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To buy a harp?

(30 Posts)
Fragglewump Wed 01-Nov-17 07:28:57

I’ve just seen someone advertising harps for sale. Now I’ve got an urge for a harp. I’ve always loved the sound of them and feel weird in a good way listening to them. But I have no idea how to play one. I’m a bit musical -have played recorder, violin, guitar and saxophone before (none very well) so would it be very tricky to learn? Realising now I sound like I’m being unreasonable. Oh well. Your finest harp wisdom please..........

goldensyrupisshit Wed 01-Nov-17 07:30:50

They are a beautiful instrument if you are willing to learn go for it otherwise it’ll make a beautiful ornament smile

ShiftyMcGifty Wed 01-Nov-17 07:32:19

They offer lessons at our primary school along with keyboard, so I imagine it's one of the easier instruments to learn for kids.

64BooLane Wed 01-Nov-17 07:32:29

I dunno, but the thread title made me smile.

I don’t know anything about harps either but I reckon YANBU.

Fragglewump Wed 01-Nov-17 07:33:08

Ooh this is great - encouragement for a half-baked idea!

PandasRock Wed 01-Nov-17 07:50:36

Where are these harps for sale?

Asking for a friend, of course wink

Go for it. I would, if I happened across one for sale and had the spare cash... I’ve got a corner in the study (which is rapidly becoming the music room, and a harp would seal that deal grin) just crying out for a lovely instrument

allegretto Wed 01-Nov-17 07:51:38

Definitely buy the harp!

moutonfou Wed 01-Nov-17 07:52:27

Favourite AIBU of the day and it's only 7.52!!

BamburyFuriou3 Wed 01-Nov-17 07:53:18

Ooh I would love a harp! I wonder how hard they are to self teach? I self taught myself guitar to a very basic level (before I got a proper job and kids). Do you have the time and the patience?

ShatnersWig Wed 01-Nov-17 08:01:08

Decent quality harps are expensive, even second hand. Is it a full size harp or a smaller one? Does it have pedals?

One of the things to bear in mind is that you will generally always be playing alone because it's not a standard orchestral instrument for the most part or lends itself to joining, say, brass bands. If you move it around it needs a lot of tuning.

It's not the sort of instrument you should buy on a whim but look into it properly. It's not a violin you can tuck away.

I say this from a bit of experience, having learned an instrument to some proficiency (non-standard orchestral, so no real opportunity to play with other people unless I joined a folk band whereas I play the classical stuff) I always loved the sound of another instrument. Not as large as a harp, but not dissimilar in many ways but much more portable. Tuning is a nightmare with all those strings. It doesn't take up as much room as a harp but it gets played very, very seldom for assorted reasons. And it was £500 new 23 years ago.

PanPanPanPing Wed 01-Nov-17 08:01:29

Oooh yes, sounds a great idea.

One of my favourite TV commercials, featuring a harp - plus the rather gorgeous Conny Bloom!

palmfronds Wed 01-Nov-17 08:04:44

Ooh I'd love a harp, who's selling them? I've had a go at playing one (can play flute, piano and guitar already) and didn't find it too tricky. A harpist I know says that if you can play piano it's pretty close to that rather than other string instruments.

Laiste Wed 01-Nov-17 08:11:42

shock £££££

Absolutely lovely though smile

Fucky Wed 01-Nov-17 08:12:08

You can buy a harp radiator

Laiste Wed 01-Nov-17 08:12:50

And it's a 50 year old re-con grinwink

Fucky Wed 01-Nov-17 08:14:05

Here it is

Albatross26 Wed 01-Nov-17 08:31:24

If it's a full size pedal harp, no. They cost thousands and are incredibly difficult. If it's a small lever harp and not too pricey why not. If you seriously want to learn find a teacher or you'll learn the wrong techniques. A good friend of mine is a professional harpist and encounters some proper dodgy players. Her advice is start with a small lever harp to see if you enjoy it smile

SemperTemper Wed 01-Nov-17 08:34:49

I had a neighbour who had a fucking annoying yapping dog but he redeemed himself by playing the harp beautifully. We could hear it through the walls. Magical.

Buy it, get some lessons, then come and be my neighbour!

Ratonastick Wed 01-Nov-17 09:08:12

Slightly randomly, I can play the harp. I had lessons as a kid (no idea what my very working class parents were thinking) and it has been a bit like riding a bike. I can sit down and play instantly, albeit a pretty limited repertoire. It’s easy to make a nice noise and wrong notes don’t clang out like they do on most instruments! Mind you, I started learning when I was about 8 and I took to most things pretty easily then, so it might be more difficult to learn as a grown up. I don’t have my own, but quite often NT places let you have a go on theirs if you are visiting (does the instrument good to be played, but harpists are rare). It’s the best ego boost ever as everyone for miles gets all misty eyed and lovely and tells you how wonderful you are.

I really want to buy a harp today.

Summerisdone Wed 01-Nov-17 09:10:45

I have absolutely no idea how easy or difficult it would be to learn, however you should get it and give it a go, and if it turns out to be too difficult for you then it still makes a beautiful ornament.

It's a no lose situation, buy it.

13Crows Wed 01-Nov-17 09:28:06

I've been wanting one for years. But a decent one is expensive (for me) and our house is soooooo tiny there isn't actually room for one, even a smallish one.
If you've got the money and space, go for it !

LannieDuck Wed 01-Nov-17 09:31:41

I started learning a few years ago. Had to stop when I had kids because it was too dangerous to have sat in my living room - very easy for a child to grab the string and pull it sideways.

I think if you've learnt the piano, it would be relatively easy - think of the strings like keyboard keys. I'd only ever played the flute before, so trying to coordinate bass and treble clef simultaneously was a challenge, and I still can't get my head around chord inversions.

I'd love to go back to it in a few years tho, when the kids are older.

whyismykid Wed 01-Nov-17 09:32:44

I learnt on a school trip to Wales when I was 8, that if you go bankrupt, there is some ancient rule that your harp can't be repossessed. I was 8, which was 30 years ago, so I wouldn't use my advice for financial planning purposes - memory does go over time - but it always stuck with me as something rather marvellous - so I say YANBU - buy the harp!

LannieDuck Wed 01-Nov-17 09:33:27

Incidentally, I rented my harp from my teacher. It's a much cheaper option.

wanderings Wed 01-Nov-17 09:52:17

There's a harpist in my family, so I can tell you a lot about them.

Pedal harps are not cheap to buy - new ones can cost more than grand pianos. Lever harps are cheaper. If you can rent or borrow one, go for it. In some ways, it's quite similar to piano music: you often play bass clef with left hand, and treble clef with right hand. The red strings are C, and the black ones are F. At first, playing harp can be painful on the fingers. Tuning it takes time as well, and generally has to be done before every playing session.

If you can get good at playing harp, there's plenty of demand for harpists at weddings.

There are two main kinds: pedal harp, and lever harp. Pedal harps are huge and expensive, but can be easier to play: the way they work is that there are seven pedals, one for each of the note letters (A to G, although not in that order). Each pedal has a "flat", "natural" or "sharp" position, so if you set the A pedal to "flat", all the A strings play as A flat. Therefore you can change key by setting up the pedals. Lever harps have a small lever for each for each string, so before you play you have to set up the key signature on the levers. If you have accidentals in the music, you have to change the levers while you play. This can be quite difficult, a bit like turning pages.

A pedal harp is also difficult to transport, because of its size - a car such as a Volvo estate is needed.

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