Are you about to channel your inner musical artist? How about you try playing the harp? Playing the harp is one of the most classical musical instruments that you can learn and be proud of as a musician.
Unlike other musical interests like the guitar or piano, harp is somewhat unique and you don’t see being played often.
Take advantage and learn how to play this amazing musical instrument. You don’t have to be a music genius or prodigy to learn how to play the harp. With practice and determination, who knows you can be the next classical star. Here’s how to play the harp.
Getting to Know the Harp
The harp is a kind of stringed musical instrument that has numerous individual strings that runs at an angle to its soundboard. To produce music from the harp, you will need to have your fingers pluck its strings and a melody goes on.
The harp was first made known or played way back 3000 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The musical instrument was said to be inspired from the sound of a hunter’s plucked bow string. It has a lot of records from ancient relics and medieval depictions including King David of the Bible who was also a harpist.
The difference between a Harper and the Harpist
Did you know that you can be either a harper or a harpist? Yes, you heard it right.
- A harper is a type of musician that plays the harp by using his or her ears or memory. This musician plays the harp with no strict notes to follow.
- While a harpist is the total opposite, a type of musician that follows and reads music, notes inspired by classical and jazz music.
Acquaint yourself with the Harp’s Strings
Before playing or learning any instrument, it’s important to know the basics and mechanism of the said instrument. Here are the important things that you need to take note about the harp:
- For the kids, you can purchase or rent a harp that has 10 strings. This can be great for practicing as they can start on before learning the “real thing”.
- For the beginners, you can start playing a harp that has 19-22 strings. It’s usually used by most individuals that are still trying to adjust with the basics and learn the proper way of playing it.
- You can advance with a harp that has 27 up to 48 strings. But take note that the bigger the harp and the more strings you get, the more expensive it becomes. So if you’re doing this for the long haul, it won’t hurt to spend one time on something you’re passionate about.
- Assess or ask yourself, whether you want to be a harper or a harpist. You might consider making this decision ahead to know what you’re getting yourself into. This is also crucial upon upgrading with your harp and grades. If you want to become a harper you won’t have to go through the grading system, ABRSM and Trinity grades. But if you choose to be a harpist, be prepared to complete all the grades and one day upgrade to a full on 34-stringed harp.
Learning How to Play
1. Enroll for a One on One Lessons
If you have the luxury to hire a private mentor to tutor you at home, then go ahead and find the best harp tutor you can find. The advantage of hiring a tutor is that the tutor can dedicate all his or her time to teach you on the basics until you level up to do it like a pro musician.
You are not competing with other students and you get to learn at your own pace. Still, that depends on how strict and lenient your tutor is. It’s important to pick a legit tutor that has taught numerous students and have garnered positive reviews over the past. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth. And most importantly, make your investment count and dedicate yourself to learning the harp.
2. Join Group Sessions
If you’re not the type who learns by yourself, then you can opt to join a group session or class with other students. The beauty about joining a class is that you are learning while also interacting and making friends with other students. It’s also good to know that you’re not alone in this new journey of becoming a harpist. It also saves you a lot of money since most group sessions are cheaper.
The only problem you have to watch out for is the possibility of being pressured from other students and the teacher might not be able to focus on each of the student’s learning curves. As a student, learn to step up by taking down notes, asking questions and invite your classmates to practice off-class. Make this learning worthwhile and motivate others to learn fast.
3. Ask a Relative or Friend
If you don’t have the budget to send yourself to a class, then don’t worry. If you know someone from your family or friends, ask them to mentor you. This won’t cost you a single thing and I’m pretty sure they’d be happy to share their talent with you.
With the power of the internet and digital world, there’s nothing you can’t learn these days. There’s a lot of free video tutorials you can look up online to follow.