Frustrating peers

Posted In: Young Harpists

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #165937

    I’m here to complain so feel free to over look this. 😉

    The other day a friend of mine (let’s call him Mr. Anonymous) was asking me about a concert I was playing at that night. I sighed and told him I had to go home to tune the harp. Mr. Anonymous gave me a funny look (that wasn’t funny to me) and said, “Why tune it at home? Just tune it at the concert.”

    Me- “Oh well, the harp has so many strings and is extremely sensitive to temperature change. So I tune it at home to-“

    Mr. Anonymous – *cuts me off* “That’s redundant! Just tune it at the concert.”

    Me- *trying to keep my cool* “Dude! I’ve been playing harp for years, I know how to tune it! Anyway, I tune it at home so it can adjust to the new temperature-“

    Mr. Anonymous- *cuts me off AGAIN* “That’s dumb, just tune it when you get there!”

    I walked off mumbling to those around me, “He’s not listening so why waste my breath!”

    Has anyone had a similar experience, where peers treat your instrument like a guitar?! I should mention that Mr. Anonymous likes to argue/debate any time he can, and is one of the few people who can truly get under my skin. And not in the yay-friendship way, but in the under-my-skin-like-a-tick way…

    Anyone who was brave enough to read all of this, thank you! God bless!

    — Natalie

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #165938

    The way people phrase things or talk is a reflection of their state of mind and upbringing, it has nothing to do with you, so don’t react to the way it is said. He has a point, in that the act of moving a harp from one location to another will cause it to de-tune, so you are wasting effort. Better you should tune as soon as you arrive, then re-tune just before playing. The new temperature is where you arrive, not where you depart from.

    unknown-user on #165939

    I’ve found that my harp holds tune better if I tune it roughly at home, let it adjust after moving it, and then tune it again. When I tried tuning it at the location I struggled getting it ready in time because all the strings had seriously stretched. It sounds silly but maybe my harp is as crazy as me. ;P

    tony-morosco on #165940

    Interesting. Generally Saul (and your frustrating peer) are correct, but every harp is different and every harpist as well. The content of the frustrating peer’s general statement is correct, but perhaps not aplicable to your particular situation.

    I think it isn’t what he said that is the problem, but from how you describe it, how he said it. Interrupting you, cutting you off, and being that insistant about something that is as much a matter of personal preference as it is practical issue is leaning towards the rude side.

    How we say things is often as important as what we say. As I like to say, communication doesn’t happen just because someone said something. The person it is being said to needs to be in a place to hear it, and people typically aren’t open to hearing what someone says when they are being put on the defensive or treated offensively.

    So sounds like it wasn’t even realy what this guy said to you, but rather that this guy is just a jerk in general. I have found that with people like that, even though venting on them can seem momentarily satisfying, the best aproach is to just nod, thank them, and then walk away and forget them. I don’t always necessarily do that myself, but when I don’t I typically regret it.

    carl-swanson on #165941

    Tony- Terrific post. Exactly what I was thinking too and I’m sure much better stated. In particular I like your last bit of advice(just nod, thank them, and then walk away and forget them). I have gotten better(believe it or not!) at responding to very rude people in a low key even tempered way. The problem with getting very angry and expressing rage at someone like that is 1)it brings you down to their level and 2) it diminishes the believability of what you have to say.

    Jerusha Amado on #165942

    Hi Natalie,

    My Dusty 36 performs better when it has been tuned at home and then at the venue, so you’re not alone!


    Jerusha Amado on #165943

    Numbers 1 and 2 are terrific points, Carl.

    The only thing I’d like to add is that the truth of a message, if it exists, is vastly more important than how it is delivered.

    unknown-user on #165944

    He’s actually a really great guy, we’re just opposite in personality. So he drives me crazy by just being himself. ;P I did find it rude that he wouldn’t let it go, especially since he fixes cars and doesn’t even play an instrument. But he did nothing wrong, and I just came here to vent!

    unknown-user on #165945

    Oh I’m glad I’m not the only one, thanks for adding this! It’s just weird, it stays much closer to pitch if I tune it at home and touch it up at the venue. Thanks again! 🙂

    — Natalie

    dave-lynch on #165946

    Interrupting is part of the normal flow of conversation and we probably all do it at one time or another. Sometimes we just jump in, or maybe it is the only way to get a word in edgewise. However, if interrupting you is a habit of his, tell him.

    unknown-user on #165947

    Oh thank you, I might try this! I can’t help but think I’ve tried to explain this to him before but I like the way you phrased it politely. I don’t think he honestly means to irritate me, he just does. I’ll try and talk it out with him, but he’s not very good at listening…. I shouldn’t bully him though, he means well.

    dave-lynch on #165948

    If polite doesn’t work, try a smacking him upside his head. ;-)

    Don’t look at standing up for yourself and your opinions as bullying.

    Gretchen Cover on #165949


    You don’t owe anonymous dude or anyone else an explanation. I would has just said “oh, and how do you take care of your harp?” or “this system works for me”

    David Ice on #165950

    @ Dave Lynch

    dave-lynch on #165951


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
  • The forum ‘Young Harpists’ is closed to new topics and replies.