TOP 5 HARPS

If you’re looking to learn a unique instrument, the harp is a fantastic choice. It’s a very stylish looking instrument that is capable of producing an especially beautiful sound. It has a fascinating history. The harp is one of the oldest instrument designs. All the most popular modern string instruments are descended from instruments much like the harp. Playing the harp can be a bit like traveling back in time. It’s a unique experience that any musician can appreciate. Still, to get the full effect, you can’t use just any harp. You need to find a well-made harp that is designed with your needs in mind.

TOP
  • Rees Harps Harpsicle Harp
  • Price: See Here
  • Capable of playing almost any song
  • Well made
  • Comes in 3 colors
BEST VALUE
  • Pixie Harp Tm, 19 Strings
  • Price: See Here
  • Attractive
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Rees Harps Fullsicle Harp
  • Price: See Here
  • Can play a wide range of music
  • Easy to tune
  • Covered by a two-year warranty

In the past quality harps were a luxury item but today everyone can afford a well-made and attractive harp. Still, this doesn’t mean that any harp is worth your hard-earned money. As with any other product, there are some options that are good investments and others that would be a waste of your time. Even if you can narrow down your search to harps from the most reputable brands you still have to find a harp that is designed for your unique needs. Absolute beginners and professional musicians require different instruments. It can be a lot to process on your own. That’s why we’re here, to help you find your perfect harp.

We’re dedicated to making guides that simplify the shopping process. We gathered together all the best available on the subject and filtered it to find only the most valuable data. Reading this one guide is the equivalent of traveling to dozens of websites. In this guide, you will find reviews, advice on how to choose the right harp, and tips on using your new harp correctly. It’s our hope that this article will help you from the time you start your search until your first harp solo. We hope that after reading this guide will help you find the right harp and get the most out of it.

TOP 5 HARPS

REES HARPS HARPSICLE HARP

FEATURES

 Made with natural wood

 Available in 3 colors

 Available in three colors

 Fitted with 26 monofilament tempered nylon strings.

 Plays notes from G to C below Middle C4.

 Stands 33 inches high and runs 21 inches long.

 Available in three colors.

 Strap pegs are built in.

 Ships with a tuning wrench.

 Comes with two-year warranty.

 Optional 3 or 4-year accident protection.

 Weighs 4 pounds.

CONS

 A tad quiet. The smaller size of the harp means that it isn’t as loud as harps with larger soundboxes.

 Doesn’t come with sharping levers. If you want to play sharp notes you have to manually re-tune the harp, which is quite an investment of time.

The tuning doesn’t hold as well as it should. Be prepared to tune this harp fairly often.

 Built with a very simple design. There is no decorative engraving that you might find on other harps. It looks very plain by comparison in this regard.

 Only comes with one accessory. You will have to buy extra strings and a case separately.

Comes in subpar packaging. The way the harp is packaged means that it is more likely to break during delivery. The warranty means you can get a replacement, but it’s still hassle that you might not want to risk.

Comes with a mediocre tuning key. The tuning key isn’t as well-built as the harp itself, and so you might have to buy a replacement sooner rather than later.

The tuning fork requirements are a bit odd. It can’t be tuned with a standard 4 or 5mm tuning wrench. If you need to buy a new wrench you need to get it from Rees to ensure compatibility.

PROS

Fantastic for beginners. Easy to tune, hold, and play.

 The full range of 26 strings means that you can play just about any song written for the harp. No need to restrict yourself the way you’re forced to with smaller string sets.

Can be tuned to play any note that is sharp or flat.

Beautiful tone. It sounds just the way that harps are supposed to sound, truly angelic.

 Very light for a full-range harp. At just four pounds it is very portable.

 Built-in strap pegs mean that you can easily strap this  harp on for even easier transport.

Durable. This harp was clearly put together with care and concern.

Looks great. This harp is clearly made from quality wood and the finishing touches are top-notch.

Available in three different colors. Choose between black, purple, or natural maple. You can get the perfect color to match your individual style.

 Covered by a two-year warranty. If a factory or workmanship-related fault occurs within those two years Rees will make things right.

