Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeetta

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Autoharps

Related threads:
Tuning an autoharp (19)
Some Autoharp Questions (36)
Know any autoharpy jokes? (81)
Help: Autoharp Models: History (101)
How do I play autoharp without pain? (30)
Autoharp pads (26)
Instruments: Tuning An Autoharp (10)
Autoharp Advice Sought (15)
Anyone with a used autoharp 4 sale? (9)
Help: autoharp :-) (16)
Songs and Tunes for Autoharp? (74)
Help: autoharps (18)
$$ for Vintage Autoharp? (46)
Tech: Autoharp Bar Felt - Quality (29)
Tech: Autoharp advice (47)
Autoharps - up or down - and why? (44)
Cheap Autoharp wanted (17)
15 vs 21 chord Autoharps? (11)
Looking to Buy 21 chord Autoharp (17)
Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt (42)
Autoharp Restringing (39)
Help: Autoharps (22)
Help: Getting used to my autoharp (20)
The 'Jewel' Chromaharp Info (11)
Autoharp - and advice - wanted (16)
Disastrous Autoharp Purchase (10)
Help: Electric Autoharp (41)
Autoharp Link (5)
Tech: Autoharp left hand fingering? (13)
Autoharp buzzing string: how to fix? (23)
Autoharp strings (6)
Playing the autoharp (29)
Tech: method of playing melody on autoharp (34)
Tech: Playing the autoharp with short arms (17)
Obit: Mark Fackeldy: Autoharp Champ & Luthier (3)
Pacific NW Autoharp Ramble: 07/22-08/01 (2)
Autoharp Announcements (9)
Autoharp Cruise: Feb 7-12, 2004 (17)
Tech: Unusual Autoharp (4)
Help: Oscar Schmidt Autoharp UK (4)
Need Autoharp Repairperson (9)
eBay autoharp (6)
Autoharp Gigbag needed in UK (8)
Autoharp Buying Advice ? (13)
Possible Autoharp defect list wanted (23)
Help: Autoharp Buying Advice (13)
My new 'F... in'' autoharp!!! (47)
Help: Long neck banjo and Autoharp (13)
Playing the Autoharp (41)
Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering 2001 (5)
Autoharp vs Chorded Zither (6)
Autoharp Magazine Missing. Help. (11)
Help: autoharp parts? (23)
BS: KILLER AUTOHARP (19)
Autoharp Room on PalTalk! (3)
Help: Autoharp, Festival CFG, Lancer, Cutlass (2)
Help: How to move autoharp button ? (5)
Hearme:8/20: Autoharpers???? (16)
autoharp - that's what it looks like! (4)
Help: Autoharp Agonies (18)
Reminder Autoharp friendly hearme 5/14! (47)
Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo (24)
any autoharp players? (9)


