what do you have under your harp?

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    have been wondering since i’ve seen people putting mats or carpets under their harps… is that for aesthetic purposes or does it serve a specific function?

    Amber M

    I use an off-white carpet so it’s easier to see the strings!


    I imagine a small mat or carpet under the harp is protect the base from getting scratched, especially if playing outdoors on rocky ground or cement.


    I sometimes use a small mat under the back feet of the harp, and my own feet. It stops my heels getting tangled up in very uneven church stone floors for instance, or the back feet squeaking on polished wood.


    As the heavy floor harp may slip since we lean it against us while playing, a small mat gives security when there is very smooth flooring, It’s wise for harpists who free-lance to ask whether the area they will play is carpeted or not. Possibly the tone is a bit more resonant when the harp is on bare wood, however. One prominent harpist plays on a portable wooden podium on stage, and that hollow device may give a degree of amplification.

    Angela Biggs

    When I play outside (for my own pleasure only, on days of perfect weather), I turn my heat-reflective tarp over with the silver side to the ground and use it as a mat to protect my harp from any residual dampness in the grass. For indoor gigs, I bought a piece of discount forest-green upholstery fabric and had it hemmed. I lay that under my harp if the floor is distracting (although, I use it less often since I changed the flooring in my practice room to a more distracting pattern).


    At home I put one of those plastic office mats that you would put under a rolling desk chair under my harp because my studio is carpeted and the matt makes it more stable. Whem I play out I also often bring a plain white squre of fabric I cam put either under or next to the harp in case I am playing on a carpet with a pattern that makes it hard to make out the strings when looking through them.


    I use a rug underneath to stop my heals marking up the wooden floor when I’m pedalling or moving the harp around.


    I was in Lowes at lunch today and in the Christmas section was a round mat green on top and rubber on the bottom. It was labled as a “Tree stand mat”, and it would be PERFECT for the gigging harpist inside or out. I might have to go back and get one. I have been using a 1 1/2 X 1 1/2 board painted green, but really this mat I saw would be just the thing to have!



    Also, many patterns of carpet or flooring make it difficult to see your strings…they’ll “disappear” against certain colors or patterns. Some people use a piece of cloth or carpeting to make it easier to see the strings.


    I use a long, narrow rug (I think it’s intended for hall ways–it’s about 5-6 ft long). I use it to protect the hardwood floors. The rug is long enough that it accommodates both the harp and my bench. Rod C.

    Jerry Ripley

    After reading Kay’s posting, I went to a Lowe’s store and purchased one of those tree stand mats. It was about $15. I works beautifully for my needs. At the church where I play frequently, the chancel has a high-polished slate floor. Hence, harp slide was a problem. With this mat underneath, now no sliding! Thanks, Kay, for bringing our attention to this item.

    Jerry Ripley

    P.S. Yes, the mat is green, but it is a very dark green. Almost appears dark slate in some situations. Looks fine with the harp.


    At home, the carpet is under my harp. It’s not a high pile in the harp room, so it works fine. On gigs, I use a harp couture drape in a soft green that folds up into it’s own attached pouch. It keeps me from going insane when the carpet or flooring is odd and I can’t see the strings.

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