Oiling your strings?

Is your zither in need of repair? Do you have questions on how to best maintain your zither, or have advice? Post your questions and advice here.

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Musicmaker
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Oiling your strings?

Post by Musicmaker » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:54 am

Hi folks it's me again!
My Zither has still not arrived yet so i am practicing on my Dulcimer which has only three strings!
( amazing what sounds you can make with just a triad ! ) but it is starting to make my fingers tougher which is the aim.
I live in Australia and the humidity here is damaging to steel instrument strings no matter what they are coated with.
It takes only two weeks before they become dull and damaging to the fingers.
Today I put some Three in One sewing machine oil onto a rag and wiped the strings over.
What a lovely difference that made to my fingers and Thumb being able to slide nicely up and down the strings.
Does anybody else do this?
I can only see it as an aid to easier playing and longevity of the strings at £100 a set!
Pete

jbug_zither
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:10 am

Re: Oiling your strings?

Post by jbug_zither » Fri May 11, 2018 1:34 pm

Living in Florida along the coast, I know all too well what humidity and salt air will do to a string instrument! For that reason, our house is not opened up to the fresh air unless the humidity is way down.

As far as oiling strings, I believe the answer is no. My zither is strung with Concert Zither "Bergfee" Nylon Green, and the A strings are stainless steel, the D is bronze, the G and C are bronze wound, and the open strings are pure nylon silk (https://schneidermusik.de/shop1/product ... ts_id/7269). I get my strings from Anne Prinz in the US. I asked Anne about oiling the strings because of the humidity, and she said no, because of the nylon content of the strings. My understanding is that you need to be practicing/playing enough to replace your strings twice a year (however I think the professional players are changing them like they change socks). I have to confess that the strings I have now are from 2011, but I just bought a complete set as I am now practicing for an hour daily and I am waiting for a string to go....

June

NutmegCT
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
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Re: Oiling your strings?

Post by NutmegCT » Fri May 11, 2018 1:41 pm

June - welcome back!

I see you joined the forum back in 2012 - but didn't post for the next six years! How 'bout posting a video so we can share your progress? With so few professional teachers around, it's a definite help (and raises the spirits) to see how other beginners are doing.

Thanks.
Tom M.

jbug_zither
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:10 am

Re: Oiling your strings?

Post by jbug_zither » Tue May 15, 2018 12:53 pm

Hi Tom!

Professional I am not... but for not posting, life happens. I will not bore you with the details as this site is all about zithers and zither playing :lol: . Make a video? :shock: :shock: :shock: I will have to work on that. My playing over the last 6 years has been more like Bill Murray playing the piano in 'Groundhog Day.' However, I am up to the challenge!

June

Musicmaker
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Oiling your strings?

Post by Musicmaker » Tue May 15, 2018 4:31 pm

jbug_zither wrote:Living in Florida along the coast, I know all too well what humidity and salt air will do to a string instrument! For that reason, our house is not opened up to the fresh air unless the humidity is way down.

As far as oiling strings, I believe the answer is no. My zither is strung with Concert Zither "Bergfee" Nylon Green, and the A strings are stainless steel, the D is bronze, the G and C are bronze wound, and the open strings are pure nylon silk (https://schneidermusik.de/shop1/product ... ts_id/7269). I get my strings from Anne Prinz in the US. I asked Anne about oiling the strings because of the humidity, and she said no, because of the nylon content of the strings. My understanding is that you need to be practicing/playing enough to replace your strings twice a year (however I think the professional players are changing them like they change socks). I have to confess that the strings I have now are from 2011, but I just bought a complete set as I am now practicing for an hour daily and I am waiting for a string to go....

June
Thank you June for getting back.
I did not make myself very clear and that was my fault.
I would not dream of oiling nylon cored strjngs as i have these aas well.
I was reffering to the griffbrett strings with steel cores.
I have made a compromise in just putting a very light coat on the griffbrett strings.
It certainly feels super smooth and my fingers will not get cheese wired on the A strings!
Pete

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