Harry O 29 Nov 98 - 08:01 PM
Susan of DT 29 Nov 98 - 08:41 PM
Bill D 29 Nov 98 - 09:05 PM
Snookums 29 Nov 98 - 09:29 PM
alison 29 Nov 98 - 10:14 PM
Big Mick 29 Nov 98 - 10:37 PM
gargoyle 29 Nov 98 - 10:38 PM
alison 29 Nov 98 - 10:55 PM
harpgirl 29 Nov 98 - 11:20 PM
BSeed 29 Nov 98 - 11:30 PM
DonMeixner 30 Nov 98 - 12:13 AM
JimBunch 30 Nov 98 - 12:31 AM
Steve Parkes 30 Nov 98 - 07:59 AM
harpgirl 30 Nov 98 - 09:03 AM
DonMeixner 30 Nov 98 - 09:24 AM
Bill D 30 Nov 98 - 12:28 PM
Bill in Alabama 30 Nov 98 - 04:29 PM
Bill D 30 Nov 98 - 04:41 PM
Bill in Alabama 30 Nov 98 - 05:30 PM
harpgirl 30 Nov 98 - 06:14 PM
Pete Peterson 30 Nov 98 - 07:33 PM
Bill D 30 Nov 98 - 10:40 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 30 Nov 98 - 11:05 PM
JimBunch 30 Nov 98 - 11:35 PM
gargoyle 01 Dec 98 - 12:28 AM
Bill in Alabama 01 Dec 98 - 07:41 AM
Big Mick 01 Dec 98 - 08:57 AM
Barbara 01 Dec 98 - 02:00 PM
Bill in Alabama 01 Dec 98 - 02:53 PM
Nathan 01 Dec 98 - 04:35 PM
harpgirl 01 Dec 98 - 09:19 PM
Bill D 01 Dec 98 - 09:59 PM
Stew Schneider 01 Dec 98 - 11:16 PM
alison 02 Dec 98 - 01:02 AM
Aharper@weir.net (Mary Ann Johnston) 02 Dec 98 - 07:21 AM
Stew Schneider 02 Dec 98 - 01:42 PM
harpgirl 02 Dec 98 - 11:14 PM
alison 02 Dec 98 - 11:43 PM
Siobhan 03 Dec 98 - 02:47 AM
Alan of Australia 03 Dec 98 - 07:03 AM
alison 03 Dec 98 - 08:58 AM
Big Mick 03 Dec 98 - 10:18 AM
Alice 03 Dec 98 - 10:44 AM
Stew Schneider 03 Dec 98 - 02:07 PM
BSeed 03 Dec 98 - 03:20 PM
Stew Schneider 03 Dec 98 - 04:40 PM
alison 03 Dec 98 - 07:38 PM
Alan of Australia 03 Dec 98 - 08:42 PM
Harry O 03 Dec 98 - 09:52 PM
gargoyle 03 Dec 98 - 10:16 PM
Big Mick 03 Dec 98 - 10:45 PM
Anne 03 Dec 98 - 10:54 PM
harpgirl 03 Dec 98 - 11:30 PM
Alice 04 Dec 98 - 12:34 AM
BSeed 04 Dec 98 - 02:54 AM
Roger in Baltimore 04 Dec 98 - 06:22 AM
harpgirl 04 Dec 98 - 01:24 PM
gargoyle 04 Dec 98 - 11:22 PM
Roger in Baltimore 05 Dec 98 - 08:24 PM
Bill D 05 Dec 98 - 08:43 PM
Harry O 05 Dec 98 - 09:48 PM
Stew Schneider 06 Dec 98 - 08:16 AM
Harry O 06 Dec 98 - 11:27 AM
Big Mick 06 Dec 98 - 11:48 AM
Harry O 07 Dec 98 - 09:15 PM
Big Mick 07 Dec 98 - 09:26 PM
Harry O 09 Dec 98 - 09:41 PM
Jen 09 Dec 98 - 10:03 PM
Bill D 09 Dec 98 - 10:07 PM
Jen 09 Dec 98 - 11:07 PM
harpgirl 13 Jun 00 - 12:14 AM
SINSULL 13 Jun 00 - 09:10 AM
GUEST 08 Jan 11 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,Gayle 19 Jul 11 - 09:55 PM
Jane of 'ull 20 Jul 11 - 12:04 PM
GUEST 01 Dec 12 - 07:38 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:












Subject: Autoharps
From: Harry O
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 08:01 PM

I have recently acquired an Autoharp, but I don't know how to play it. Any suggestions anyone? I live in Belfast, Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 08:41 PM

It's probably out of print - I bought it in the 60s when I got the autoharp, but Oak Publications put out a book by Harry Taussig called "Folk Style Autoharp." Also, since Oscar Schmidt has the patent on autoharps, they have probably got some books, but I don't see their address in the Taussig book.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 09:05 PM

or, try this page for help...http://www.autoharp.org/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Snookums
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 09:29 PM

The Autoharp isn't that difficult to learn- it just takes patience and practice. The harp is usually held in one of 2 ways. 1st is across the lap- the left hand crosses over to depress the chord keys. This can be a little hairy. The second way is to stand the harp up on your lap and rest it across your left shoulder. The left hand depresses the chord keys while the right picks or strums the strings. Label the chord keys if they are not labelled. The chord keys are usually grouped so that for any key, the common chords are in easy reach. Practice chording along to songs first and get good at that. Practice the same songs in different keys so you get familiar with the chord changes. Practice making clean chords. It is more difficult than it would appear to depress the chord keys on some models to get a clean crisp chord. Good luck and keep us posted, Laura


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: alison
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 10:14 PM

Hi Harry,

go into Tughan Cranes (used to be out the back of Boots in the centre of town), and ask them to order you a book if they don't already have one......... that's where I got mine from but that was a long time ago now.

But really it is very easy to play... you just follow the guitar chords and press the appropriate buttons. If you get really fancy you will be able to pick out tunes too.

