So, I’m new at all this music stuff and practically know nothing. Lol. : I have lots of questions, but today I’m focusing on blind harp players, as I’m completely blind. I can forsee some challenges in learning to play the harp, but I’m sure I’ll figure things out eventually. 🙂 D
Firstly, I’m looking at getting a Dusty Strings FH 34 in walnut. I really, really liked the sound of their walnut harps–I like a warmer, mellower sound, and the FH 34 fit the bill! I’m sure I’ll go back to Harps ETC (my nearest harp store) and look at other models, but the FH 34 really spoke to me. Note that I could only try out the FH 26 in the FH line, because Harps ETC doesn’t stock the FH 34. I really liked the sound of the FH 26, though, and don’t think that would change on hearing the FH 34.
Anyhow, I have some questions.
1. Are there any blind harpests on this forum? If so, any advice? Advice is welcome from sighted harpests, too, as the more discussion, especially of possible snags I might hit, the better.
2. Is it harpest or harper? Lol!
3. How do blind players figure out which leaver goes with which string, especially while playing? I know about leaver rings and caps, and I think they’d help somewhat, especially for finding C’s, but I was having major trouble following the string up to the leaver. Once I got to the neck, keeping my finger on the string and not getting confused by all the metal stuff near it was challenging. Also, because of the leaver mechanism–I’m assuming–things get kind of cramped for fingers.
4. I have some resources for Braille music, as well as books that will help a sighted teacher who knows nothing about Braille music teach me. I also know that Sylvia Woods’s Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp was produced in Braille. I’m just worried that Braille music is going to be hard to get my head around. Note that I already know Braille, so that’s not an issue.
5. Has anyone transported a 34 harp, preferably one around the same size as the DS FH 34 on an intercity bus? Do you think I’d get told I couldn’t bring it on? I forsee less trouble with our train system in northern California, BART, as you can bring bikes on in a specific car. Granted, a harp isn’t the same, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
6. How awkward is it going to be to carry the harp on my back? I know that DH makes backpack straps for their cases, but I’m worried about clearance through doorways and people who know better but aren’t looking where their going crashing into me and whatnot. Although I’ll probably get a bit more respect from cars when I’m crossing the street because of how odd I look carrying the harp around lol.
7. How the heck do I know what hight everything should be for me? I know that you’re supposed to sit up straight with your feet on the floor, but apart from that, I have no clue.
8. On that note, any recomendations on stools or benches? I looked at the stool from Dusty Strings, but wow, was it expensive! Good features, but expensive! Can anyone recommend anything similar? I especially like the fact that it has a back and the cutout near the front so your legs are more comfortable. I’m looking for something with a back that will support good posture; I’m a sloucher, and I just want that lumbar support. If it gives you any insight, I have trouble standing for long periods. It’s not that I can’t, it’s just that my back gets sore when I do. I know that’s because of my crappy posture–which is why I need something which will make me sit correctly.