The Harpsicle from Rees is an instrument that sounds fantastic and looks great. It’s the perfect balance of everything you could want from a harp. The design is simple and yet elegant, with three different color options to choose from if you a more unique instrument. It comes in a compact size that makes it easy to store and carry around, but its musical range hasn’t been sacrificed. With 26 strings, you can play just about any harp song you want on this instrument. If you look at the harps from Rees, you might notice that the Harpsicle and the Fullsicle are very similar. Both are great choices, but we gave the Harpsicle an edge because it is less costly due to the lack of sharping levers. Most beginners and students will find this is a worthwhile tradeoff. After looking at the Harpsicle as a full instrument, we decided to award it our choice for top purchase. If you only look at one harp, this is the that deserves your attention.  

Melissa

Editor, Musical Instruments Expert

PIXIE HARP TM, 19 STRINGS

FEATURES

Built with a rosewood frame and a birch soundboard.

The frame is decorated with Celtic-style engraving.

Fitted with 19 hard nylon strings from Dupont.

Equipped with 19 sharpening levers.

Plays notes between F below middle C all the way up to High C.

Stands 31 inches high.

Pixie Harp Tm, 19 Strings

CONS

 The sound has a little more twang in it then it should. May annoy experienced harp players.

String tension is disappointing. You have to pull harder than you would with other harps to produce the same sound. This can cause problems later on when the harpist tries to upgrade.

Not as loud as it could be. The lower volume might keep you from bothering people, but it can also make the harp a little difficult to hear in certain circumstances. If you want to perform as part of a loud band or in a large venue, people might find it difficult to hear you.

Doesn’t come with a carrying case. If you want to safely travel with this harp, you will need to invest in purchasing a carrying case separately.

The 19-string design limits the instrument’s range. If you want to play songs that dip lower than middle C you should invest in a harp with more strings. This harp is designed for people who want to save money and don’t care about playing bass tones.

Doesn’t come with a warranty. You receive the instrument “as-is,” the manufacturer doesn’t accept responsibility for factory defects. If you want any sort of quality guarantee, you have to ask the seller rather than relying on the manufacturer. 

PROS

Great for beginners. Limited string range makes the instrument more manageable for people just starting out. The 19-string design can be less intimidating than 22 string options without limiting the harp too much.

This is a beautiful instrument. The harp has been engraved with designs that make it an attractive piece of work that will enhance your home even when it isn’t being played.

Made with real wood. Synthetic alternatives just don’t look or sound the same. This instrument looks and feels like a real harp should.

Ships with a tuning tool and some extra strings. This means that you don’t have to spend extra on these essential accessories.

Volume isn’t too loud. This makes it a good instrument to play in areas that won’t tolerate louder instruments. With the Pixie Harp Tm, 19 Strings you can practice at home without bothering the neighbors.

It sounds like a full-sized baritone even though it is a more compact model. This makes it a good selection for anyone who might have trouble holding up a larger and heavier instrument for the length of a concert.

Very light. It feels even lighter than it looks. You don’t’ have to worry about hurting your back carrying this instrument around, even if you don’t have a case. Great for people who are concerned about with avoiding an instrument that’s too heavy.

 Great value. After examining all the options, it’s safe to say that this harp is the best in its price range. If you want a great harp at an affordable price, this is the option to go with.

Pixie Harp Tm, 19 Strings

If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of harp playing, it’s hard to imagine a better instrument. The Pixie Harp Tm, 19 Strings is a beautiful instrument that is capable of producing a wide range of music. It packs all of this into an instrument that is both attractive and lightweight. You’ll be happy with your choice whether the harp is in your hands or sitting in your home. It’s not exactly a professional grade harp; it’s a little on the soft size. And with 19 strings it doesn’t have the full range you can get out of 22 string harps. Still, it’s more than enough for beginners. It also helps that it’s affordable. The attractive price point includes a full set of backup strings and a tuning tool that will get you going without breaking the bank. All of this adds up to our choice for best buy.

Melissa

Editor, Musical Instruments Expert

REES HARPS FULLSICLE HARP NATURAL MAPLE

FEATURES

 Made with natural wood.

The frame is decorated with Celtic-style engraving.

Fitted with 26 monofilament tempered nylon strings.

Equipped with 19 sharpening levers.

Plays notes from G to C below Middle C.

Stands 32 inches high and runs 21.5 inches long.

Ships with a tuning wrench and strap buttons.

Optional 3 or 4-year accident protection.

Comes with two-year warranty.

Weighs 4 pounds.

CONS

The harp doesn’t look as nice as it could. The quality of the material and the workmanship are fine but it lacks flair. The wood is a bit dull and there are no decorative touches.