If you play with it on your knee, it is much easier to strum the strings at the "blunt" end (where there is usually a diagram of the notes) instead of trying to cross your hands over.

That reminds me I must get mine back ..... I lent it to a friend a while back.

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 10:37 PM

Harry,

It really is an instrument that is easy to be musical with rather quickly.

Elderly Instruments (elderly.com) has any number of tutorials/tapes on this instrument. But I am sure that you can get something locally.

Welcome to Mudcat.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: gargoyle
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 10:38 PM

Have had one laying on top of the truck roof (indoors) for over fifteen years, bought it at an aution....Never played it....can't figure out how to tune it, too many strings.

Thanks for the web referral.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: alison
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 10:55 PM

Hi Gargoyle,

Should have come complete with a bit of bent pipe, for tuning with...... having said that by the time you've got the last strings tuned the first ones are usually "out" again!

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 11:20 PM

Autoharps!!! Yes, Harry you must first learn to carefully tune your chromatic harp. Otherwise it will sound like a cat being trampled by an elephant and people in your jam circle will look askance...
I play with a thumbpick and four national steel fingerpicks on my fingers (#20). Other people play barefingered or with a thumbpick and two fingerpicks. www.cyberpluckers.org will answer any question you can think of if you can stand the slight patronization towards new harpers. (Personally, I think it is reaction formation since we all know just how easy it is to play in a simple style.)
Two strumming styles are a thumb strum away and fingers strum back and a pinch style with thumb and fingers pinching the melody. Feel free to E-Mail me any questions you might have...harp


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: BSeed
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 11:30 PM

Harpgirl, you mean you're a mere autoharpy and not a harpist? How disappointing. --seed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: DonMeixner
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 12:13 AM

As an autoharpist I have been introduced as "Father Maybelle" and a player of the "Wooden Accordion". Its really one of those tune it and play it instruments. I used mine for physical therapy when I ran my left hand througha table saw. A greatly underappreciated instrument. I hold mine in The Burp The Baby method as used by Maybelle Carter. Played between the bars and the tuners. I use the heaviest National thumb pick I can find and Nation steel .025 finger picks. If it is an Oscar Schmidt Autoharp in the 15 chord range, swap the location of the E7 and the A7. The cycle of 5ths will make more sense then. I never had any luck with 21 bar harps. My finger with out an feeling in them had great trouble with the smaller buttons. Feel free to email me with any questions.

DonMeixner@aol.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: JimBunch
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 12:31 AM

Welcome to Autoharping!

Autoharpers are a vibrant and growing community! The best way to find out about how to start out, and to get advice is to visit the autoharp.org website. It has a lot of information for beginners, as well as links to the Autoharp Quarterly and other Autoharp Web sites. You can also join the cyberpluckers e-mail list from there. The Cyberpluckers are some of the warmest and most helpful people on the web.

Mike Fenton lives in Worcester England and is one of the best Auto Harpers in the world. He travels and teaches extensively through the British Isles.

Nadine Stah White also lives in Abingdon England. She may know of autoharpers that live close to you. I know she helps put on an Autoharp Festival once a year. You can reach her through the cyberpluckers.

Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 07:59 AM

Wow - I'm gonna come out of the closet!

I've had an autoharp for about 25 years, but I haven't appeared in public with it for about 20. I already played guitar & banjo, so I had no trouble with chords, and I soon found I could play fairly recognisable tunes. It's second-hand, and I had to clean up the springs on the chord bars; I put the chord bars back in a more convenient order ... I must get round to moving the buttons!

If you want to make a lot of noise, put it on a table - but make sure it doesn't matter if it gets scratched! You havbe to play it more or less lap style, of course.

If you REALLY want some fun, try changing the strings - I've been restringing mine for many years, and I should b finished soon after the millennium!

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 09:03 AM

Seed, If you saw me playing you'd want me,you old coot!
Harry, alot of us have reworked our chromatic harps and made them diatonic or semi-diatonic. Bryan Bowers showed me how to do it in 1977 and I modified my own harps until I met Mark Fackeldy. He has a website for his luthery, Zephyrhills. I like Mark's harps the best. I have one of his custom harps in a beautiful renewable poplar with birdseye maple and cherry accents. It is sweet as apple cider to play and very beautiful to look at...harp


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: DonMeixner
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 09:24 AM

Re wiring a "harp is a dangerous mission. I have several that have the strings they came with still on them and I think they sound the best. Here is a very audacious move for some with more than one harp.

