Lap Harp Review

If you've decided to get a lap harp for yourself or someone else, but aren't quite sure which one is suitable, this mini-review of a few of the instruments available may help to point you in the right direction.

Children's lap harps

First Note FN600 Melody Harp

The First Note Melody Harp is a great first instrument for a budding musician because it allows someone just starting out to be able to play tunes right away (as they learn). All you need to do is place a song sheet under the strings and the tune is laid out as dots which you can easily follow with a pick. Without any musical knowledge, you'll sound like you've been playing for years. 12 song sheets are included with the harp and more are available for purchase.

The Melody Harp is well crafted from wood with robust string posts and looks nice.. The makers understand that it will often be used by children who may be a little rough and include a string replacement guarantee. You may need to re-tune it from time to time, but overall this is a great first instrument for a child, even a small one (over three).

Music Maker Lap Harp

The Music Maker lap harp is in many ways quite similar to the First Note above. Also aimed at children and those who would like to be able to play tunes right away, it has the same system of sliding song sheets under the strings to allow non-experts to sound like they have been having lessons for years. Hand finished from solid hardwood it looks very attractive, but is slightly pricier than the First Note Melody Harp. Comes with a tuning key and pick.

Traditional lap harps

36" Beginners Adare Harp Package, Complete Celtic Package with Video Tutor

Unlike the first two harps above, this is a traditional Celtic harp. Made from engraved and inlaid rosewood, this is a really classy looking instrument at a good price considering the beginner's package which accompanies it. As well as the harp itself you get a beginner's instruction book and video to show you how to play, free celtic music cds to offer some inspiration and a chrome foldable music stand so that you can have your music open right in front of you whilst you play. Better still the package includes a great electronic tuner. New harps need tuning several times to reach their best sound, so a decent tuner is a must. As the harp matures and with further tuning the sound will improve still further.

Overall this lap harp has a lovely sound, a classy construction and offers a step by step approach to learning to play. Ideal for a beginning harpist.

26-String, 33" HARPSICLE

The Harpsicle is made in the USA by Rees. Weighing only 4 pounds and 33 inches tall, this is a very portable instrument which is easy to carry round in a case. It's often selected as a professional therapy harp for just that reason. The Harpsicle has a smooth, elegant shape and is a well made representative of quality US craftsmanship. A 26 string harp which can be played in the key of C and A minor for which there is a lifetimes worth of published music, the Harpsicle can reach 3 1/2 octaves. It has a warm, lovely sound which is rich and pure and is comparable to much more expensive full size harps. The only drawback is that the Harpsicle can sound a little quiet when played in the company of other instruments. Overall though its a worthwhile investment for any harpist.

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