Pedal harps suitable for small players

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    Maria123 on #184185

    Hi everyone,

    I’m 22 years old and 1.54m (5″0′), which is pretty small. Currently I’m thinking about buying a pedal harp. Of course I’m going to try harps before I buy one, but I was wondering if any of you could tell me if it it possible for me to choose between all sizes, or if it is better to look at the smaller pedal harps. Maybe 47 string harps are just to big and heavy for me on long term? I hope someone can tell me their experiences!


    Tacye on #184190

    I am nearly 4 inches taller than you and can play almost every pedal harp I have met without feeling too small. However, if you find you have trouble with many 47 strings Pilgrim do a couple of models, the Malvern and Aldeburgh, which I find have a particularly friendly balance for shorter players.

    Sid Humphreys on #184208

    A harp balances on your shoulder. It shouldn’t bear any weight. The only thing that should concern you about a 47 string concert grand is that you can reach the bottom oct. C while playing a chord in the right hand. Since I have seen 8 year olds do this that are smaller than you, this shouldn’t be a problem. The fact is, you may be uncomfortable with a larger harp and that is okay. Get the harp that you want and don’t worry about what other people say is right for you! YOU KNOW what you want!

    above is a picture of Carlos Salzedo. He doesn’t seem to be much taller than you are!

    patricia-jaeger on #184209

    Maria123 Try out many harps, and rent first, if possible.You must feel quite comfortable with the pedals and with your hands not straining to reach the extremely high and low strings.If your dream is to play in orchestra a 46 or 47 string instrument is usually necessary. If you want it for free lance work such as for weddings, dinners and receptions, you don’t necessarily have to have such a big one, and these days with advances in amplification, a smaller harp of 43 or 44 strings can sound like a larger harp.

    Sylvia on #184210

    Who is going to be moving the harp?
    When I got my LH 15, I wanted a grand, but I couldn’t afford it. Once I started going out to play events, I was SOOO glad I didn’t get a grand. I’ve played both orchestra and opera on my 15.

    Hannah White on #184211

    I’m 4’11” and I purchased a L&H style 30. While I am sure I could have found a ways to play it, I ended up selling it and purchasing a 1969 L&H style 17. The 17 was just a bit smaller and I felt more comfortable at it.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #184303

    I think it makes a lot of sense for you to look for smaller harps, particularly ones that are less tell. You want to be able to reach comfortably in all directions, and avoid long-term injury. You can play most music on a semi-grand harp. Even on a 44-string harp. The older harps had more smaller styles, too. You should try them out.

    Maria123 on #184342

    Everyone thank you so much for your answers! I guess I’ll just have to try all kinds of pedal harps and see how I feel myself. At the moment, I think I’m going for a smaller(40-44 strings) harp, but we’ll see when I try them.

    balfour-knight on #184412

    Maria, I LOVE my L&H 85GP pedal harp. It has 44 strings with a beautiful extended soundboard, and I find it to be more brilliant and fuller-toned than other larger harps I have played. The lowest D string can be tuned down to a Low C or C# if you need it, and I have played this harp in several orchestral settings with great success, without amplification. L&H are no longer making this harp, unfortunately, but you may be lucky enough to find a good used one somewhere. I forgot to mention that I am a male harpist, 5′ 6″, so I prefer a smaller harp, especially moving it around to my many gigs, as I get older! I wish you all the best in your search for the perfect harp for YOU!

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