Now you’ve signed up with Arts Academy to take harp lessons in London, you can turn your thoughts towards buying your first harp. But what do you need to consider first before you spend any money?
Firstly, harps aren’t cheap. A good student harp will start at approximately £1,000, while professional lever harps can set you back between £2,300 and £4,500 – so bear this in mind when thinking about starting to play the harp.
It’s important that you try out lots of different makes and models before you buy so you can get a feel for the instrument and find out which one feels right for you. If you want a pedal harp, choosing the size is important – harps with between 42 and 44 strings are good for children and smaller adults, and they’re often cheaper as well.
Look out for any signs of warping in the harp you’re looking at, as well as cracks in the soundboard or near the tuning pins. The pins should stay in place when turned.
You’ll also find that there are different string options for your harp and you can pick between wire, nylon or gut. Wire-strung harps have a very different sound and you’ll find your technique changes when playing on a harp of this kind.
Once you’ve found the right harp for you, remember that you don’t always have to buy it, You can rent from numerous companies out there, so if you’re keen to start playing but aren’t sure how you’ll take to it leasing a harp would be a better option.