A Beginner’s Guide to Choose the Right Harp

The harp is definitely a very expensive instrument, so beginners or children often choose to purchase a lever harp. This is because it is more affordable and easier to manage. Recently, many people have been inquiring about lap harps. Therefore, we would like to share the main considerations when purchasing lap and lever harps to help you choose the right one for you.

  1. Size and weight of the harp:

Many people believe that the harp is large and heavy, making it difficult to play while resting on the shoulder. However, lap harps are actually too light and cannot stand alone, making it difficult to control the balance point, making it more cumbersome to play. Lever harps are designed to be more stable and easier to control, making them more suitable for children and beginners.

2. Number of strings:

When buying a harp in Hong Kong, many people consider the number of strings. Most lever harps are based on 34 strings, but how many strings are suitable? The answer is that it depends on your goals for playing the harp. If you are playing music for therapy, traveling, or worship, a smaller lap harp with around 25-27 strings may be more appropriate. If you plan to take exams or play a variety of music, a lever harp with 34 strings is the most basic choice. In addition to 34 strings, there are also 38 and 40-string lever harps, which can be selected based on the user’s height and budget.

3. Types of strings:

When buying a harp, you may find that there are two types of strings available for the same model. How should you choose? The strings are divided into Light Tension Strings and High Tension Strings. Light Tension Strings, such as Silkgut and Lever Nylon, are suitable for playing Celtic music and other similar styles. The downside is that they can produce buzzing sounds. High Tension Strings, such as Lever Gut String and Pedal Gut Strings, produce a louder sound and require more force to play, which can cause blisters.

4. Number of levers:

Different brands of harps have different lever designs, and the levers raise the pitch of the original note. If there are too few levers, the number of available sheet music will be very limited. It is best to choose a harp with all the necessary levers to play a wider range of music.

5. Brand of harp:

We recommend that you choose harps from reputable brands such as Lyon & Healy and Salvi, as they have a long history of harp making and are dedicated to improving their techniques. These brands are well-known worldwide and recognized by harp repair specialists, making maintenance and repair easier.

There are no absolute rules when buying a harp, so we encourage you to keep an open mind and try out different brands, models, and sizes of harps. During the trial period, you will have a different experience and be able to find the ideal harp for you!

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