Double tune it. By that I mean decide what single key you want it to play in, "C" works best but others are Ok too. Tune all the sharps to naturals, this puts two "C" strings next to each other, as well as "F", "G", "D", etc. Now you will have to open the bar blocks and widen the felt gaps that allow the strings to vibrate creating a chord. NOTE: This can't be done for all the chords, like the "D" major and the minors some chords require sharps (or flats) so plan your changes against the chords as needed.

Down side, you lose 7ths but with some practice you can pick the 7th notes out of their constituent chords. Like grabbing the "E" for a "G7" out of a "C" chord forinstance.

My Double tuned Harp is an old Appallachian 15 bar changed in this manner. Major course is set up "F","C","G","D". The minor course runs "Dm", "Am", "Em", "Bm".

This rig is great for solo performing in no more than two keys. You gain powerful sound. I wouldn't ever suggest doing this to a collectors instrument or to your only harp. But if you are like me and own more than 3 Harps, give it a try.

DonMeixner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 12:28 PM

regarding strings..many years ago, at Winfield, Kansas, I met Ron Wahl, a young man who was learning Bryan Bowers style...within a few years, he was VERY good and building his own harps...at one workshop, he told us that he NEVER changed strings...he just loosened them and put Vaseline at the points where the strings crossed the wire 'bridges'..then retightened them...he said he had noticed than almost all breaks came at those points, & he reasoned that thats where the stresses were, so he was lubricating it! He said had had not broken a string in 2-3 years. Someone asked (thinking about guitars) "what about the sound of old strings?" He replied..."Well, you've been listening to me play for 2 days...do you hear anything wrong?"

(I have a Zimmerman 'harp from about 1900...with 'shifters' to get 3 chords from each string...has most of the original strings and still sounds pretty good!)

Also, since I never had ANY contact with other players during the years I was learning, I copied what I read about Kilby Snow, who made picks from a brass Model-T Ford headlight. I found a piece of brass, cut & formed it into a pick which made a 'V' around the end of my finger, so I could flip my finger back & forth, strumming in both directions without catching..it worked pretty well, but was a 'bit' heavy sometimes. Then about 1978, I found Mizrabs, the wire pick used to play the Indian Sitar, which also fitted around the finger, but were much lighter..now I have a choice...so, I play a style sort of between Mother Maybelle and Kilby Snow

The one thing I recommend for tuning is a electronic tuner..(Korg, or a couple others)..unless you have a VERY good ear. And, get one with an alligator clip that plugs directly into the Korg, so that you can tune without going out to the back steps (because all the noodling guitarists who were tuned up 10 minutes ago will drive your poor Korg crazy!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 04:29 PM

Bill-- We work with Ron and his wife Alisa every October at the Museum of Appalachia Homecoming, and I have worked often with Bryan Bowers; I would venture to say that Ron is giving Bryan a run for his money on the harp. By the way-- Ron is now playing a harp which has fine tuners similar to those on a fiddle, so that minute adjustments can be made with a small slot-head screwdriver; it's a great idea. Sorry that I can't remember the maker's name.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 04:41 PM

*grin*...Bill..I watched Ron play at Winfield in the '70s...with Mike Seeger & Bryan Bowers leaning on the barn behind him...their jaws on their shoes...Bryan then got up and went to the mic, and said dryly.."well, Im glad I got into this when I did"...Ron was very determined even then to see what could be done with the 'harp...I'm not a bit surprised to hear he is doing that well! (and those fine tuners were being discussed then..)

(I met Bryan in Washington DC in about 1974 and told him about Winfield...he asked his agent to find out about it..next year, he was there!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 05:30 PM

Bill D-- Ron married Alisa Jones (Grandpa's and Ramona's daughter) and is now doing a great job with the Ramona Jones Band.

