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New to harp and have some questions.

  • Unknown
    Unknown User

    I'm looking into learning harp, but I had some questions I haven't seemed to find answers for. They could just be sufficiently abnormal it would be hard to find out or maybe I just didn't look hard enough.

    1) Are harp strings forgiving to being tuned to different keys or are there strings made to be used to put the harp into another key?

    2) Do harps stay in tune relatively well?

    3) Besides electricharp.com, are there any other companies that make purely electric harps in that sort of price range?

    4) Is it fairly practical to teach myself to play the harp?

    replies to "New to harp and have some questions."
    • Bernhard
      Bernhard Schmidt

      Well, normal questions I would say.

      Harp strings are made to stay at a certain pitch. It is not a good idea to tune the harp to diverent keys.

      It depends to the harp...but harps can stay very well in tune.

      I know many who teach them self to play harp...but to have a teacher will help at the beginning

      Yes, there is my workshop where you can find electro harp and also midi harp 

      Regards 

    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      1) you can tune any way you like, but once the strings have settled into a specific tuning they are going to want to stay there. When I decided to change the tuning on one of my harps from C to Eb I found it easier to just restring it with new string. But there are no specific string sets for different keys.

      2) The answer to that question is relative. It all depends in relation to what. Compared to a piano, no. Compared to a guitar, generally yes. But still, you typically have to tune every time you sit down to play. Many things effect the tuning that have little to do with the harp itself. Temperature changes and humidity changes both  can throw a harp out of tune quickly.

      3) Camac harps makes the widest range of electric harps, from solid body to acoustic version of both lever and pedal harps in various prices. Lyon and Healy makes both an electric pedal harp and a solid body electric lever harp. Mountain Glenn harps custom makes harps and can build virtually anything you want in a lever harp. Several other makers make electric harps and even midi harps.

      4) You can learn on your own, but I highly recommend taking at least a few lessons at first to try to avoid some of the common mistakes. Having a teacher helps immensely, but there are no shortage of folk harp players out there who are self taught and seem to be doing fine.

       

    • Audrey
      Audrey Nickel

      One nice thing is, once the strings have settled, they typically only need a little bit of a tweak from day to day...they may slip a little flat during the winter or a little sharp during the summer, but, in general, once they've settled, it's a fairly quick procedure to get them in tune (be prepared for a busy first week or so of tuning, though!).  I've also found that my highest strings tend to stay in tune better from day to day than the lower strings, which is nice, as they're the most difficult to tune (the tiniest movement of the key can cause a big difference in either direction)

      What keys were you thinking of playing in?  I tend to keep my harp tuned in C, with levers on my C and F strings, which allows me to play in C major, D major and F major, as well as their relative minors...sufficient for the kind of music I play, for the most part (mainly music from Ireland, Scotland and Britain).

      Audrey

    • Christian
      Christian Frederick

      Bernhard,

      Please tell us more about midi harp....

    • Bernhard
      Bernhard Schmidt

      Christian,

      thank you for your interest ...but this would change this thread completly to an other direction.

      I could open an other thread for an discussion of  MIDI harp ?

      Regards

    • Christian
      Christian Frederick

      Bernhard,

      I would love for you to start a thread on this subject. I know nothing about MIDI harp, but will eagarly look forward to your expertise.

      I've thought for a long time that MIDI, not Electric Harp, may be the direction in the future for non-traditional harp. We certainly saw how MIDI has taken over the acoustic piano in many venues.