The sound is a bit flat. It could ring out with a better tone. It’s manageable for a beginner but not on par with professional models.

Substandard bass notes. While it plays high notes just fine the low bass notes suffer from the type of strings used. If you want better bass you might want to buy metal harp strings to replace the standard nylon strings.

You have to be careful using the Robinson levers. When you try and adjust them they well send the strings forward.

The soundboard isn’t stable at first. You have to tune it multiple times before everything is the way that it should be.

The design is very simple. It’s made of basic, plain materials. The materials are high-quality but there are no real decorative elements.

Packaging is lacking. Minor damage can easily occur during delivery. Don’t be surprised if it arrives with minor dents or scratches.

Doesn’t come with many accessories. You can tune it, but you can’t do much more. If you buy this harp you should budget for buying extra strings and a case separately.

PROS

Well-constructed. It’s very durable for its size and extremely appealing to look at.

Easy enough for a student to handle but capable of producing professional-grade music.

The 26 different strings allow you to play wide-ranging music. You can play almost anything using all eight common keys.

The sharping levers on every string allow you to produce an even more versatile range of sound. Quickly switch to sharp notes and back again, no need to spend unnecessary time hand tuning each string.

Very easy to tune. It’s great for beginners who are just learning how to tune their harp.

Very portable. Light and small enough to fit in carry-on bags. Easy to take with you across town or around the globe.

Comes with a two-year warranty when purchased new. The warranty covers factory defects and workmanship issues.

If you want further protection, you can pay extra for accident protection. There are three and four-year plans that will ensure that your investment is protected.

Rees Harps Fullsicle Harp Natural Maple is a well-crafted harp that comes with all of the features you could want from a harp. It’s solid, lightweight, and capable of producing wonderful music. In the end, the Rees Harps Fullsicle Harp Natural Maple is easy to recommend because of the fact that it is covered by a two-year warranty. If you receive a faulty harp or if your package doesn’t contain everything you are owed Rees will set things right. That’s an assurance that some other instrument makers don’t offer. It’s worth noting that the Fullsicle is very similar to the Harpsicle, the main difference is that the Fullsicle has sharping levers. This harp costs more, but that money goes to making the instrument as easy to tune as possible, so you can quickly and easily play a wide selection of tunes. This harp is a worthwhile investment for any serious performer.

Melissa

Editor, Musical Instruments Expert

BABY HARP TM, 12 STRINGS, KNOTWORK

FEATURES

Crafted by hand from solid wood.

Has a Sheesham frame and birch soundboard.

Fitted with 12 hard nylon strings.

Plays notes from F above Middle C to High C.

Stands 21 inches high and runs 11.5  inches long.

Ships with a tuning tool and an extra set of strings.

Weighs 4.15 pounds.

CONS

Very limited. With only 12 strings you aren’t going to be able to play the full range of notes that you would be able to with a larger and better-equipped harp. If you purchase this harp you’ll have to be careful when choosing which songs to play.

Not very light for its size. You can find larger harps with a full set of strings that weigh less than the Baby Harp.

Not built for high tension strings. If you decide you want a harp with metal strings in the future you won’t be able to.

Doesn’t come with the best strings. The strings that come with this instrument should be replaced sooner than later. They don’t last long and they can make it more difficult to tune than necessary.

No solid quality assurance. Roosebeck’s parent company Mid-East Mfg does have a listed 30-day return policy, but according to the wording you might be required to buy from their site to enjoy this protection. 

PROS

Very affordable. One of the best options for harp shoppers with a limited budget.

Compact. At just 21 inches high you can find room for it in even the most crowded apartments.

Simple to play. With only 12 strings it won’t overwhelm learners with unnecessary complications. It’s the perfect harp for a complete beginner.

Perfect for children. Other harps are too big for kids to handle but this harp can be used by children as young as two years old. Perfect if you want to.

Built for handheld play. You can play this harp comfortably standing up or sitting down as it is very easy to hold it for extended periods of time.

Color coded strings are helpful for beginners. The red, white, and blue strings make it as simple as possible to tell different strings apart. Get your harp education started on the right foot.

Looks attractive. This harp looks like something straight out of the middle ages. The engraving is tasteful and appealing.

Works great as a decoration. Even if you decide to take a break from playing the room this harp makes an attractive addition to any room.