Winfield is a great festival. I ran the clawhammer banjo workshop there for several years, and judged the flat-top contest twice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 06:14 PM

I saw Ron in Mountain View last August while I was hanging out. He didn't have his own harp but if he had fine tuners built in it might have been Mark Fackeldy's work. He builds them all with fine tuners and they are a joy to have, believe me. Bill D where do you get your mizrabs? I looked for you at the Ozark Folk Center last summer but I think you were not there...I was camped at Gunner Pool, as usual, in a raging storm...harp


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 07:33 PM

Good evening Harpgirl (and others) and yes,(to go to your other thread) I had much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving including the company of my mother; I owe you an email. On autoharps: Drew Smith of 529 Ardmore Road Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ (can't remember the ZIP code offhand; will go back & get it Later) sells a teaching tape which I recommend most highly. Drew is a wonderful knowledgable highly skilled person who is v generous with his time as you, I hope, will find. I second the recommendation of an electronic tuner; it was this invention which made the autoharp possible and brought it into general use! Styles: Playing backup autoharp is easy; hold it, as others have said in the "burp the baby" position push down chords with LH strum with RH. To play melodies, start with "pinch" strokes and prove that you can play a scale going up (in C) by playing these chords in order C G C F C F G C and moving your "pinch" a little higher each time. Much easier to show you than try to explain-- are there any local players? (bet Mike Fenton could point out some) if you lived in America I would suggest try This Land using C G C F F, F C G C C, etcetera-- but you live in Ireland. . . I also second the recommendation of the Cyberpluckers who are all nice people. Good Luck & you're welcome to email me: lutrine@itw.com if I have confused you throughly PETE


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 10:40 PM

harpgirl...in an earlier discussion of autoharps...here Alice posted a site where she found them..I get mine from "The House of Musical Traditions" (local for me) in Takoma Park, MD http://www.hmtrad.com/

nope..wasn't at Mt. View..I don't get to many festivals anymore (except the local ones)...time, money & general decripitude rule...

Bill in Ala..!! you said you judged the 'flat-top' contest at Winfield..if you mean 'flat-pick', I am impressed, indeed...(I watched Mark O'Conner win there as a young kid..as well as everyone else who won for the first 12 years...I have home made tapes of a couple of those early years..) I still have withdrawal symptoms each Sept. when time for Winfield comes and I can't go...*sigh*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 11:05 PM

There are some beginners' lessons on Autoharp from homespun tapes.

http://www.homespuntapes.com/

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: JimBunch
Date: 30 Nov 98 - 11:35 PM

Bill D.

The House of Musical Traditions is where I "bought" my first Aharp too. Actually, I traded it for an old Vox hollow body student bass and amp. Never regretted it.

For those local to D.C. did you know about the Capital Harpers Autoharp Club? We get together once a month at various members houses. Next meeting is on December 12th. email me at jabunch@cais.com if you are interested.

Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: gargoyle
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 12:28 AM

The tuning process has begun....the instructions at autoharp.com clarified the "mystery" of where to start. Low F and up then all F's up....F#, and up, G and up....Uncommonly, common sense. THANX


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 07:41 AM

Bill D.--

Yep--I meant the flat-pickin' contest. I was one of the judges back before they limited contestants. . .heard some of the finest music this side of Heaven (apologies to Guy Lombardo fans). Listened to 65 guitarists play three tunes each. Heard Huckleberry Hornpipe 40 times. I, too, miss it--especially the incredible jamming in the campground.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 08:57 AM

Laughing out loud. I just got "caught up" in this thread. When I read the post where harp called Seed an old coot, I started laughing and still am.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Barbara
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 02:00 PM

If this doesn't offend too many finer sensibilities. or even if it does, something we enjoy doing here at my house is introducing strangers and youngsters to the autoharp and metal knitting needles at the same time. Makes a wonderful rangy dangy percussive sound, and you can parcel out the jobs. Let someone who knows chords play the chord bar and let the kid(s) do the rhythm on the strings with a couple needles.
Kids also learn quickly that if they use a very heavy hand it DAMPS the sound, that a lighter bouncy touch gives em the most for their money.
Blessings,
Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 02:53 PM

Barbara--As I'm certain you know, there's a very old tradition (at least where I grew up) called "strawing the fiddle," where one person takes heavy broomstraws and, standing facing the fiddler, hits the strings between the fiddler's left hand and the bow as the fiddler plays, providing a really nice percussive accompaniment. When my daughter and son were small, they would do this as I played my banjo; I felt, as you, that this gives them a nice sense of touch as well as a definite idea of beat and rhythm.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Nathan
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 04:35 PM

Fiddlesticks!
That is to say, I've heard that that's where the expression "Fiddlesticks" originated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 09:19 PM

Barbara,
Marty Schuman invented an autoharp which did what you described. Maybe he didn't think it up all by himself... Or you could use them as the world's largest cheese graters...harpahahahah


