The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102025 Message #2063468
Posted By: wysiwyg
29-May-07 - 04:58 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Playing the autoharp with short arms
Subject: RE: Tech: Playing the autoharp with short arms
I'm think I may be your girl.
Solution: Play tabletop, but not cross-armed. Use a slightly tileted surface. Turn the harp around so that the chord bar labels are upside down. You will be able to strum quite powerfully-- not a sweet, plinky tone. Use a fingerpick and strum down towards yuourself, then sweep back up lightly for the backbeat. However hard you strum, you will need to match in force on the chord buttons to get a clear tone.
You may or may not be able to pick melody from that position-- I don't bother, for what our band needs the 'harp for, so I cannot advise on that point, but using the pinch-pluck melody-picking style should work equally well in this position. You'd need to play with the height of the tabletop, and the angle of tilt, to make that work for you. (If you are slender, your lap may work.)
I can send you MP3 samples of the sound I get. I found it worthwhile to have the chord bar buttons reversed so I could read them properly. But first thing is, turn it around on a tilted surface and play around with it, and see if you like it.
To get sound samples, I'll need you to join Mudcat so we can exchange PMs, or email me your snail address.