Handcrafted. This instrument isn’t churned out by faceless machines; it is engraved and finished by hands to achieve one of the most attractive designs available in the Pixie’s price range.  

Comes with necessary accessories. With a tuning tool and extra string, you can play this with confidence, knowing that you can keep your harp fully strung and in tune.

Affordable. One of the least expensive harps available on the market that is still capable of producing beautiful music. Save money without having to resort to a cheap plastic instrument.

This harp is a close runner-up for our best buy award. This harp is one of the most affordable available, Roosebeck saved money by cutting down on the non-essentials. This harp is designed to be the ultimate beginner’s harp; the instrument is small, light, and easy to use. This doesn’t mean that they neglected aesthetics, this is an attractive harp. They did cut out the pillar engravings you can find on larger Roosebeck harps, but the soundbox is still fairly ornate. It’s certainly available at a bargain price, but the 12-string design is a bit too limiting for many harpists. Most songs are written for harps with more than 12 strings, but purchasing this harp, you will be restricting yourself. Still, if you can get by with 12 strings, then this harp is perfect for you. Anyone who isn’t completely committed to the harp can purchase this instrument at a low price and get started playing with a minimal commitment.

Melissa

Editor, Musical Instruments Expert

27 INCH TALL CELTIC IRISH KNEE HARP 17 STRINGS SOLID WOOD 

FEATURES

 Made with solid wood. [

Finished with decorative engravings.

Fitted with 17 strings.

Stands 27 inches tall and runs 20 inches long.

Ships with a lined carrying case, extra strings, and tuning key.

CONS

There’s no listed warranty. If you want your purchase to be protected you need to get written assurance from the seller directly. Without this extra step you can’t be sure you’ll get a working harp.

The harp only has 17 strings. This is a small number for a harp of this size. The limited number of strings saves you money but it also limits the range of the instrument. If you buy this harp you’ll have to be careful about choosing the right songs to play.

The harp has been strung a bit awkwardly. It’s not easy to tune because the correct way to tune it isn’t obvious. It can be frustrating for a beginner to try and get this harp into the proper tune.

The color-coded strings have a negative impact on the look of the harp. The wood looks great but the red, white, and blue bits clash with the classical feel of the rest of the harp. 

PROS

This is a very attractive instrument. The people at Royal clearly care about appearances. They say the engravings are done by hand and it certainly looks that way.

Seems to shine. The production process is finished with hand polishing, which anyone who looks at this harp will notice.

Everything about the harp is designed to be as affordable as possible. This harp is one of the best budget options on the market.

Comes with all the accessories you need to get started. The extra strings and carrying case alone can save you $60 or more.

The padded case is a must have for anyone who wants to travel with their heart. Also, since they come packaged together you don’t have to worry about accidentally buying a bag that’s the wrong size for your harp.

The strings are color coded. This allows you to get a better hang of the instrument as you’re starting out since you’ll be able to tell the strings apart visually.

Because Royal is a smaller company your harp is going to be more unique. If you want to stand out thanks to the custom Celtic-style engraving this is a wise choice. 

Most of the quality harps on sale come from either Rees Harps or Mid-East Instruments, but a little company named Royal also knows how to make a quality harp. Their 27-Inch-Tall Celtic Irish Knee Harp is a quality product that offers an appealing look and some features that will help beginners. The first thing harp players will notice is the unique color-coded strings. They help beginners tell strings apart at a glance so they can learn quicker. The instrument also comes with a variety of accessories, so anyone who purchases a Royal harp can save extra money. Even without the accessories, this harp is a great choice for anyone on a budget. The 27-Inch-Tall Celtic Irish Knee Harp from Royal may not be the highest quality harp on the market, but it’s an attractive option given its price point. Still, you need to note that it doesn’t come with a warranty and is, therefore, a bit of a gamble. Still, you might decide it’s a risk worth taking. Just looking at this harp every day is practically worth the price, it looks that nice.

Melissa

Editor, Musical Instruments Expert

HOW TO DISTINGUISH A QUALITY HARP FROM A CHEAP ONE

Material

What is the harp made out of? To get the correct sound and look a harp should be made from solid wood. Cheap harps are made using synthetic materials and porous wood that won’t stand up to sustained use.

Brand

Who made the harp? To understand a product, you need to know something about the people who made it. Most low-priced generic harps don’t share any information about who made it. These harps might be good, or they might be bad, you can’t tell if there’s no way to learn about the people who produced it.