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 09:59 PM

well, I mentioned my brass pick...I have 3 of them...and I play a couple of things..(like "Silver Bell") where I 'pat' the 2nd part instead of pickin' it...makes a nice 'bell' sound...( I used to actually use the L shaped tuner to do that, but couldn't cover as many strings...great fun..!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Stew Schneider
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 11:16 PM

Any beginning autoharper in Belfast should, by all means, watch for a performance by Appalachian Strings. Maxine Eadie of Newtownards is the harper, and she is clearly the best autoharper in Belfast, just as Geordi McAdam, with whom she plays, is the best Appalachian fiddler in Northern Ireland. Just ask him--he'll be happy to confirm that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: alison
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 01:02 AM

Hi Stew,

Is the Ganges restaurant still open in Newtownards? Used to drive all the way down from Coleraine for their chicken tikka mushroom dupriaza.

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Aharper@weir.net (Mary Ann Johnston)
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 07:21 AM

How great it is to hear all this autoharp discussion!! To any "newbies" listening in I would say hold the'harp which ever style pleases you, both are fine. The important thing is, PLAY IT !! Tuning can be difficult at first, but soon becomes routine. Of course, an electric tuner is a must. Anyone who is (or thinks they may be) interested in learning more about AH, email me and I will send you a complimentary copy of Autoharp Quarterly magazine. In it you will find ads from some of the folks mentioned in this thread, such as Drew and Mark. We also offer a variety of music, technical articles, etc. about and for autoharp. Mary Ann


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Stew Schneider
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 01:42 PM

Indeed the Ganges Restaurant continues, elegant and delicious. They don't play autoharps, but the papadoms are particulary good in that red sauce I'm sure you recall. The tiki masala was wonderful, last time we dined there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 11:14 PM

Bill D and Alice, That store you mentioned is in Melbourne Florida. I'm going to stop on the way to grandmother's house and bust my conk...harp (oh and maybe it was dale rose that said he was going to the Ozark folk center last summer...)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: alison
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 11:43 PM

hi Stew,

Thanks for the info..... all I have to say is..... I want to go home....... (at least for a little while).

Nice meal in the Ganges then up to sit under Scrabo and watch the stars some out over Strangford Lough.

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Siobhan
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 02:47 AM

I can highly recommend Melody's Traditional Music and Harp Shop. Check out their website at www.folkharp.com or call them at 1-800-893-4277. Lots of books, music, autoharps, zithers, whistles, traditional instruments of every kind. I think they are located in Houston, but they have a comprehensive catalog. They have always been very nice to me and stuff arrives promptly.

Siobhan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 07:03 AM

G'day,
Watch out for Alison - she misbehaves in Indian restaurants!!!!!!!

Cheers,
Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: alison
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 08:58 AM

Hahahaha,

you'll get me a bad reputation again.

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 10:18 AM

Alan,

Care to share the story with us? Sounds like a hoot.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Alice
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 10:44 AM

I bought my autoharp, called a silvertone, used, from a place in Missoula, Montana called 'Stringed Instruments Division'. Even though I live in the same state, I have ordered instruments from them over the phone and had them UPS'd to me. The owner is a master autoharp builder, restorer, luthier, and has a staff of luthiers repairing instruments of all kinds. From them, I bought my autoharp, bodhran, and my son's violin.

alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Stew Schneider
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 02:07 PM

Hi Alison

I don't blame you for wanting to go back to the Lough! I'm here in Eastern Kentucky. I gather you're in Australia, and here we are both homesick for the same restaurant in Newtownards??

What're the odds?

Has anyone in Northern Ireland heard Appalachian Strings? And just what DID Alison do at the Ganges Restaurant?

stew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: BSeed
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 03:20 PM

Harpgirl, I oughta sue you for calling me an old coot and exposing me to public ridicule (Mick?), but then you could sue me for calling you an autoharpy (o<[]:o) }}}ooo[]), and anyway, of course I am an old coot--and an occasional autoharpist--autoharpies, are, of course, female (occasional because my working autoharp is one of those ghastly 21 bar things with the ugly shroud holding the bars in place. I'm gonna convert it to 15 bars. I wish I could afford a fine tuner.) --creaky old seed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Stew Schneider
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 04:40 PM

Hi BSeed

Before you convert your 21 chord to a 15, you might want to think about the advantages of the present layout, albeit from a luthier.

