I've played out side in the rain and yes, your tuning will be affected. I
would worry more about your wood getting too wet and not so much about your
strings. I had my D650 for 4 years and I played outside most of those years
on a regular basis. It was just this last January that I changed my full
set of stings on that thing. I'm no chemist so I can't say that the weather
didn't affect my strings but if it did, then it took four years of gigging
to do it. ;-) Even with what I said about the wood, it's all protected
except that little sound hole where water could get inside the HD where
it's not finished. And that would take a significant amount of concentrated
rain to get in there in any amount.
Be careful if you start to re-tune one string at a time during your set
because sometimes that can just make it worse as more than likely the whole
HD will be going out fairly evenly. I usually find that it's my higher
notes that are affect quicker than the bass notes. There's not as much
tension on the lower notes I think.
Good luck and don't worry too much. To compromise your strings, your HD
would have to sit outside for more than one gig. More likely 24hours or
something like that.
National Hammer Dulcimer Champion
On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 4:54 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>wrote:
> Got a question about the advisability of playing one's HD outdoors in
> rainy weather.
> Obviously one would not want to play in a downpour under any
> circumstances, but my band is playing at an outdoor gig this Saturday in
> the SF Bay Area, and rain seems to be predicted. The other band members all
> play instruments with 4-6 strings (fiddle, banjo, guitar). They tend to be
> hardy souls who would probably not be deterred by a bit of damp. I, OTH, DO
> NOT want to discover that the 68 strings on my Dusty Strings D-300 HD have
> been compromised by misty weather, I understand we'll be playing under a
> shade structure, but that doesn't mean it's completely dry under there if
> it drizzles or rains.
> Anyway, just wondering at what point one would be prudent NOT to be
> playing one's HD in inclement weather conditions. I'm asking because I
> have a feeling there will be some peer pressure to keep playing unless it
> gets really bad, and I want to have some solid data on which to base any
> decision not to play my HD.
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