Interested in the autoharp

Addressing whether an autoharp is really for anyone, sorting fact from fiction, the right idea from misconceptions, reality from stereotypes, cost, quality, old or used instruments, taking up the autoharp for the right reasons.

Interested in the autoharp

Postby Bob Lewis » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:05 pm

Q: I am interested in the Autoharp-- but have a few questions.

For one thing, I would have to see quick results. I tend to get impatient with things because I don't really have a lot of free time. Is this the instrument for me?

A: You can get basic music pretty quickly if you start in tune but expect to invest as much time as for any other instrument in developing a mature technique that is more than simple accompaniment.

You would be done a disservice if not cautioned about the burden of tuning and caring for 36 strings. For maximum enjoyment, expect to do the following:

1) buy an electronic tuner (chromatic)
2) do your own tuning
3) tune or touch up every time you play

The tuning will remain playable for weeks in most cases but expect to enjoy the sound much more when precisely tuned.

You have tuning responsibility for 36 strings which is 6 times more than a guitar. You will also have to learn how to replace a dull sounding or broken string <correctly>.
Bob Lewis
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