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Autoharp pads

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GUEST,autopilot 05 Jan 03 - 10:18 AM
harpgirl 05 Jan 03 - 10:38 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 05 Jan 03 - 10:48 AM
wysiwyg 05 Jan 03 - 10:56 AM
harpgirl 05 Jan 03 - 10:59 AM
Bill D 05 Jan 03 - 11:46 AM
TNDARLN 05 Jan 03 - 12:52 PM
RichM 05 Jan 03 - 01:48 PM
open mike 05 Jan 03 - 01:56 PM
saulgoldie 05 Jan 03 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,autopilot 05 Jan 03 - 08:38 PM
harpgirl 05 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM
Nathan in Texas 05 Jan 03 - 10:28 PM
TNDARLN 05 Jan 03 - 10:48 PM
DonMeixner 05 Jan 03 - 11:15 PM
wysiwyg 06 Jan 03 - 09:36 AM
wilco 06 Jan 03 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,haples harp 11 Jul 11 - 09:46 PM
Bill D 11 Jul 11 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,newbie 03 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM
PHJim 03 Feb 12 - 10:29 PM
PHJim 05 Feb 12 - 12:29 AM
Bev and Jerry 05 Feb 12 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,Bob Briehl Appalachian Instruments 29 Jun 12 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Extra Chords 25 Oct 13 - 01:38 AM
Bill D 25 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,brotherchuckles 15 Dec 14 - 01:58 AM
GUEST,brotherchuckles 15 Dec 14 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,Pervirtuous 26 Mar 15 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Steve Savanya 25 Sep 17 - 10:47 AM
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Subject: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,autopilot
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:18 AM

Have a OS 21 chord autoharp and was wondering if the pads can be adjusted to get relative minors in the 'white-note' keys. The one I have lacks a Bm or F#m for the key of D, etc. Has anyone got experience making these modifications? Have there been other threads on this subject? Thanks in advance for your input.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:38 AM

...yes you can do that modification. You might have to modify some other keys, however. Cutting felt for F# A C# for F#min and D F# and B for Bmin would mean you would sacrifice some other chords on that instrument. Ask the cyberplukers.org for a logical modification. I only play diatonics for that reason. hg


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:48 AM

You can get blank 21-bar chord bars from Elderly Instruments and make any chords you want. Click here to get to Elderly's site, type "autoharp" into the search box and then click on "accessories" in the next window. I noticed that they carry premade chord bars for some of the more common chords, but no Bm or F#m. If you don't want to make them up yourself you might talk with someone there about special ordering.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:56 AM

Yes you can get blank chord bars, but not all bars are created equal. Schmidt et al have changed them from time to time and they are not always a perfect fit for the model one has. One way around that is to order a whole new chord bar assembly, but specify that you want it made up of blank chord bars. That way the bars will fit the carriage assembly. And you get all new springs that way too. Ask for a few extra chord bar holders-- the plastic teeth parts-- since they are so fragile in the 21-chord model and break off so readily.

As long as we are on the subject, does anyone know if Orthey will make/sell custom chord bar sets to fit Chromaharps?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:59 AM

...If you use a magnetic screwdriver, you won't need to keep buying new springs! (They pop off and disappear when you take the assembly holders off the chord bars!)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 11:46 AM

25 years ago, I had worn out pads on my 21 bar Schmidt. I went to a local gasket company and asked if there were any choices in types of felt. They showed me a huge sample book and asked how many yards I needed. When I said "about a square foot", he went to his scrap bin and GAVE me a piece.

It was gray, 'slightly' thicker than what came on my harp, and much more resiliant. I replaced the pads (had tp shave it a bit on the bass end)and have not had to worry since. (Though I do not play nearly as much as some folks do).(Being thicker it also reduced up/down travel, giving me quicker travel between chord changes)

I have often wondered why 'harp makers supplied a type which was so soft and short lived.

Anyway, I just did a search on "felt resiliency" in Google and discovered
this site of the Boston Felt Company where you can see just how complex the subject is.

I still have a chunk of the 25 year old sample, and I am tempted to send it to Boston Felt and ask if they have something similar and how I might obtain some samples. Perhaps this internet thing will prove it is useful, hmmmm??? *grin*


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: TNDARLN
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 12:52 PM

Harpgirl is right- if you add chords, you're going to have to give up some chords. You may also need to retune some strings to accomodate your chords. She [HG] is also very wise in steering you to the cyberpluckers gang through autoharp.org. What you will need to do to your harp depends on how you use your harp, and at cyberpluckers you will be given a wide range of input on how to accomplish all this. Mary Lou Orthey has published an incredible resourse that covers all these things, but it doesn't hold ALL those opinions that the 'pluckers will give you. Some folks use mousepad material instead of felt, for example, and others apply silicone to the felts to make them last longer...

WYS- I doubt that George does Chromoharp bars, but you can always ask him [by phone] Word out now is that his turnaround time on a custom harp is three months- that amazes me.
T


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: RichM
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 01:48 PM

Here's what I did to my wife's 15-bar autoharp.
I recut new felts for each bar.I used a circle of fifths approach, plus the relative minor chord for each of 8 major keys.
Works well for folk music.