New or Used

Has the harp been owned before? There are a lot of cheap harps online and in second-hand stores that seem too good to be true. As you probably know, things that sound too good to be true usually are. You can buy a used harp at lower prices than their new counterparts, but that’s because you don’t know what the last owner might have put their harp trough. Damage might run deep, causing your harp to fall apart shortly after you buy it. If you are serious about getting a quality harp, you need to buy one new.

harp instrument

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A HARP

Material

A good instrument needs to be made with quality materials. Harps have traditionally been crafted from wood, and not just any wood will do. Top quality harps are made from solid maple and other woods of similar hardness. Plywood harps might be cheaper, but they aren’t as durable. You can also find harps made of carbon fiber, but these don’t look, feel, or sound quite the same as traditional wooden harps. Still, if you are looking to save money at any cost, you might want to seek out a synthetic harp. Most people interested in harps should focus on finding a harp made from solid wood.

Size

Harps are available in a wide range of sizes, from mini harps you can comfortably balance on the palm of your hand to full-size harps that can stand more almost six feet tall. Most people are best served by a harp that lies somewhere in the middle of this range. To decide on the right harp for you, it’s worth considering how much room you have in your home to store it and how you’ll be playing it. If you’re a beginner who is looking to start playing a smaller harp works fine. Concert musicians need larger instruments because they can produce louder notes. If you live in an apartment building, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Because even though the harp is relatively unobtrusive, a louder model may bother your neighbors. You also need to buy a harp that isn’t too long, if you can’t comfortably reach all of the strings, then you’re going to have a difficult time playing the harp properly.

 Weight

The weight of an instrument is something that many people ignore until it’s too late. It’s easy to order online without thinking of what the product’s weight actually means. If you are buying a harp that is three feet or smaller, there’s a good chance you will have to move it fairly regularly. Even a few extra pounds can mean plenty of added stress if you are holding the harp on or against your bodies for long periods of time. Lighter harps are easier to hold and move around, but the larger a harp gets, the heavier it needs to be. You have to decide which size and weight strikes the right balance between sound and ease-of-use.

 Strings

In general, the more strings a harp has, the better it is. This is because each string will be tuned to produce a different sound, and the more strings there are, the more sounds it can produce. Harp makers might cut down on the number of strings their instruments have to save money and size, but harps with less than 20 strings will only be able to play a limited number of songs. It’s also worth considering the type of strings. If you are shopping for a complete beginner and focused on finding a small and affordable harp, then you might get by with a harp with as few as a dozen strings.

 Tuning Features

Any musician will tell you that tuning is one of the least interesting parts of playing an instrument. Still, if you want to play a song correctly, you need to make sure that your instrument is in the right tune. In the past tuning an instrument meant going string by string and adjusting how tight they were strung to get the song right. Today you can find harps that have features like sharping levers. These instantly convert notes into their sharp counterparts, completing a once tedious task with the flip of a switch. Harps that come with sharping levers tend to cost more, but if you are a serious harpist, you might find that it’s a worthwhile investment.

 Color

Traditionally harps have mainly come in natural wood colors, but today there is a wider range of options available. Rees Harps makes instruments in 10 different colors, although they aren’t always available. When choosing the color of your harp, you need to think about what you want to do with your harp. If your harp matches the type of music you make, then you’re going to have an easier time fitting in with bands. You might be able to find a pink harp, but it won’t score you points with a more traditional band. On the other hand, if you are buying a harp for your child then getting it in their favorite color might encourage them to practice

 Decorative Elements

A harp is much more than a practical tool for producing sounds. One of the things that attract people to the harp is its elegant design. Harps have a beauty, a dignity, and a history that you can feel whenever you look at one. Many people who aren’t musicians buy harps to use as decorative elements in their rooms.  The basic design of the harp is appealing enough but these instruments really come to life when decorative details are added. It’s common for manufacturers to engrave patterns into their harps. Celtic designs are especially popular. Your main goal should be finding a harp that produces a beautiful sound, but don’t underestimate the power of an attractive harp. The best instrument is usually the one you actually want to play.

Brand 

See what you can find out about the people behind a harp before you make a purchase. Quality harps are usually produced by experienced and trusted manufacturers. It’s also important to learn if the people who made the harp offer any sort of quality guarantee. When shopping online, it’s always worth trying to get some assurance that you will be able to return a product if it suffers from defects.

