I’ve been lurking on this forum for a while now & finally felt confident enough to join in. Last February I realized a long-held dream & started teaching myself to play the lever harp. I’ve got a blue Sharpsicle named Alice Blue & I love her. I live in a small rural town in Ohio with no harp store or harp teacher anywhere near me. I may venture to take lessons via Skype at some point.
Anyway, I’ve been working from the book that came with the Sharpsicle & Sylvia Woods’ self-teaching book & DVD as well. I have no musical background to speak of & never have had any musical aptitude, nor has anyone in my family. I’ve been working on teaching myself music theory as well with downloaded tutorials. I actually started that before my harp even arrived. I don’t like the sappy little songs in the instruction books much so I practice on songs I want to play. Right now I’m working on Simon & Garfunkel’s “59th Street Bridge Song”, & the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts”.
I think I’m coming along pretty well, considering. I can sight read music rather well now. I am fanatical about hand position & fingering & study closely the hand positions in the videos to make sure I am right.
I just wanted to share a little triumph I had this evening. A while back I downloaded sheet music for Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” & I tried it for the first time tonight. I was able to play it at sight! Granted, I was a bit slow & had to work out the fingerings as I went, but I did it!
Now I need to train my ear better. I have no natural “ear” & can’t even tell if I am in tune at all without my Korg tuner. I can’t imagine playing a song by ear alone.
I will say the Harpsicle line are a gateway drug. I am hooked now & am plotting how to get a L & H Ogden. I have very strong hands & fingers & with the lightly strung Sharpsicle, I do tend to overplay. I really think a more tightly strung harp would suit me better in the long run. I will always keep & love Alice Blue, though.
I am 63 years old, so you’re never too old to start!