First Harp Books
- Pamela Bruner’s Play the Harp Beautifully, Volume 1.
- Play the Harp Beautifully DVD (optional, helpful for older students)
- Bonnie Mohr and Judith Orner Bruce’s Colorful Adventures on the Harp
- Deborah Friou’s Harp Exercises for Agility and Speed
Buy a Harp that Sits on the Floor
Far and away the most important aspect to a first harp is that it is stable on the floor and easy to hold. For that reason, I do not recommend lap harps because they require more balance and control than beginners usually have. The child can graduate to a lap harp later.
- Harpsicle – buy the metal floor stand that allows the child to sit in a chair and play the harp. The stand is a nice option because it is adjustable, and can change as the child grows.
- Dusty Strings – These are affordable, popular harps. Be sure to buy the legs or stand that allows the harp to sit on the floor. Any of the lower end models are fine.
Buy a Harp that You Can Carry
- Carrying harps around is the harpist’s way to lifting weights.
- Be sure that you and/or your child can carry the instrument while in its bag.
Buy a Harp With Full Levers
- Levers allow the harp to change keys. Your child can learn on a harp with no levers for about 6 months before you will need to change to a harp with levers.
Buy a Harp with Lots of Strings
- Small harps have about 26 strings, and this is the minimum your child should have.
- More strings actually make playing easier.
- But this must be balanced with the added weight of the bigger harp.
There’s a price jump at about $2000
- Great, basic harps run from about $500 to $2000.
- Then harps seems to jump into much more expensive models – $3000+
- You can get a great harp for $500-$1500.
If you want to buy a used harp…
- Buy from a reputable dealer.
- We have a one of the better harp stores in the country, Harps, Etc. in Walnut Creek, CA
- If you want to buy from a private party, please have the harp checked by Harps, Etc., or your harp teacher.
- You will probably need to change the strings, so add that to the cost.
If you want me to go with you…
- For a fee, I can go with you to pick out your first harp or look at a used harp that you are considering.
Cymber Lily Quinn is a holistic harpist, composer and music teacher, living in San Jose, California. Her award-winning original harp music has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space. She specializes in helping beginners and returnees hear and make their own music. Check out her “Learn Holistic Harp in 60 Days Program.” www.Cymber.com
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