 

harp instrument

 BEST HARP BRANDS

Mid-East Mfg

Mid-East Mfg is one of the biggest harp producers in the world. Their instruments are even more ubiquitous than you’d notice at first glance. This is because Mid-East Mfg is also behind Roosebeck instruments. Mid-East is a company that has been run as a family owned business since 1973. It is dedicated to offering unique instruments that other manufacturers aren’t interested in making. It all started with a husband and wife, Alice and Steve Kundrat. Alice was a belly dancing performer and teacher, and she found that the quality of symbols she could use was unsatisfactory. When she told her businessman husband about the issue, their lives changed. Together they combined art and business expertise to form a lasting company. The name of the company was inspired by their dedication to authenticity, to make sure their world instruments were made the right way they reached out across the world to Pakistan. There they found the Chaudhary family, who had been making and selling their instruments locally and needed the Kundrats to go global.

It all started out in an Ohio family’s home, but now it stretches across the world, from the Chaudhary clan’s hometown of Sialkot, Pakistan to Mid-East Mfg’s modern warehouse in Melbourne Florida. There they store the 400+ different types of instruments produced by the company. Even though they offer more variety than ever before they are still rather unique in their dedication to ethnic musical instruments that you can’t find in your average guitar center. Today their more unique instruments generally fall under the Roosebeck brand. In addition to harps, Roosebeck instruments include Renaissance lutes, balalaikas, bagpipes, bodhrans, and dulcimers. If you want a unique instrument with a storied past, then Roosebeck is, the brand to look for.

There’s a lot to like about instruments from Mid-East Mfg, but potential buyers should also be careful. Instruments from Mid-East don’t come with a warranty. This is one of the reasons that they can sell their instruments for such low prices, but it also means, that buying a harp from them can be a bit of a gamble.

mid east

Rees Harps Inc.

Rees isn’t like other instrument makers, while the bigger companies make dozens of different types of instruments Rees only makes harps. This laser-tight focus allows them to produce the best harps possible. They also produce a wide selection of harp accessories so if you want to get the most out of your new harp you can turn to them for compatible and high quality products. Some of their accessories include stands, straps, carrying cases, strings, and instructional products. They are a one-stop-shop for everything harp related.

The company is a family business. It was founded by William Reese, a luthier who has made instruments since 1972. After 18 years of making instruments part time, he decided to create his own company to share his harps with the masses. William started the company with his wife, Pamela. Later on, the youngest Rees, William and Pamela’s son Garen Rees, joined the company. A lot of instrument manufacturers advertise their humble beginnings but Rees Harps, is one of the few companies that has help onto their roots even after decades of growth. If you want to know about them, you can search, for their company profile and see that they list their family pets along with their employees.

Rees Harps is a proud company. If you are ever in Rising Sun, Indiana you can call and arrange to see their building. They allow anyone who goes through the proper channels to watch as harps are created and test out the instruments for themselves. This pride also shows in their warranty policy. All harps from them are covered for two years under warranty. They might not be the biggest or flashiest company but they’ve got heart and a quality product.

REES

Royal Harps

At Royal Harps they believe in the value of craftsmanship. That’s why their ingredients are carefully manufactured to exacting specifications. Their harps are finished off by being engraved and polished by hand. Royal wants to keep you playing, which is why every harp comes with extra string.

They’re definitely a smaller company. If you try and look for information about them, you won’t find much. They don’t even have a web page. If you want to buy from a company that you can keep in touch with, then you might want to look elsewhere. If something goes wrong with your harp, there isn’t, much chance of getting it replaced by the manufacturer. Still, they make instruments that look great and can produce a decent sound, all at low prices. They’re not for everyone, but their harps are still worth considering.

ROYAL

HOW TO FIND THE BEST HARP FOR YOUR NEEDS

You don’t need just any harp, you deserve a harp that fits your unique needs. There are so many harps on the market because different musicians require different things from their instruments. If you haven’t thought about what you need now is the time to start. To help you out we’ve listed four areas of concern you need to think about before you make a purchase.

