Brand new to harp

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Keymaster
    HBrock25 on #156797

    Thanks Diana. You cleared up my curiosity as to what “in the middle” referred to. Knowing my eagerness to learn, my husband surprised me last Christmas and told me to buy a harp.
    Not knowing anything about them, I ordered online and bought a 12 string Lily harp. Naturally, after having been playing 88 keys, I realized my error in about 5 minutes. My husband told me to return it and get something I could actually play. After a little research (very little), I ordered a fully levered Pixi harp (19) strings. Again, though better, still a mistake as more research revealed that most music is written for at least 22 strings. My first goal is to replace this with 29 strings in the spring,(still inexpensive brand) then the second goal: 34 strings and a quality instrument. I have invested a small amount in these online harps just to get started. Dusty Strings Ravenna 34? I’m reading good things…?

    andy-b on #156798

    Hi, Sheila: I would suggest that you consider just saving up for the Ravenna instead of skipping up to a 29 string harp, then having to save up again for the 34 string harp. It’s easier to start and stay interested and enthusiastic if you start with a good harp. It will sound better and may well have levers that function better than a cheaper model. The Ravenna is a good instrument to start on, and it would be less expensive in the long run than getting a 29-string, then upgrading again in a short time. Of course, many of us wind up with more than one harp, so there is no one path to take!



    olivia-diamond on #156799

    I also would recommend A. Riley that Pamela Bruner’s “Play the Harp Beautifully” instructional beginner books. They

    HBrock25 on #156800

    Thank you for your sound advice, Andy.
    Saving for the Ravenna would be the most practical approach. However, my funds are somewhat limited right now and as you can imagine, the 19 strings I am currently using are limiting to say the least. I have played classical piano for 46 years. I am used to large left hand accompaniments. Nineteen strings, though allowing me to “get a feel” for the harp, is restricting any real technique building and learning. I feel that the 29 string model of the harp that I am currently using will allow me to advance a little more. It’s relatively inexpensive, albeit low quality, but will fill the gap until I can purchase the Ravenna in a year or two. I have the patience and discipline needed to learn and build skill properly. I just have to apply that same patience where purchasing a quality suitable harp is concerned. Thanks very much for your advice. Best to you.

    HBrock25 on #156801

    Thank you Olivia.
    Do these books offer skill/technique building blocks…..scales, arpeggios, etc.? I have look online at quite a few offerings in the way of beginner harp books. However, what I have seen mostly present small melodic pieces. Lovely, if one already has learned the fundamentals. What I require as a true beginner is the actual “how to” as I am not able to take lessons with a harp teacher at this point.
    I appreciate your input and suggestions.

    Harpa Overy on #156802

    + 1 for Pamela’s self-teaching course.

    She does indeed begin right at the beginning with the absolute fundamentals from the importance of correct hand positioning and posture, and all exercises and whatnot have finger placings shown.

    I’d recommend that you get the DVD to accompany the book – the two work side by side, where every new step is demonstrated and shown in close up.

    I believe Ms Breuner is or was a successful motivational speaker. She is therefore very skillfull at clear presentation and explanation.

    Just realised this seems like an advert! No connection to Heartland or their people – just a satisfied customer!

    Hope this is helpful.

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