Posted In: Young Harpists

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    unknown-user on #166830

    Hi, I am 23 years old, and i am fascinated by harps. I was just wondering if i am too old to start wanting to learn to play the harp… I am clueless about the harp, as far as which one to buy, is it difficult to learn, can it be self-taught? Things like that any help will be greatly appreciated.


    Briggsie B. Peawiggle on #166831

    23 too old????? I hardly think so. I guess if you wanted to make a really serious concert career it might be — and not even sure about that, but geez, you are only 23 years old!!! Lots and lots of people start when they are in their 40’s and 50’s and probably beyond. Some play an instrument already and some don’t. If you don’t, and you really want to learn the harp well, you will learn about music and music theory as you learn the harp. I STRONGLY suggest you find a good teacher. There are playing techniques that are very important to learn correctly in order to play well. Learn them properly right from the get-go and you won’t have to work to correct things you have been doing wrong which have become habit.

    As far as what type of harp to buy, that is your choice. Do you want to play orchestral pieces? More geared to classical repertoire? If so, you probably should check out pedal harps….but be prepared for the price. They are about the same as buying a car pricewise. If you are more interested in folk/renaissance/celtic type music, you should look at lever harps. There are ALL sorts of both types. If you can get to a harp store like the Virginia Harp Center, the Harp Connection, Vanderbilt Music, Sylvia Woods or some other harp store and play several different types, or “fiddle around” with them, that would help you figure out what you like. There are also lots of conferences and workshops around the US if you are from here. Most of them have exhibitors who bring harps you can try. Check out

    unknown-user on #166832

    I agree with Briggs, that you are definitely not to old to learn. I got a new pupil recently and she was in her 80’s, had never played and instrument before, and just loves it.

    I’d start with having a few

    Bonnie Shaljean on #166833

    Very good posts above, which I agree with and can’t add much to.

    Fairy Reel on #166834


    You’re not to old. Don’t worry.

    I would not advise starting out with a pedal harp–my Celtic hurt my fingers enough! I would advise getting a nice Celtic harp with full levers (like the Dusty Strings Ravenna). I actually got a harp off the Internet when I first started, and while the levers are actually not usable and it doesn’t have the best sound, she keeps great tune and is mobile and everything. And she was cheap!

    I also agree on the “get a teacher” advice. Sound advice. Follow it. Playing the harp wrong can lead to much pain.

    Don’t be surprised if, when you do start playing, that your fingers blister, burn, and even bleed. It’s normal, and means you’ve officially joined the harpist family! I found when I first started that playing in ten-minute increments helped a lot.

    Good luck!

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