 Goals

What do you want to do with your new harp? If you’re serious about performing in concerts you need, a larger harp that comes equipped with plenty of strings. The more strings a harp has, the more, notes it can produce. If you are only interested in toying around with your harp or if you’re buying it for a child you can get by with a small harp that has a dozen or so strings. The limitations of smaller harps won’t show themselves until after months of learning, and if you’re a parent, you can never be sure when your child’s interest will give out. Still, in general, it’s always better to buy a harp with more strings than you need since you can always start out ignoring some and slowly adding them to your repertoire. If you buy a harp that’s too small, you might have to replace it sooner than you’d like.

 Size

Where are you going to keep your harp? If you live in a small apartment, then you should probably get a smaller harp. The idea of playing a six-foot-tall harp might be romantic, but it’s not practical for most people. It’s also worth noting that the larger a harp is, the more it costs, as a general rule. Make sure that you get a harp that’s not too large for your arms. When you play the harp, your fingers need to comfortably reach across the length of the wires. Don’t buy a harp that’s exactly as long as your arms are; you want to give them room to move freely and comfortably.

 Age

How old is the musician you are shopping for? The kind of harp you should buy someone ten years of age or younger is different from the sort you would buy an adult. For one thing, children need smaller instruments. Their arms aren’t big enough to comfortably reach across the bigger models. Children are also more accident-prone, and as such, they need more durable products. If the child is especially young, you should also think about buying a cheaper harp that they can use until they outgrow it and need to make an upgrade. No use paying more than you must on a harp that might be too small in a few years.

 Style

How much do you value aesthetics? You might think that you would settle for any harp as long as it works but would you really like to keep a harp that you find unattractive in your home? People choose the harp over more popular instruments like the guitar and piano in part because of its image. With a harp in hand, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been transported back to old Europe. Whatever your tastes might be it’s worth finding a harp that matches your dream. You shouldn’t sacrifice quality or durability for style, but you can find harps that bring all of these elements together in one instrument.

harp instrument

HARP ACCESSORIES AND PARTS

If you want to get the most out of your harp you need to consider purchasing some additional accessories. None of these are strictly required but they can all help you get the most out of your harp.

Roosebeck Lyre Harp String Set (8)

Any serious harp player will need to change their strings fairly regularly. Even the best strings wear out over time. Even if you don’t think you’ll need new strings in the immediate future, it’s still worth stocking up sooner rather than later. You never know when one of your current strings will snap and you’ll be forced to look for a replacement. If you buy a full set of strings now, you can replace them at a moment’s time and ensure that you never miss a performance because of a broken string. You can save money by purchasing single strings whenever one breaks, but this means that you might have to go for days or even weeks without performing as you wait for your new string to show up.

12pc. Standard Zither Pins

Even the greatest musicians can’t play correctly on a harp that is improperly tuned. If you want to tune your harp quickly and correctly, you need to invest in quality tuning pegs. With this set of pins on hand, you can head off to your next performance with confidence. No one wants to be the band member who ruins the concert, invest in quality pins.

Heather Harp TM Nylon Case

After buying a harp, you might not be interested in spending any more money, but there are some purchases that make simple financial sense. If your harp isn’t properly protected it can be damaged, cutting down on its lifespan and ensuring that you don’t get your money’s worth. To protect your investment, you should invest in a quality case. If you decide to buy a harp that doesn’t come with a case you should consider this nylon option from Mid-East music. Don’t carry around a naked harp, slide it into a quality case and you can travel without fear.

Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp, 30th Anniversary Edition

If you want to start playing your new harp as quickly as possible, it’s worth purchasing a book that will teach you how to learn. The harp might look simple, but it takes real expertise to coax a beautiful sound out of one. If you purchase “Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp” by Sylvia Woods, you’ll be able to start playing your harp correctly even without investing in pricey lessons. There are a lot of harp instruction books on the market, but this particular option has been in use for three decades due to its clear instructions and timeless advice.

 

 TIPS, TRICKS AND ADVICE

If you want to have the best experience possible with your baritone you need to know a thing or two about using it. Buying a top-of-the-line instrument is important but you need to know how to take care of it to keep it in top condition for years to come. That’s why we’ve prepared some tips and tricks you should keep in mind as you use your new baritone.

Keep your harp in tune

When you first get a harp or change the strings, you will need to check tuning fairly regularly. Tuning a couple of times a practice session for the first week isn’t unheard of. After the first week, you can shift from tuning a few times a day to tuning once per day. After the second weeks, the strings will have had time to adapt to, and you won’t have to tune them as often. Also, after all that tuning you’ll have a better idea of when your harp needs tuning, and you can do it as needed.

