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    Ann on · in reply to: A strange question for a harp forum #189006

    Sure, borrow or rent a guitar and play around with it. You might find you like it, or you might find it limiting.
    That said, portability can be pretty easily accomplished with harp, even in larger sizes. Blevins has at least 2 models you might look at. One is the MeadoWind, 34 or 36 strings with a lovely even sound. Blevins MeadoWind 34 Another is their hybrid wood/carbon-fiber models. Soundbox is natural wood (spruce or butternut), other parts are carbon-fiber. They are small and light, and range from 28 to 36 strings. Blevins hybrid harp page

    You’re a musician … explore everything your creativity suggests!

    Ann on · in reply to: share your music history? #105804

    Hi Deb, I hope you don’t mind my weighing into this thread late. I love hearing other people’s stories, and want to share my own.

    I started piano lessons at about age 5. Despite taking lessons on and off for another 10 years, I never got any good at it. But it gave me a foundation and taught me sight reading and a lot of music theory. My sister played/plays the violin. My mother always hoped we’d do violin/piano duets, but we never put it together.

    I was in choirs and choruses all through school, and sang a lot right up to about age 40. I took up guitar around age 12 and did the pop/folk thing for decades, again till about age 40 when I sort of outgrew it.

    I desperately needed a new creative direction. I’d always wanted to play the oboe, but at 40 I figured double reeds were too difficult, so I took up the flute. I loved it and became totally addicted. It was the perfect blend of

    Ann on · in reply to: Anyone tried a Caswell SweetHarp?? #70559

    In addition to the Caswell, I’d encourage you to also take a look at Philip Boulding’s (Magical Strings) Tristy, here. It’s 24 strings, currently listed at $460 plus case, plus levers if you want them.

    I own a Magical Strings Concert Kailey (36 strings) and adore it! It has an incredibly rich sound, looks gorgeous and travels well.

    Ann on · in reply to: Talking to your harp #105819

    I usually consider myself a logical, practical, thoroughly unsentimental sort, but I talk to my harp. Truth be told, I talk to many inanimate things … it’s the only way to keep them in line, and even then they don’t always behave.

    I’m gentler with my harp than with other objects though. I’ve never sworn at it as I have at other instruments when I’m frustrated with a passage that just won’t come right. And although I haven’t formally named it, I confess that on occasion when I pass by it or get up from playing, I turn to it and say, “You’re Glorious!”

    Ann on · in reply to: What would you do if anything? Priceing? #147747

    As my husband likes to say, and as you might be able to say to potential clients, It’s sometimes true that you don’t get what you pay for, but it’s always true that you don’t get what you don’t pay for!

    Or you can use the comment I used with a client the other day in my non-music job: It is always my focus as a professional to save you more in money, time and grief than you pay me in fees.

    Keep your fee where it is. Let the other person get burned out from being underpaid, or as David says, let her sweep up the bargain hunters and leave the discerning clients for you.

    Ann on · in reply to: Charging for gigs #146149

    I agree, ask around and do a few internet searches. Try to find musicians in your area who play live music (rather than DJs). You might find that rates vary a lot. Some folks charge more for the first hour, to cover cartage and setup, others charge a simple hourly fee (figuring to include setup etc in their hourly rate), still others itemize.

    In my area anywhere from $50/hr (for a solo guitarist in outstations like my little town) to $200/hr in the city

    Ann on · in reply to: Playing in a pub! #157169

    One more quick note (har har!) about playing 1st-and-5ths, to make it easy:

    Instead of playing 1st lower and 5th higher, reverse it. Play the 5th UNDER the 1st. Here’s how:

    Let’s say you’re wanting a D chord (i.e., all the guitarists are playing D at this spot). Place your left thumb on the D. Gently and naturally lay your next fingers on the next lower strings. Your index finger (2 in harp-speak) will be touching the C, your next touching the B, and your ring finger (4 in harp-speak) will be touching the A. Now lightly lift fingers 2 & 3 off their strings. No need to tuck them under towards your palm; that’s wasted effort and can’t be done in a hurry. Now your thumb is on D and ring finger (4) is on A. Pluck them together (comfortably, sort of squeeze both fingertips toward your hand’s center-line).

    You have just played a

    Ann on · in reply to: Playing in a pub! #157168

    For what it’s worth, here’s my approach, which is decidedly non-academic. (I do honestly apologize to the music teachers who may be reading this.)

