The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #41978   Message #652497
Posted By: Kaleea
18-Feb-02 - 01:40 AM
Thread Name: Help: Autoharp Models: History
Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp Models: History
The typical oscar schmidt as it comes from the factory is unplayable by most autoharp players I know. we usually get one & immediately send it to someone who converts it to have the better chordbars & install a set of fine tuners, and of course most of us have a particular set up for the chordbars (the way in which the chords are laid out), I prefer the Bryan Bowers set up the major chords are in the middle row, the minors on the top (farthest away from my left hand's fingers)row, the sevenths the bottom row. Or, many just buy a Fladmark, which is a marvelous harp, or other high quality harp, and have them set it up the way we want it, but there is a waiting list of a couple of years for Fladmark right now I think. Autoharp is serious stuff to many of us, we do not just "strum" we hold the harp upright against the chest and pluck the melody & accompaniment, using fingerpicks on the right hand fingers, and pressing the chordbars with the left hand. The Fladmark goes for just under $2000. One can get a 21 bar professional model of an Oscar Schmidt such as the Adirondack for about $600, and then to get it converted will be another $300 or so. Or, you can get a lesser 21 bar harp for about $300-400, but if the chord bars are not set up in a configuration which makes sense, it is near impossible to play the thing. Some of us learn how to re do the chord bars by getting the pre glued felts & cutting them, which is not difficult, but you have to have someone show you how to do it right the first time so you don't get into too much trouble! Then once you start playing the melodies and playing faster tunes, you want to get more harps, and pretty soon you're a seriously nutty harpie!