Harp String Buttons by Dusty Strings - pack of 12

Item #hButtons
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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.

String Button Diagram
  • Larger than a toggle spline
  • Infinitely reusable
  • 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.
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.

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.

(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 stringing page).

More Info

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.


Write a review

Saved by a button!
By Barbie Jones
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When I read in Sylvia's newsletter, I had just replaced my C4 string. My fingers were still feeling the pain, and my brain turning to mush. I immediately sent for 4 packages of buttons with excitement! Where had you been all of my harp life! When I first had to replace a string, I asked my teacher if she would be coming to town soon!! Yes, she came! Thank you Sally!! Oops, when my D4 next bit the dust, my whole countenance was calm. I had my harp buttons! They saved my day! Strung in 3 minutes . . . Piece of cake!!

Cute as a button!
By Raine B Cragun
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What an amazing find! My first harp string popped on a Dusty Strings harp I have owned for about 1 and 1/2 years. So worried about how to change the string. Not a problem. Just ordered up a pack of harp buttons along with my new string and it was just like sewing! I had the string threaded and ready to attach in no time. So, just button up your troubles and get yourself some handy harp buttons! Very fun and so cute!!

Button Up!
By June Caldwell
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Previous changing of harp string: gnashing of teeth, pulling out hair, saying magic incantations, taking forever WITH STRING BUTTONS: 5 minutes, tune, smile, relax LOVE these things!

All buttoned up!
By Pat
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And just like that, a string change becomes an easy thing! Dusty Strings has this all buttoned up for you...what an easy and reliable fix for the difficult task of tying a knot in nylon. This is definitely a game changer. Now I can't wait until my strings break so I can add a button - just kidding! I'll wait!

I can't ever go back!
By Marcyn Del Clements
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OMG!!! With arthritic fingers and almost zero finger dexterity it used to take me forEVER! to change a broken string. I'd take it to my lesson and have my teacher change it for me. Finally I had to learn to do it myself. I made my self some little dowels and drilled a center hole in them, but it was still really, really hard to get the knots right. And often, the knot would pull out and I'd have to start over with a kinked string. These little buttons have completely changed my dread of broken strings. Dusty Strings needs to get busy and manufacture some with bigger holes, in case one of my big strings break, perish the thought! I can't ever go back! I won't! I'll buy wooden buttons and drill them myself if they don't make them for me. Thanks Sylvia for having them available for us. Marcy

Harp String buttons
By Barbara Seabolt
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Well, after I received my buttons, I had a terrible slip and fall accident, face first on my kitchen ceramic floor, very serious. Also broke both bones in my wrist. Not good for playing the harp, or replacing strings. Here's the good news, I will use the string buttons as my therapy to strengthen my fingers and and wrist. That will help me look forward to playing the harp as therapy for my wrist and fingers. We love the harp for helping people in therapy, but never thought it would be me. What a blessing! Should be able to start "my" therapy in a few weeks.

My pedal harp BFF - Button Friends Forever!
By Madeleine
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This month the humidity flip-flopped so many times here in Honolulu that I had to replace 1 nylon string and 3 gut strings on my L & H 85 petite pedal harp. My new Dusty Strings Buttons arrived just in time from Sylvia for me to experiment. First up was a pedal 3rd Octave E nylon. The opening in the back of my harp is only 1.5" wide, barely wide enough to slip my hand in. Why do my knuckles keep getting bigger?! In the past I have dropped a bucket full of toggles/splines into my harp trying to tie the knot tight enough so they don't fall out while I gingerly try to maneuver the knot/toggle into place. The button worked MAGIC! Loop de loop and you are finished. Yay! Then next strings were more of a challenge - a #22 4th Octave E pedal gut. The strings are much thicker in this octave but again - no problem! The last string I tried was a #26 4th Octave A. I decided to test stringing the button with a piece of the broken string first to see if I had the finger strength to pull it tight. Easier than tying a knot. I think Dusty Strings may only recommend using the buttons through the 3rd Octave so this is my personal experiment. My #29 5th Octave gut E was also broken. The old gut string was too wide for the holes in the buttons, so the 4th Octave seems to be the maximum stopping point for pedal harps. I have a spare set of nylon strings for my harp to use while I'm waiting for the new gut ones to arrive. Interestingly the nylon 5th Octave E went through the hole. The bottom line of my experiment: Buttons can work all the way down through the 4th Octave of a pedal harp, at least to the A I tested. However, I love them best for ease of stringing high octaves, especially if you have big hands - or knobby knuckles like me. It will be interesting to see if there are fewer string breaks at the button. Gut strings especially get a lot of twists and pull on them while you are trying to tie those knots around toggles. Tip: Start with a longer piece for the short end of the string, especially for the lower, larger diameter strings, which become stiffer to bend. It will give you more string to make the loops. BFF for pedal harps too! Thanks, Sylvia, and thanks Dusty Strings!

Time Saver!
By Todd Billig
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I always struggled with replacing strings in the past and now it's super fast and easy. These harp string buttons are so simple to use and do an excellent job holding the strings in place every time on the first try!

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