    As background, I’d played guitar for years so I’m familiar with common folk tune chord progressions (more on that below).

    First, I worked through Sylvia Woods’ How To Play The Harp and Pam Bruener’s Play The Harp Beautifully books and DVDs, to get proper technique. Videos were a godsend.

    Next, since I’d already been playing hammered dulcimer, I started playing some folk tunes I was already familiar with on dulcimer, on harp. Because both instruments are diatonic, the transfer was pretty easy for melody / right hand. Please Note: Rumor has it that Greensleeves is the single most often requested harp tune by audiences, so you can’t go wrong adding that one to your repertoire.

    Then, I bought “fake books”, sometimes called “lead sheets”. They are melody and chords only, no left hand. Whenever I play from a harp book I essentially ignore the written accompaniment — my small hands usually can’t reach the hand span required anyway, so why suffer frustration and

    Ann on · in reply to: Playing in a pub! #157166

    When I think “well known harp tunes” what comes to my mind is traditional Celtic tunes. O’Carolan tunes like Captain O’Kane and Carolan’s Welcome, oft-played favorites like Minstrel Boy, and OF COURSE, Greensleeves.

    Or do you mean folk like Peter Paul & Mary? Most of those tunes have very simple chord arrangements.

    If your left hand is truly lost and you need to work up an arrangement quickly (read: fake it for a pub audience!) try simply plucking the 1st and 5th notes of the chord (or reverse it, 5th and 1st) with your left hand on the beat, and concentrate on the melody with your right. If the melody is engaging, you’ll be surprised how little you can get away with on the left until it too gets up to speed.

    Is this the kind of thing you’re after?

    Ann on · in reply to: which would you choose? #157126

    Hi Shelby,

    You might also consider a Magical Strings Tristy harp, 24 strings. IMHO Philip Boulding of Magical Strings crafts the most harp into the smallest price of any maker, bar none. I own his Concert Kailey and absolutely adore it! It has the richest sound of any harp I’ve ever played, regardless of price. Seriously, I’ve played harps tagged at 3 times the price that didn’t sound even half as good. Check out these harps at Magical Strings harp page.

    Ann on · in reply to: Contemporary wedding music #146776

    Thanks everybody! These are great ideas.

    About “My Heart Will Go On” being too sad … oh darn! And I was so proud of my arrangement! Maybe there will be an opportunity at a memorial service. (kidding!)

    Ann on · in reply to: Contemporary wedding music #146771

    Thanks Sylvia!

    I’m relatively new to performing though my gigs so far have gone smoothly. I’m working up Pachelbel’s Canon of course, and Clarke’s wedding march. If contemporary brides like that elegant classical feel I’ll keep going with that sort of era. And yet …

    I’ve also added All I Have To Do Is Dream, Love Me Tender, and I Can’t Help Falling In Love from the 50’s & 60’s … and Red Sails In The Sunset from an earlier era … and Come To Me Bend To Me and My Heart Will Go On from the movies.

    But where to go from here and how to appeal to today’s brides … I’m stumped!

    Ann on · in reply to: why do you play the harp? #106620

    It was a whim that has become an addiction, totally a part of me. When I started a year or so ago I was driven to play in performance venues. Now that doesn’t seem to matter. I play and play and play, and whether it’s in my little studio room or a church or recital hall doesn’t matter. Like my early days on guitar, if I have even 5 extra minutes I’ll sneak in a tune on the harp. It feels so wonderful and intuitive. Definitely a comfort and a gift from heaven, yes.

    Ann on · in reply to: Are you addicted to the harp forum? #106805

    Count me addicted, though I run in spates. Some weeks I’ll check a couple of times a day, then a couple of weeks might go by without my login. I love the diversity of folks here, varying styles and varying opinions. It’s wonderful to have a place that pulls us all together. I haven’t found any other like it for harps.

    Ann on · in reply to: pet peeve? #106955

    My pet peeve is people who want to help me load/unload, and reach for my instrument first. STEP AWAY FROM MY INSTRUMENT! You’re welcome to carry stool, music stand, book bag, whatever, but that instrument is MINE alone. I’m going to train myself to say something like, “I’ll take that. If I drop it I’ll be angry at myself. If you drop it I’d have to kill you.”

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)