Know when to change strings

Buying a well-constructed harp is crucial if you want to make beautiful music but you need to remember that a harp is only as good as its strings. Even the best strings degrade over time, losing their edge and going dull. Ideally you should change the strings on your harp when they start to sound dull rather than waiting for them to break.

Practice good posture

If you want to get good at the harp, you will have to play it a lot. If you spend your time practicing while hunched over and uncomfortable you are going to have a bad time and you could even permanently damage your body. Good posture is key. You want to be able to sit up straight and still reach all of the strings easily. While you want to be upright you don’t want to be tense, try to relax your neck and shoulder so they can make their movements easily and painlessly. If you find you have to strain to play your harp, then you need to adjust it or buy a different model. Developing proper posture can be difficult at first. If you end up having a hard time making sense of your posture try and play in front of a mirror so you can see how you look while you play. You want to find a way to play that is as healthy, painless, and easy as possible.

Adjust your harp’s height

Maintaining good posture while playing can be very difficult if your harp isn’t the right size for your body. If the height of the harp itself isn’t right for you it doesn’t mean you have to buy a new one; it means you have to find a way to adjust the height. You can use stools, straps, and improvised platforms to bring your harp up to the right level.

 Stretch

Maintaining any pose for an extended period of time can be bad for your body. Make sure you stretch regularly. Ideally you should stretch before playing, after you finish, and after every half hour of constant play. Try rotating your arms like you’re doing a backstroke, reaching down to touch your toes, or stretching your arms back and clasping your fingers. Of course, simply standing up and walking around is a worthwhile exercise from time to time.

Buy a carrying case

Harps aren’t the most rugged instruments. Even if you get a tougher model, you still want to care for it, so it doesn’t get dented and scratched. To protect your harp, you should begin by investing in a padded carrying case. Make sure that the sizing matches up with the dimensions of your harp. You don’t want it to be so tight that it doesn’t fit, but you also don’t want it to be so large that your harp will slide around while you’re transporting it.

Keep it clean

You should clean your harp regularly. Carry a clean, soft cloth that you can use to gently wipe the harp down after playing. If you want to clean with water simply dampen a washcloth, don’t pour or spray water on the harp and definitely don’t soak it. When washing with a damp cloth keep a dry cloth on hand to soak up and remove the water as soon as possible. You should also avoid any harsh chemicals that might eat into the finish. Windex is the strongest cleaning product you should use and even then you should lightly apply it on a cloth rather than spraying the harp directly.

Store it safely

You don’t want to set your harp down just anywhere. You want to pick a spot where it is safe. Pick a flat surface where it isn’t likely to get stepped on, bumped into, or knocked onto the floor. If you’re going to store it in one place for an extended period make sure the environment is safe. Don’t store the harp in direct heat; it will damage the exterior and cut its lifespan short. You also want to keep it somewhere that’s dry, storing it in a damp basement can lead to distortion and mold growth. It’s also worth avoiding areas with extreme temperature, don’t leave it in a parked car in the summer heat or in a cold attic during the winter.

By reading this article, you’ve taken a big first step on your harp journey. The instrument is truly something special, once you feel a harp in your hands, you’ll never be the same again. Hopefully, you already know which harp you want to get but don’t worry if you’re still on the fence. This guide is designed to be referenced throughout the shopping process. When you’re stumped, it might help to go back to the section titled “Choosing the Best Harp for Your Needs,” so you can think about what you need in a harp. Once you have a clear idea of what your needs are then the right harp is much more likely to jump out at you.

Also, don’t forget about the “Tips and Tricks” section. We made sure to include advice that will serve you well for as long as you own your harp. Even the best harps can become damaged quickly if they aren’t handled properly. Making the most of your money isn’t just about purchasing the right instrument, it also means taking good care of it so it can continue to produce beautiful music for years to come. Fortunately, harps are fairly easy to care for as far as instruments go, you simply need to know the proper way to handle them.

We hope that you’ve found this guide to be helpful. We have done our best to provide you with quality information. If you like this guide, then check out some of our other guides. We are doing our best to write high-quality articles on as many products as possible. Because even after you buy your harp, there will be other important purchases to be made. It is our goal to be there for you every step of the way. In addition to the large catalog of existing guides there are plenty more in the works, so keep coming back for even more shopping assistance.

Melissa

Editor, Musical Instruments Expert