I’ve been playing the guitar for 20 years. I started playing the harp 7 weeks ago and I’m really enjoying it; I hope to go far with it.
I rent a small beginner’s harp from my local musical club. I didn’t like the way the lower bass strings were dark in colour — I wanted them nice and white so I could easily distinguish them from the Red’s and Black’s.
My local music store only had guitar strings, so the shop owner and I used a vernier calipers to check the gauge of the strings already on the harp, and then we tried to find the most similar guitar ones. I think the one’s we used were ‘wound nylon’ for the lower bass notes.
The new guitar strings on my harp sound and play fine. My harp teachers were a little dismayed about it though but I tried to assure them that the gauge was right…. and also that there isn’t really such a thing as a “guitar string” as it’s just a wound nylon string that you can put on any instrument.
I’m told that the lower bass strings on a harp can be quite expensive (e.g. about $13). Guitar strings only cost about a $1 or two.