I think I’ve chosen my first harp….now what? I’ve spent so much time and energy into researching which harp to buy that I’ve neglected to research what I need to do next.
Congratulations on your new harp!
Next you should get a humidifier if you live anyplace that requires central heating. The best are those that just use evaporation from a fan blowing air through a belt or filter. Try to keep the relative humidity in the harp’s room in the 40% to 60% range. This will keep the harp’s tuning more stable in the short run, and increase the harp’s lifetime in the long run!
Friou’s book is great for exercises, but it really isn’t a “teach yourself” book. It assumes you know decent basic technique to begin with.
You can get the Sylvia Woods book, Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp. It also has a companion DVD that you can get as well so you can see her demonstrate good posture, arm and hand position, how to properly pluck strings etc… Seeing helps greatly. The book IS mostly folk music, but honestly until you get a decent foundation down many of the classical arrangements are going to be too hard.
Some exceptions I think would be Sam Milligan’s books. Fun From the First Vol I and II. They give some good basics on playing, good photos of proper hand position, and I think even diagrams on how to tie the knot to change a string.
But what is nice is it has a good range of graded pieces that cover every thing from folk to classical.
Another good classical collection is The Junior Bach Collection by Chertok. Classical pieces by Bach arranged for the beginner. I used this book when I first started and was able to play some of the pieces fairly quickly.
Congratulations on the harp!
Is there a local teacher that you could just check in with, after you have worked to a certain point yourself? You don’t have to start weekly, lessons, but it is good to also have someone check your technique, as well as your seating, and so on. Also, it would be good to look into different techniques because it will truly shape how you sit, practice, and overall play. Everything you learned will come back, and the showtunes/hymns will really help!
What kind of harp did you get?
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