Transitioning to pedal harp.

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Member
    margaret-helminiak on #163880

    For those of you who started on a lever harp and made the transition to pedal harp:

    rod-c on #163881

    Hi Margaret:

    How exciting. I don’t think you will have any problem switching to a pedal harp. I have made the switch. I’m a new student (been taking lessons a year). I had always taken my lessons on a lever harp, and

    unknown-user on #163882

    Congrats on your new harp!

    From a teachers perspective, things I watch with my pupils when they go over to a pedal harp:

    Posture – as you are moving to a larger and heavier harp. Watch how you sit, adjust your chair to an appropriate height. Sit straight, and make sure you are not taking too much weight on yourself when you tilt the harp back.

    Tilt the harp back, find the spot that it balances, and adjust the height of your chair, and move to a position that you are taking a bit of weight on your knee to keep it at is natural balance. You should take no weight on your shoulder and only a minimal amount on your knee.

    And try not to over do your practise at first, do not in your enthusiasm go beserk and do too much practise. Take breaks, remain relaxed and do not try to play too loud.

    You need to remain relaxed and avoid tension. the string tension on a concert harp is usually higher and requires more strength then a lever. Build it gradually, and take oodles of breaks after say 20 minutes.

    Congrats and hope this helps,


    David Ice on #163883

    Hi Margaret and Rod,

    Congrats on your new harps!

    kay-lister on #163884

    Margaret, Congratulations to you!!!!

    As that well known frog has go perfectly put it.

    kay-lister on #163885

    – SO-

    barbara-low on #163886

    Congratulations. How very exciting for you.

    One thing I learned late in my pedal harp life was to be sure to tune your harp with pedals in the flat position. In other words, you’ll be tuning to the key of Cb major. This will help in intonation, and in preserving your strings and disks. If you have to adjust the pitch while in natural or sharp, it’s better to pedal to flat, adjust the string, then pedal back to natural or sharp to check the pitch.

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