Petite Harps and Pedal Manuevering

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    stardust117 on #234965


    I’m thinking about buying a petite 40-stringed pedal harp. However one concern is that I’ve heard that the pedals on these harps are hard to manuever due to being squished together, compared to those of a larger harp. Has anyone had this issue before with a petite harp?

    Thank you

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by stardust117.
    Danamarie on #234968

    Hi there
    I am currently renting one of my teacher’s smaller Salvi Daphne 40 string pedal harp. I find that the pedals are not at all hard to maneuver compared to the Lyon and Healy 46 string bigger harp. The pedals are stiffer and more pressure is needed to move from sharp to natural to flat. I don’t know if a particular brand of harp has stiffer or easier pedal movement, but I am curious to know too and will follow your post.

    stardust117 on #234971

    Danamarie, thanks for your reply. It helps how you tell me that for a 40-stringed harp, the pedals require more effort to be moved from shap to flat.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by stardust117.
    billooms on #235017

    My first pedal harp was a Chicago Petite 40 (about 3 years ago) and I had no problem with the pedals. My feet are wide, so I had to wear shoes that didn’t have an extremely wide toe. For example, Crocs sandals were too wide to wear while playing. The only issue I had is when taking lessons on a larger pedal harp I would occasionally hit the G pedal rather than the A pedal.

    Now I’ve traded up to an 85CG and it only took a day or two to get used to the wider pedal spacing. In all honesty, I would say that I’ve noticed no difference in the amount of pressure required or the vertical distance.

    balfour-knight on #235032

    Hi, Louie!

    Sorry I forgot to address the “closer pedal” thing on your previous post! I do not have a problem going from a larger harp to a smaller one, I can adjust very quickly once I sit down to the harp. I wear organ shoes to play any pedal harp, and they are narrow enough to manuever the smallest-spaced pedals. The same thing goes for the string spacing, which is different on various brands of harps. For example, the Camacs have a different string spacing in the treble to aid the right hand playing in an otherwise cramped space. The strings are “fanned out” at the bottom near the soundboard, and are closer together at the top, much like the concave, radiating pedalboard of a pipe organ. This bothers some harpists when they first try a Camac, but I can tell you that I appreciated it and got used to it immediately. Hope this helps!

    Best wishes,

    stardust117 on #235125

    Bill, thanks for your reply. That’s great to hear you had no problems with the pedals on Chicago Petite 40 and that you quickly adapted to the wider pedal spacing of a bigger harp.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by stardust117.
    stardust117 on #235127

    Hi balfour-knight, I’m glad you didn’t have a problem from going form a larger harp to a smaller one. This gives me more confidence in my decision of getting a petite harp. Thank you for your reply!

    catherine-rogers on #235130

    The size of the harp has nothing to do with stiffness or looseness of the pedals. The feel of the pedals varies from harp to harp depending on how the pedal springs are adjusted, and the tension can be changed by your harp tech or yourself if you know how. I have two 44-string Camacs and the pedals are firm on one, soft on the other, and that’s just the way they were when I bought them. On my L&H 23 they’re somewhere between those two in feel. You become accustomed to whatever you’re using. It’s like some cars have a tight clutch and others have a loose clutch.

    stardust117 on #235144

    Hi Catherine, I think it’s clever how you use that clutch analogy to explain how pedals feel on a harp. That helps me in my consideration of buying a petite harp or not. Thank you

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