Harp strap advice

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    Allison Stevick on #197049

    Hi all,

    I am looking for a leather guitar (or bass) strap to use with my Brittany harp, and was wondering how wide a strap I should get. Does anyone else here use a strap with their lap harps? I am inclined to go as wide as I can, for better shoulder comfort, but I also don’t want to buy a bigger (& more expensive) strap “just because” without first hearing some other people’s thoughts. I’m going back and forth between 2.5″ and 3.5″ wide.

    Any opinions?

    czenzilee on #197054

    I pretty much only use a strap with my little harp even though I own knee bones. My strap is 2″ wide and is fine for practicing for me. I’m fairly tall and broad shouldered for a woman if that matters to you. My harp is a couple pounds lighter than a Brittany.

    I might want something better if I ever performed or was planning on really long practice sessions. I’d also probably look to make sure that the leather around the holes is firm so that the strap doesn’t pop off the harp and that the adjustable part holds firm as well. More than anything, that’s what I’ve noticed with mine.

    Allison Stevick on #197055

    Thank you for your input! That’s helpful. 🙂 I think I will go with strap locks so I won’t have to worry about it popping off the buttons.

    randal on #197056

    Don’t know what you have in mind Allison, but – many harpers in clinical settings use straps – as small harps are very effective for bedside playing…and you wouldn’t want it falling out/on to a patient if doing bed-side work (so strap button locks WOULD be good! ; )

    I’ve not used strap for harp.  But I play other insttuments that use straps (viz, saxophones, bass clarinet, accordians): the stability provided by a harness (such as deployed with a baritone saxophone) or the double shoulder straps of accordians is really an asset.

    Allison Stevick on #197060

    Thanks, Randal!

    I mostly just want to be able to stand up to play (like I do with my larger harp) and also not have to always worry about having a chair or stool to rest it on while I sit to play.

    By harness, do you mean something like what Deborah Henson Conant uses? I could see that being helpful.

    randal on #197063

    Ah well there you go!

    You’ve a carbon harp Allison – that’s the way to go!  Can’t go wrong there –

    Elettaria on #197065

    Could you take the harp into a guitar shop with a good range and try a few straps out?

    Allison Stevick on #197069

    Good idea, Elettaria. 🙂 I totally would do that if there were a shop close enough to me.

    Biagio on #197072

    I’ve had the best experience with a harness such as Randal suggested, but had to make it since I did not want to spring for Camac’s.  It was essentially the kind of thing that a flag bearer wears: crossed over the shoulder straps (kinda like suspenders) that tie in to your belt, with two additional straps – one goes around the knee block and the other to the pillar.  Velcro is sufficient.  Honestly though I don’t much like standing since I have scoliosis (curvature of the spine).

    A wide heavy guitar strap is definitely the way to go I’d think, preferably leather.  One person around here made it herself: just picked up a long belt at a thrift store (the dude must have been pretty chubby), cut it in half and added button slits at the cut ends.  She probably had to punch a few additional holes for the buckle.


    Allison Stevick on #197075

    Thanks, Biagio! Yeah, I’ll probably go with a guitar strap, though I can see the real benefits of a harness. I’m not going to be wild or playing for reeeeeally long periods with the strap, so I just need to decide how wide to get.

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