My First String Change....Whew!!

Sheryl St. Clare
Sheryl St. Clare
@sheryl-st-clare
3 days ago
270 posts

Kusani:

Dusty Tutle: "As you found out, it can be hard to keep the loop ends on until there is enough tension on the string."  I use a set of needle nose pliers to close the loop end so it is just a pressure fit over the pin; it doesn't come off while restringing, but the capo is another good idea. 

I didn't think of this. I'm going to try it. I usually use Ken H's method, blue tape.

Jimmy Lamar
Jimmy Lamar
@jimmy-lamar
6 days ago
32 posts
Kusani:

Dusty Tutle: "As you found out, it can be hard to keep the loop ends on until there is enough tension on the string."  I use a set of needle nose pliers to close the loop end so it is just a pressure fit over the pin; it doesn't come off while restringing, but the capo is another good idea. 



👍
Kusani
Kusani
@kusani
6 days ago
111 posts

Dusty Tutle: "As you found out, it can be hard to keep the loop ends on until there is enough tension on the string."  I use a set of needle nose pliers to close the loop end so it is just a pressure fit over the pin; it doesn't come off while restringing, but the capo is another good idea. 


updated by @kusani: 01/12/19 07:08:50PM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
6 days ago
1,483 posts

Until you get a capo, you can use a short strip of blue painter's tape to hold the loop in place while you change a string.  Probably best not to remove ALL the strings at once.  Pull one, replace one... and repeat. If the bridge is not in a slot on top the fretboard, and you remove all the strings, getting the bridge back in the correct place to the nearest millimeter can be a major problem.

Jimmy Lamar
Jimmy Lamar
@jimmy-lamar
6 days ago
32 posts
Dusty Turtle:

If by "standard" you mean a guitar capo, yeah, that won't work.  Ron Ewing in Ohio makes great dulcimer capos for about $22 or $23.  He usually ships really fast, too. If you're pretty handy on the workbench you can make one of your own.  It's worth having one around even if you don't use it for this tune.



Yup, that’s what I meant. I suppose a guitar capo would work okay on a scalloped fretboard, but you probably couldn’t nail every fret, and it would have to be a strap-style capo.
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
6 days ago
1,030 posts

If by "standard" you mean a guitar capo, yeah, that won't work.  Ron Ewing in Ohio makes great dulcimer capos for about $22 or $23.  He usually ships really fast, too. If you're pretty handy on the workbench you can make one of your own.  It's worth having one around even if you don't use it for this tune.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Jimmy Lamar
Jimmy Lamar
@jimmy-lamar
6 days ago
32 posts
Dusty Turtle:

Congratulations, Jimmy. Now that you're so good at changing strings, I have an old autoharp . . . 

Hey, I do have one tip for you which I learned from Butch Ross and can't believe I never though of.  As you found out, it can be hard to keep the loop ends on until there is enough tension on the string.  But you can use a capo to do that for you, which frees up your hands.  So put the loop end on, pull the string taut, and put a capo on to hold it in place.  Then go ahead and wind the string around the tuner.  It's so simple I'm embarrassed that I was changing strings for years and never thought of it.

And don't worry; the 45 minutes will be reduced to 5 or 10 in no time.



Ha! Funny you say that, because I too have an autoharp that I bought used about 3 years ago, and I have not yet done a string change. That seems like such a daunting task, that I’m okay with the old strings for now.

Thanks for that huge tip about the capo. My fingerboard doesn’t allow me to use a standard capo, but I’ve been wanting to buy a dulcimer capo anyway.
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
6 days ago
1,030 posts

Congratulations, Jimmy. Now that you're so good at changing strings, I have an old autoharp . . . 

Hey, I do have one tip for you which I learned from Butch Ross and can't believe I never though of.  As you found out, it can be hard to keep the loop ends on until there is enough tension on the string.  But you can use a capo to do that for you, which frees up your hands.  So put the loop end on, pull the string taut, and put a capo on to hold it in place.  Then go ahead and wind the string around the tuner.  It's so simple I'm embarrassed that I was changing strings for years and never thought of it.

And don't worry; the 45 minutes will be reduced to 5 or 10 in no time.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Jimmy Lamar
Jimmy Lamar
@jimmy-lamar
6 days ago
32 posts

I have been playing dulcimer for about a month and a half, and I thought that a string change was in order. The strings looked slightly oxidized, and who knows where this dulcimer was stored, or how long it’s been since the strings were changed.

It takes me about 15-20 minutes to change my guitars’ 6 strings, but I’ve done it so many times.

I was surprised that it took me 45 minutes to change 4 dulcimer strings! At first I thought, “Now why won’t these loop ends stay on the pins?” Then it came to me: I must hold the loop on with a finger, then tighten the tuning head simultaneously with the other hand.

Sounds great with new strings though, and I’m sure that it won’t take as long the next time.