The 2-row arrangement of the 15 bar layout means that each key is fingered differently, making it more difficult to transpose keys. The 3-row setup of the 21 chord models puts the I, IV and V bars in the same relative position for each playable key on the 'harp. Transposing, then, is a simple matter of moving hour left hand to a new home position.

15 or 21, if the chord bars are from Schmidt, they'll be slow, noisy and damp less well than you would like. I'd really recommend that you take a look in Autoharp Quarterly to find a source for custom bars. The difference is night-and-day. Better yet, sign onto the Cyberplucker list and talk it over there.

Incidently, there's a FAQ at http://www.zoomnet.net/~stewart/CyberFAQ with some information that you may find helpful.

stew

stew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: alison
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 07:38 PM

hi Stew,

I didn't realise we were in the same boat. I thought you were still over there.. and was very envious for a while.

...... and i was always very well behaved in the Ganges....

not one word Alan......... that's a threat **grin** :o)

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 08:42 PM

OK Alison, I won't say a word except....

There we were, a group of folkies and one of us had that extra glass of red......

Cheers,
Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Harry O
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 09:52 PM

What have I started ?!!!!!!!! Harry O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: gargoyle
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 10:16 PM

B.S.

It was 20 minutes past the yard-arm,

YOUR TIME....

Don't you think it was a little too early to have been "envinin' the bibe of the fruit."

Reread...your post in the mornin' light.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 10:45 PM

Alan,

Don't let that Belfast woman scare ya, lad. Go for it. Fair play to ya.

Mick, stirring as hard as I can.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Anne
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 10:54 PM

Hi: I Was at Winfield this past September and I heard Bryan Bowers playing his Autoharp. He did an amazing and hard-hitting song on Stage 2 during a story-song workshop. It was about a man who went to prison and it was very graphic about prison life. The song goes on to describe how he was about to engage in crime again after his parole, when he discovered music and the music saved him. The music gave him a way to talk about and create change. It was very, very moving actually gut-wrenching. It struck me so hard I can't remember any words or chorus. Does anyone know this song, it was quite long. Thanks. Anne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 11:30 PM

that's probably a story about himself...I believe Bryan did some time down here in Florida. The song I am referring to is recorded on one of his albums, and probably the one you heard. I'll have to get them out to see which one..Bryan is a terrifc performer and one of his great strengths is his flat out honesty... harpgirl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Alice
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 12:34 AM

Harry O, isn't this amazing?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: BSeed
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 02:54 AM

Googul, if ya got somethin' ta say, come out and say it; I'm sick of the cryptic crap you've been slingin' my way. By the way: you have my permission to address me as Mr. seed. Keep your b. s. to yourself; you're the specialist in that department. (BTW, lullabyes are intended to be sleep-inducing, i.e., warm and fuzzy. "Turn Around" is warm and fuzzy, and tender and beautiful as well.) --seed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 06:22 AM

Anne,

I believe the song you seek is called "Black Dog." And yes, Harpgirl, I think it is autobbiographical. Here is what I remember from Bryan discussing it on stage some 20 years ago.

I think it was in Virginia. Bryan was arrested for possession of marijana. I think he was smoking in the alley outside of a gig. He was convicted and sentenced to jail. The song describes his experience.

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 01:24 PM

yes Roger, Bryan told me basically that, but said it was in Florida...harpgirl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: gargoyle
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 11:22 PM

B.S.

My plea is simple....

Read the beginning of the thread and FOLLOW IT!!!

Neither YOUR comments, nor MY recent comments have ANY place within this forum, unless they pertain (in this case auto harps) to the subject at hand....(i.e. Lulabies....don't deal with autoharps and "sweet cuetsy" don't deal with "NOT sweet cuetsy."

Perhaps, "Joe Offer" may choose to serve the better-part of "self-discretion" that you and I, BOTH seem to lack, and delete any diatribe between us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 08:24 PM

So, Harpgirl, do you think he changes the location depending on what area he is in? Or is it just my poor memory (and believe me that's the strongest possibility).

