, the owner of the local harp store is extremely nice and I'm sure if I got too stuck, I could go over and have her show me! (I've not yet had to change a guitar string myself, either, so that's another thing I need to learn to do that is slightly intimidating to me... every time I look at my guitar and think "it doesn't look like it'd be hard," I remember that there's something called a "string winder" and I wonder why on earth I need it and figure it must be harder than it looks if I need a special tool...)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:32 am 
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Katharine wrote:
There's something called a "string winder" and I wonder why on earth I need it and figure it must be harder than it looks if I need a special tool...

A string winder isn't an absolute necessity for changing guitar strings, but it makes the process much faster.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:25 am 
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I would say yes and no. I keep flip flopping between different instruments,I just can't settle on one, and everytime I go back to clarinet, or alto recorder,I have to stop and relearn the fingerings. It doesn't take long to get back in the saddle as it were, but its not intuitive for me.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:02 am 
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Katharine wrote:
Dan A. wrote:
Katharine wrote:

Yeah, I dread the day I have to change a harp string. I have noooo idea what I'm doing. (I've not yet had to change a guitar string myself, either, so that's another thing I need to learn to do that is slightly intimidating to me... every time I look at my guitar and think "it doesn't look like it'd be hard," I remember that there's something called a "string winder" and I wonder why on earth I need it and figure it must be harder than it looks if I need a special tool...)



Changing a harp string or a guitar string is not bad at all. One of my prerequisites for playing an instrument was learning these basic skills. But feel free to use anyone around you with hands on experience. Even with YouTube videos out there an actual person in the room is handy. And there are small surprises along the way. Like who would have guessed a pencil is something recommended to have on hand when you change violin strings? It is not for writing anything down.

The string winder tool is to help with the repetition of winding of the peg when first taking up the slack for the first few winds. If you do go to a guitar store and let them change your strings (my local store does it free if you buy strings from them) ask them if you can watch. There are some details it is good to have in your brain, and later in your hands. Knowing how will really free you if you are off somewhere with a broken string. And don't feel bad if you break a few strings at first. We all have.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:20 pm 
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Quote:
(I've not yet had to change a guitar string myself, either, so that's another thing I need to learn to do that is slightly intimidating to me... every time I look at my guitar and think "it doesn't look like it'd be hard," I remember that there's something called a "string winder" and I wonder why on earth I need it and figure it must be harder than it looks if I need a special tool...)

It does look a bit complex, but it isn't, & you do not need a string winder. :)
(It just allows quick take up of the spare sting length.)

Basically, you just need to know how the string is held at the bridge end, the other end is just fed through a hole & wound onto the post of the tuner peg.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:54 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
Changing a harp string or a guitar string is not bad at all. One of my prerequisites for playing an instrument was learning these basic skills. But feel free to use anyone around you with hands on experience. Even with YouTube videos out there an actual person in the room is handy.

A cat of mine always "helped" when I changed The Gizmo's strings. She was quite attentive and enthusiastic about it, but as an assistant? I'm glad I didn't have to pay her.

busterbill wrote:
And there are small surprises along the way. Like who would have guessed a pencil is something recommended to have on hand when you change violin strings? It is not for writing anything down.

Well, don't be coy, man! Tell us more.

busterbill wrote:
The string winder tool is to help with the repetition of winding of the peg when first taking up the slack for the first few winds.

As fatmac pointed out, they're not a necessity, but I bless the day I discovered peg winders.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:19 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
busterbill wrote:
And there are small surprises along the way. Like who would have guessed a pencil is something recommended to have on hand when you change violin strings? It is not for writing anything down.

Well, don't be coy, man! Tell us more.

I must admit, I always use a pencil when changing my strings. Preferably 3B.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:35 pm 
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fatmac wrote:
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Basically, you just need to know how the string is held at the bridge end, the other end is just fed through a hole & wound onto the post of the tuner peg.


Ha,yes true. But it amazing what we experienced folks think simple is not completely intuitive:

Getting the button out-- pliers might be a person's first choice, but damage buttons. This is where the little U shaped cut out on the $2 Dunlop Peg Winder is better than the $10 D'Addario Pro Winder. (Others may prefer one over the other).

Getting those buttons to hold down the ball on the new strings by pushing that button down while gently jerking the string to set both, holding tension on the string while getting it started after you put the end through the peg, is completely simple when you've done it a few times, but sort of like reinventing he wheel if you haven't'

Deciding how many turns of string represent how much slack and discerning, if you too need that pencil for putting a bit of graphite on the nut if the string seems to need some lubrication,

And what to do with all that left over wire, (clip it with what-- you mean I need a wire clipper?-- or maybe that $10 D'Addario Pro Winder that didn't like to pull my buttons easily will come in handy here with its built in wire clipper. Will toe nail clippers do?-- (only if you don't mind tossing them after).

And then there is the question of: "Do I take all the strings off first?"

These all the things most of us do without thinking on the fly. But we had to learn them somewhere.

I have been interested to see beginners think the string is the right length straight out of the envelope only to discover after a half a dozen turns they are no where close to tight and have a big round clump of wire around the peg with no end in sight.

What seems obvious to those of us who have done it often can seem completely daunting to a first timer.

Watching someone do this, in person or on video will make all this babble of words unnecessary! HaHa


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:50 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
busterbill wrote:
And there are small surprises along the way. Like who would have guessed a pencil is something recommended to have on hand when you change violin strings? It is not for writing anything down.

Well, don't be coy, man! Tell us more.

I must admit, I always use a pencil when changing my strings. Preferably 3B.

busterbill wrote:
lubrication

Now I see. :really:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:56 pm 
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I quite often use the pencil to lubricate the peg itself. You might not think that would be a good idea, but it kind of frees, without completely loosening, so it can work, and eliminate that awful creaking noise and inability to tune the string properly.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:26 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
The little U shaped cut out on the $2 Dunlop Peg Winder is better than the $10 D'Addario Pro Winder.

No arguments here. The one on the D'Addario was a pain. I had to push the damn thing into my thumb in order to get any purchase on the bridge pin at all.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:09 pm 
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This thread had one foot in the grave, so time to yank it out, I guess...and also return to its roots.

As a kid, I had a Hohner Marine Band harmonica. I got to the point that, with a very simple instruction book, I could play a few tunes. Not very well, but at least you knew what I was playing. Fast forward to 2017, when I sold that harmonica not long after relocating to Michigan.

Hit the fast forward button again....earlier this week, I came to kick myself for selling that harmonica. So I ordered up a Hohner Special 20. I re-learned the whistle fairly quickly (though I still take a while to pick up new tunes). Soon I shall find out, after 30-odd years, how long I'll need to get decent with the harmonica again. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I fall into the Vintage Harmonica Rabbit Hole, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:08 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
I ordered up a Hohner Special 20...soon I shall find out, after 30-odd years, how long I'll need to get decent with the harmonica again.

I got sick of waiting for USPS to move the aforementioned Special 20 out of "pre-shipment" (where is has been since 10 December!), so yesterday I made a stop at a high-volume music store. There, I picked up a Hohner Blues Harp. I've started breaking it in, and noodled around with it for a moment. Naturally, I have no memory whatsoever of the tunes I learned 30 years or so ago, and precious little muscle memory. Therefore, my answer to the original question is a tentative yes, but don't expect instantaneous results.

By the way, if the mods wish to merge this thread with the one above it, I object not in the least.


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