harpcolumn

practical news, for practical harpists

Forums » Harps and Accessories » Waring Harps...need answers!

About Forums

Welcome to the Harp Column forums. Please read the Terms and Conditions before posting. By using this forum, you agree to adhere to these terms.

Want to add links or emphasis to your posts? Read the Harp Column blog about posting shortcuts.

Waring Harps...need answers!

  • Evangeline
    Evangeline Williams

    There's a harp out there called the Waring Harp, and it's

    soundbox/board is made of heavy duty cardboard.


    I know...eek, that does sound terrible.


    But it's for use in music therapy with children as an accompanying

    instrument (the way many MTs use guitars and autoharps).  So it's not

    for major performances, and sound quality is not the issue.


    I've been using my lap harp for awhile, but I've realized there are

    too many risks for me to continue using the lap harp I perform on.  I

    need to purchase a harp for use in music therapy only, and do not want

    to make a major investment in case something happens to it.


    I've talked to some music therapists who have used it, but now I'm

    curious to see if any harpists have seen these things and/or played

    them.  I'm mostly curious about how they hold their tune and if the

    string spacing is totally insane.

    - Sign in to comment
    replies to "Waring Harps...need answers!"
    • Zen
      Zen Sojourner

      OMGosh, I went and looked, and I can't help it, that thing looks REALLY flimsy.  I don't think it would stand up well to being constantly transported.  I wouldn't dare to try to transport it without a hard case or some kind of crate to protect it.  Painted or not, cardboard is only really stiff paper.  In fact, I could NEVER leave that harp sitting in the open at my house because my cats think cardboard is the most fun thing in the world to sharpen their claws on.  It'd be shredded in short order!


      And if you're working with kids - since when have kids ever listened to the admonition, "Please don't touch"... turn your back for a second, and the next thing you know, it's crushed, spilled on, or dropped.  I bet its REALLY lightweight, making it even more likely that even very small kids could get it high enough off the floor to do some serious damage when they drop it or crash into a wall with it.


      At $189 (assembled), it doesn't really seem like a very good solution to your situation.  I personally wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.


      Have you considered a Harpsicle?  They're only about $100 more, and they come in a wider range of colors (if colors are your thing, or in natural maple if they're not).


      http://traditionalharps.com/Harpsicle.html

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Actually, the Waring harps have a remarkably good sound.  They're great for kids and can be painted any way you like.  Can't go wrong for the bucks.

                Deb

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      I don't know about the Waring Harps, but I have known lap dulcimers made of wood and carboard that are really quite sturdy. But, I know from experience that the harpscicles and sharpsicles are extremely hardly and have a wonderful sound.  They are really sturdy - I've had a look of kids play around with (and even drop them.)  I don't there's much anyone could do to really hurt one.  And they hold their tuning really well.  It was interesting to see the Waring Harp site - I love the idea of making insturments!

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Do they also mix milkshakes? Puree vegetables?

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      No blending capabilities, but you can slice hardboiled eggs through the strings.

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      If you use the strings as bowstrings, and buy a goodly supply of arrows, you can defend yourself against the barbarian hordes if they happen to attack while you're at a gig.

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      ....or if you don't have the right credit card....

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Sorry I haven't seen this question sooner.  I am one of the harp creators.  Any questions can be sent to waringharps@mindspring.com.  Will be glad to help

      Thanks

      Dave

      - Sign in to comment
    • Susan
      Susan Dennis

      I know this is old, but it still comes up on top on Google, so I thought I would add my comments. I am currently in the middle of assembling my Waring harp, so I can't comment on the sound quality.

      However, the harp is not all cardboard. It has a wood triangle for the frame. The soundbox is cardboard, but sturdy with the addition of paint. If something happens to the soundbox, you can get another for $5.

      Frankly, I would rather risk a $5 cardboard soundbox with kids (and then they won't feel bad), then a $300 harpsicle (and definitely not my dusty strings). The harp is meant to be used by kids.

      I'll also note that so far the assembly is easy. I suspect that putting in the tune pins will be a challenge. And of course stringing is it's own adventure, but you have to replace strings on any harp.

      - Sign in to comment
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      I'm a 59-year old beginning harpist and didn't want to spend a huge amount of money on an instrument at the outset. I stumbled on the Waring Harp and ordered a kit, because the price was right.  It took me about a week to paint, stain, assemble, string and decorate the harp. I received the package within 7 days of placing my order.

      I am VERY impressed with the sound and its ease of portability. I have taken a couple of lessons with a local teacher and she's impressed with it, as well.  The only difficulty I have with this instrument is that it's a little tricky for me to hold.  I have yet to find a position that is consistently comfortable. For that reason alone, I will probably upgrade later this year.

      Though a few commenters here seem to think it's best suited for children, I can attest to the fact that it is an ample instrument for a beginner of ANY age. Sure, you can rent a harp - if there's a dealer near you who rents them out. But for $120, you can buy the kit, decorate it any way you see fit, and be playing it within a week to 10 days. 

      If the harp is an instrument you've always wanted to try out, but you are hesitant to spend the kind of money a nice one costs, this is a VERY reasonable alternative. 

       

      - Sign in to comment
    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      Nancy, there is a sort of non-slip material sometimes sold in cheapo shops as drawer liner.  It doesn't solve all harp holding problems, but is worth trying as a lap throw if your harp is slipping. 

      - Sign in to comment
    • Dennis
      Dennis Waring

      In regard to Zen Sojourner's assessment of the Waring Harp. It is obvious she has never seen one, held one, or played one. Waring Harps are serious instruments, sell worldwide and have received scores of positive reviews from amateur and professional alike. Why this person is so angry and judgmental I can only imagine. Ignore her.

      - Sign in to comment
    • Ellen
      Ellen B.

      Hi 59 year old unknown user, have you tried a lap harp sling? They have one at Harps Etc. I've never tried one, but was thinking of getting one to see what it was like. It looks pretty useful! http://www.harpsetc.com/lap-harp-sling.html

      - Sign in to comment
    • Ellen
      Ellen B.

      By the way, I did get a lap sling, and it works great with my lap harp, a Triplett Zephyr (teeny-weeny), but it would easily accommodate a larger lap harp. I think it was only $35... can really solve the problem of holding lap harps, and the sling folds up and is completely portable.

      - Sign in to comment