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 08:43 PM

**autoharpists ducking for cover as the seedy gargoyles hurl extraneous invective over the battlements**

(never a dull thread, huh? *grin*)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Harry O
Date: 05 Dec 98 - 09:48 PM

Alice, Thank God we're still here. A serious request for help seems to have degenerated into little personal exchanges which have no place in this thread. Can we get back to the subject in hand ? The Gangrene cafe in Ards is surplus to musical requirements. Tughan Crane's shop behind Boot's the chemists were little help. None of the "Folk" music shops in Dublin had ever heard of an Autoharp, and when I enquired about replacing a string in the bass which had broken, I was told that only full sets could be provided - cheapies at £30+ and Goodies at £50+. Not very encouraging !!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Stew Schneider
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 08:16 AM

Hi Harry. Maybe I can help with the string issue. First, we need to know the type of harp you have--there are basically 3, A, B or C models. To decide that issue, I need know: 1) how many chord bars do you have; 2) do the strings pass over a bar bridge at the top of the harp (where the tuning pegs are) or do they pass round one of 36 little pins before going to the tuning peg? 3) Is it a Chromaharp or an Oscar Schmidt. Knowing which model you have determines which sort of strings you need. Finding inexpensive strings is a real challenge. The prices you are quoting (although I don't know what the reference to different qualities amounts to--there's only one quality of string that I'm aware of) are pretty close to what you will have to pay. Full sets aren't cheap and no commercial establishment handles partial sets. Maxine is the only Belfast harper I'm aware of, and she doesn't sell strings, but Mike Fenton, in England, can be very helpful on that issue. If you are interested, email me privately at stewart@zoomnet.net and I will see if I can find his address. Finally, you should look at the FAQ I mentioned in an earlier posting. It contains information on restringing and refelting, as well as discussions of the types of harps and playing techniques.

stew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Harry O
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 11:27 AM

Thanks, Stew. Will check up on those.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 11:48 AM

Harry,

Tell me exactly what you are looking for and I will price them here in the states, at Elderly Instruments. I will get back to you with a price, and if you like, pick them up and post them to you. Let me know.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Harry O
Date: 07 Dec 98 - 09:15 PM

Thanks, Mick, Watch this space. But, I should advise you that I am some K's of miles to the E. of the States. This could pose a problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Dec 98 - 09:26 PM

Well, let's just see how the price plus shipping compares. If it isn't economical, nothing ventured, nothing gained. But if it works for you, then I am happy to help.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Harry O
Date: 09 Dec 98 - 09:41 PM

Thanks Mick. I haven't forgotten. Just busy on other things. Watch this space. Harry O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Jen
Date: 09 Dec 98 - 10:03 PM

Well, all this talk makes me want to get mine out and finally figure out how to play it... Mine is a really nice Oscar Schmidt.

Anyone have any suggestions about zithers? I have two, a mini one and a big one, and almost prefer my little one to my harp... more portable! (And it almost never goes out of tune).

Jen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Dec 98 - 10:07 PM

jen...my wife..(Ferrara, in this forum) plays zither, and is getting pretty good at it..she can tell you a few things...I'll mention this and see what happens...(if you have specific questions, it might be easier)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Jen
Date: 09 Dec 98 - 11:07 PM

Well, if you don't mind, ask her if there are any books on how to play one, although it doesn't look too difficult. I just really like the portability of my little one, and thought there might be some books without Flats and Sharps(cause the little one doesn't have those notes).

I got mine for pretty cheap, and just thought it would be an interesting instrument to learn(of course, that's what I say with all my instruments...*grin*)

Jen S.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: harpgirl
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 12:14 AM

rejuvenate for SINSULL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 09:10 AM

Read. printed, and saved for reference. Thanks, Harpgirl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:53 PM

Hi, i'm relatively new to autoharp and enjoying the idea that I can play melody and its a very forgiving musical piece of istrument. does anyone know of an autoharp club in Australia
Regards, Jan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: GUEST,Gayle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 09:55 PM

Hi Jan. I'm in Perth. Doubt there are any clubs in OZ. Maybe we could start one!

Yesterday I was looking for a carry case for my autoharp and found a tennis raquet case - Babolat brand, is tailor made for the job. I lined the bottom with some high density foam I had from an old floor exercise mat and lined the sides with a strip of the same material. Perfect.
- Gayle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 12:04 PM

I played an autoharp for the first time last week and loved it. It was an Ashbury 21 bar. They retail for around £250 but the person whose harp it was said he picked it up for £150, think it was probably ebay. Today I saw an old zither autoharp in an antique shop for £60, don't know what make it was, it was painted black with a rose design on it. I'd prefer one like the Ashbury though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Autoharps
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Dec 12 - 07:38 PM

Its easy...use guitar chords and strum it and sing along.
It is played held under the chin...but I just strum away...have used it to teach kids easy music backing for their voice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 31 October 3:23 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.