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Hello...from another newbie!

  • Leslie
    Leslie Davis

    Hello!  I'm so glad to have found this wonderful site.

    I, too, have been lurking around for a couple of months and wanted to introduce myself.

    I'm Leslie, known to friends and family as 'Led', and I live in Colorado.  Although I was formally taught on woodwinds for many years while in school, I am self-taught on piano and a complete novice on harp.  And, like many others, I'm following a life-long dream to play the harp.

    Although we have several luthiers in Colorado, none are located near me, nor are there any harp shops.  So, I've had to do a lot of research online to determine not only the type of harp which would be best to learn on based on the type of music I hope to play, but also the style of harp that I prefer.  Please know that throughout this process, the 'HarpColumn', with its many forums containing postings from such highly knowledgable harpists, has been an extremely valuable resource and I am thankful to have found this great site.  Plus.....everyone here seems so nice friendly! 

    Well, I decided upon a beautiful Webster 'Laurel Leaf' and should be receiving it sometime in Aug.  Since I selected Truitt levers, Mr. Webster suggested that I go with a lightly strung harp which should be perfect for me as I don't foresee ever moving on to a pedal harp.  (I wonder how many times this has been said?!)

    Again, I'm so pleased to have found y'all at this great site and look forward to my new adventure!



    replies to "Hello...from another newbie!"
    • Kay
      Kay Lister

      Welcome to the group Leslie!

      :-) Kay

    • Jessica
      Jessica Wolff

      Leslie, that is a beautiful harp, and so is his "pseudo-Erard," as someone here called it. The price is reasonable too, and I've heard good things about the sound. What would discourage me, as it has others on this forum, is that it is 69" high. Especially with Truitt levers, how do you reach the levers in the bass without jumping up out of your chair? At 5'0", I couldn't do it.

    • Leslie
      Leslie Davis

      Thank you, Kay.  I'm so glad to have found this site!

    • Leslie
      Leslie Davis

      Hello, Jessica. 

      Yes, it is a beautiful harp, as are all of Mr. Webster's harps.  His 'McFall' is especially lovely. 

      I was also considering Blevins' Amadeus 38.  Cindy of Blevins so kindly called me and gave a beautiful performance playing the Amadeus during our phone conversation and it was just lovely!

      Truly a difficult decision but I decided on the Webster.

      Hmmm.....now that will be interesting trying to reach some of the levers.  Well, I believe where there is a will, there is a way, but my arms had better grow longer.....and fast! 

    • Deb
      Deb L

      hi Leslie, welcome, nice intro, already decided on a harp, unlike my rather confusing introduction and how about this harp.. no how about that one threads!  The songs I play usually don't require moving a lever in a middle of a song, usually when they do it's one of the higher string levers closer to me so depending on the music you play the height of the levers in the bass strings may not matter much.  The longer strings with a harp with more height gives a nice full tone to a harp, especially in the bass so I'd say it's worth it.  welcome, congratulations, and nice choice in harp!

    • Leslie
      Leslie Davis

      Hello, Deb.  Thank you for the nice welcome.

      I remember reading your thread regarding which harp to choose.  It is such a difficult decision!!  And then add to it (in my case) being a complete harp novice.  There are so many beautiful harps produced that it really can be a very daunting task to choose only one.

      When I first saw Mr. Webster's 'Laurel Leaf', well.....I was quite certain that this was the 'dream harp' I've always envisioned. 

      However, I wanted to be especially certain and so for several months, I researched the different makes and models in depth. Yikes!!  Waaaay too many choices but, in the end, I know I made the right decision for me.  I'm having a more difficult time trying to choose which mahogany finish I want.

      Have you narrowed your choice down as to which may be your 'dream harp'?

      I hope I don't have trouble reaching the lower bass levers as Kay mentioned.  But your point is well taken in that most of the music I hope to be playing will not have complicated scale changes because I see myself becoming more of a harp 'plucker' than a harpist, as such. 

      Deb, again, thank you for the nice welcome and I'm anxious to see which harp becomes your perfect 'dream harp'!

    • Deb
      Deb L

      Leslie, I am really trying to go with a Folk nylon strung harp, but in truth my dream harp is a Salvi Ana, totally impractical.  Like you I am not looking to have more than one harp, and I want it to last for the rest of my life.  I'm trying to work out the details on a Camac Melusine Concert harp right now, and hoping for the best.  I am really enjoying the Ogden rental, so if it doesn't work out it's not as though I don't have a harp that I really enjoy playing. 

      You are fortunate that you have piano background.  Mine is in flute, mandolin.  That will make it so much easier for you to learn quickly and sight read.  You have the patience of a saint waiting all that time for your harp I think I would die.  This last time I ended up driving up to Salem in a mad rush to get a harp rental asap because I couldn't stand it anymore, I've been missing a harp for about 6 months now and couldn't take it anymore.  I swore I wouldn't be without a harp again, so that's why I'm so crazy to find my keeper harp now. 

      Looking forward to hearing updates on your harp! 

    • Leslie
      Leslie Davis

      Oooh, nice - the 'Ana'.  Now that's a dream harp!  Perhaps you just have to 'go for it' like I did.  I knew if I didn't do it now, I never would and the more I age, the more I see that life truly is too short not to fulfill at least some of your dreams.

      My purchase is extremely impractical on so many levels and my husband certainly agrees!!  However, I know that this impracticality will give me the push to keep pressing on and learning all that I need to learn on the harp. 

      I love piano and always have but it's like I have this need to 'evolve' (if you will) and add the harp into my little musical world. However, I will certainly continue playing my piano, always.

      It certainly sounds as though you cannot be without a harp in your life the same way that I can't be without my piano.  I understand this, completely!

      I hope the Camac deal works out.  How exciting!

    • Deb
      Deb L

      Do you have an estimate when your harp will be ready to ship Leslie?  It always amazes me how striking they are in person as opposed to looking at pictures.

    • Pat
      Pat Eisenberger

      Welcome, Leslie!

      Not only to the Harp Column Forum, but to the growing family of Webster Harp owners. I brought my McFall home last November. His shop is minutes away from my house. He's a wonderful fellow to do business with. Has be begun work on your harp yet? If so, has he sent you any pictures of the work in progress?

    • Leslie
      Leslie Davis

      I don't have an exact ship date as yet.  Mr. Webster mentioned to me the other day that the gilding will be done in the next week or so.

      It's hard to believe it is already the middle of July so, hopefully, within the next four weeks or thereabout would probably be a good guess.

      Deb, I have to admit.....I'm really starting to get anxious now!

    • Leslie
      Leslie Davis

      Hello, Pat.  It's so nice of you to welcome me to this friendly group!

      I remember seeing the photos you posted when you received your oh-so-lovely McFall.  Oh, your harp is just beautiful!  The McFall would have been my choice had I not fallen completely head-over-heels for the 'Laurel Leaf'.

      Mr. Webster has been so accomodating.  He has sent me several pictures and it has been just amazing to see pieces of mahogany crafted into a harp in just a matter of a few weeks.  (Perhaps at some point, I can post the pictures for all to see the amazing process.)

      Wow!  I believe if I lived that close to a luthier, especially a master luthier such as Mr. Webster, I'd have to volunteer to sweep the floor or empty the wastebin just so I could witness the magic of his beautiful creations coming to life!