Hi everyone! My apologies in advance for yet another “which harp should I get” thread.
I’m relatively new to harp. I took lessons for about 4 months, then stopped due to a combination of factors. I wanted to play an instrument that was suitable for playing around a campfire, including on backpacking trips, and at the time I just couldn’t find a harp that was portable enough and had good enough sound to work in that regard. I was also quite intimidated at the high price tag of full sized harps, even level harps.
I switched to mountain dulcimer for a while, which was much more suitable for backpacking trips. But it’s just not as musically fulfilling for me as the harp was, and I want to go back.
Instead of renting one as I did last time, I want to buy one this time. I really want to buy one that I can take with me on camping trips, even if only on car camping trips (though backpacking trips would be awesome too!). I’m having a hard time balancing all of these following factors:
- Price: I’d like to be around $1000. I could do more, but the closer I get to $2000 the less comfortable I am.
- Portability: both weight and dimensions. I drive a Hyundai Sonata for what it’s worth.
- Strings: I’m particularly worried that a harp that only goes to the C below middle C will be really limiting in terms of what I can play. How much of a difference would going down to the A, G, or even F below that make in terms of repertoire?
- Sound: I don’t expect an amazing sounding harp in this price range, but I don’t want it to sound like a toy either.
- Levers: Obviously I want more for versatility’s sake, but the cost adds up quickly.
I feel like there are two different directions I could go here. I could focus primarily on portability over versatility, with the plan of getting a full sized harp at some yet-to-be-determined point in the future. Or I could focus on a larger, more versatile harp that is just-portable-enough for my purposes.
Some of the harps I’ve been looking at include the Fullsicle Special Edition, the Camac Bardic, the MusicMakers SmartWood and the Stoney End Even Song or Briar Rose. I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting.
My intended uses include playing at home for personal pleasure, playing for friends around a campfire, playing accompaniment for my singing, and playing accompaniment for storytelling (medieval bard style).
Any suggestions? I appreciate the help.