To all the harpists out there who have struggled with tying the harper's knot when changing a string, the folks at Dusty Strings heard your cries of frustration, and are thrilled to finally be able to share "The Harper's NOT!" . . . also known as String Buttons!
Here's the description from the Dusty Strings site.
We know tying the traditional knot with a slippery string and tiny toggle spline is difficult or painful for many people, sometimes to the point of near impossibility, and that means a broken harp string can be a huge source of stress and anxiety. We've attacked this problem at various points over the years, looking for a string anchoring method that would be easier on the hands, would be relatively simple to use, and would hold firm without causing string breakage or loss of tone. It was a more difficult journey than we thought it would be, but we think String Buttons check all the boxes.
- Larger than a toggle spline
Can be threaded in a simple pattern without the need for tightly pinching with your fingers
Won't spring apart midway through the knot
Makes use of the mechanical power of the tuning pin to cinch down the knot
Fits nylon and gut strings up to .080"/2 mm on any make of harp
String Buttons are made from black Delrin acetal, which is a hard plastic. They are 1/2" in diameter and about 1/8" thick.
A pack contains 12 black String Buttons, an instruction card, a link to the video instructions, and an extra, quick-reference instruction card that you can keep handy or pass on to a friend.
You do not have to replace all of your current string anchors with String Buttons. You can have a mixture of String Buttons and harper's knots on your harp, and you'll never be able to tell unless you look inside the soundbox. You can just wait and use the String Buttons the next time you need to replace a string.
Watch the videos below for more information.
IF YOUR HARP HAS GUT STRINGS, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:
Can I use these on my pedal harp or my lever harp with pedal gut strings? Yes, but if you are looking for low-stress, we recommend them only for the third octave and above. In our testing, strings in the fourth octave could be anchored with String Buttons, but it was not easy on the hands. With the heaviest strings (fifth octave), we found String Buttons to be more difficult than the standard harper's knot. In addition, strings thicker than .080" or 2 mm will not fit through the holes.
The first video is a fun "infomercial" made by the silly folks at Dusty Strings. The second video shows you how to use the string buttons.
(P.S. If you want to learn how to tie the "official" knot in your harp string without using these cool buttons, you'll find information and instructions on our
If you feel like being entertained, we hope you'll enjoy Dusty Strings' exaggerated spoof on an infomercial!
Here's a step by step video on how to use String Buttons when replacing harp strings.