    Dm   Am Em   Bm   F#m   C#m   G#m                            .
F    C   G    D    A    E    B    F#                  
.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: open mike
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 01:56 PM

Brian Bowers gave an auto harp workshop once where he suggested
putting a layer of silicone glue on the pads to make them a little thicker and lessent the distance they have to travel to dampen the strings and makes them last longer too.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: saulgoldie
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 02:12 PM

Man, sometimes the random distribution of things just conspires in a particular way. I was just today looking at my autoharps and deciding to finally get them up and running and *play them*! And here is another instance of autoharp interest! I had just inquired about strings to my friends on the Cyberpluckers list, for which I will second the recommendation to any others interested in this and many other autoharp issues. Here is the info copied from a post:

To unsubscribe, e-mail:
cyberpluckers-unsubscribe@autoharp.org
For additional commands, e-mail:
cyberpluckers-help@autoharp.org

I seem to remember a suggestion (can't remember whether it was here or there) that cut up mouse pads make good replacement felts. And of course, they are quite plentiful. Almost everyone gives out promotional pads, these days. And there have been several very thoughtful threads on Cyberpluckers about custom chord bar and string combinations, too. (I will forward some of the posts to you if you are interested; there were a couple of dozen!) Hope that helps some. Good luck!

Saul


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,autopilot
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 08:38 PM

Wow! Thanks again for all the input. Will be cutting blank pieces of felt to accomodate the relative minors as per Rich M's suggestion. As I don't use the black note keys I'll modify it by putting the F#m where the Eb currently resides and so on. Also, obtaining a 2nd one, tuning it 'off' by half-steps and using it for the 'black-note' keys may be an option. Has anyone tried the 'fine-tuners' and are they worth the added expense? I realize I'll have to move to a 'pro quality' instrument at some future point, but for now I'll work within the budget constraints I've got and will report back with my progress. Regardless, 'catters' willingness to offer suggestions is what makes this the best site on the web.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Autoharp pads
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM

...my harps have fine tuners. They are definitely worth the expense if you are serious about playing well.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:28 PM

Susan, I don't know about Orthey, but I got a nice custom chord bar set from Buck Lumbert. http://www.lumbert.net


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: TNDARLN
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:48 PM

I have a coupla' harps with Lumbert bars, and I like the workings of them a lot, along with the fact that they open up so much more playing room- but my other, and main harp, is an Orthey with fine tuners. The tuners are amazingly helpful- but I understand that they are difficult to retro fit on a harp. Worth getting a pro to do- and there are several guys around who can do it.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 11:15 PM

Every couple of years or so I get back into Autoharping. A friend recently had a stroke so I dug up an old one for him to use for therapy. I regained much of what I had lost in a work injury by playing harps for PT on my fingers.

I have used the silicone on the felts treatment before to great success. Some folks, Ivan Stiles being one, doesn't, or didn't like it on bars. I have used felt furniture glides from Home Depot and GE Silicone II to create new bars and they work just fine once the silicone has cured. ( Usually I just cover the muting surface of the felt with GE II and set the bar, silicone down, on a piece of WAXPAPER. The weight of the bar and gravity force the felts to become level. 36 hours later I peel off the waxpaper and trim the silicone with a pair of scissors. They work just fine.

(HARP GIRL, I put a drop of silicone in the bottom of the spring sockets. Haven't lost a spring yet.)

The harp I use now has Bm and F#m on board and they were easy bars to modify.

Like Harp Girl my harps are Diatonic to a great extent.

Don


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 09:36 AM

Hm, thanks Nathan.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: wilco
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 09:48 AM

Guest autopilot:
    I've only been around autoharps for a few years, and I play an Orthey Chromatic. It is a beautiful insturment.
    There are several folks on the Cyberpluckers list who "set-up" harps, with new strings, pads, bars, springs, etc. They are very reasonable, and they do great work. I would get a pro to set-up your first one, and then you can do the rest of them.

Wilco In tennessee


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,haples harp
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 09:46 PM

the happening question is...where do i place, and in what sequence


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 10:10 PM

??? Please rephrase & expand the question.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,newbie
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM

Just purchased a used auto harp and need to re felt... found a 12"x12" quarter in thick piece through Mcmastercarr.com Cheap!!!

Is there a way to know which strings are supposed to be open and which ones closed on all the cord bars? My D-7 bar seems flat F is blocked F# is open is that correct? Does anyone have a matrix of all the cord bars and what the standard is?

Newbie....


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: PHJim
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 10:29 PM

Newbie - If you know what notes make up the chord, then you'll know what spaces to leave on your bar. A D7 consists of D,F#,A and C, so those notes would be left open to ring.
Like Harpgirl, who seems to be the Mudcat go-to person for all things Autoharp, I prefer diatonic 'harps, the drawback being that you need a bunch of 'harps, depending on how many keys you play in. You must also be willing to work on your own 'harps since they don't come in all keys, unless you order a custom 'harp from a builder. Bryan Bowers, another diatonic guy, brings a stack of 'harps on stage with him.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: PHJim
Date: 05 Feb 12 - 12:29 AM

I just re-read this and realized that I have only one true diatonic 'harp, a Chromaharp in C, which I seldom use, since I don't often play the 'harp in the key of C. My other 'harps are what I call semi-diatonics. These are both A model Oscar Schmidts in G/D (Appalachian) and E/A (black box).
These allow me to get a D7 chord on the G/D 'harp and an E7 on the E/A 'harp. These come in handy in the keys of D and E.
I also have an Appalachian OS that I intend to make into a 'harp with a few more chords for raggier tunes once I decide on a key.
The progressions I have in mind are the ones that use I III VI II V. I'm wondering if I'll need a chromatic set-up for this. I also have an old black box OS with round buttons that is still original and never gets played (nor tuned) any more.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 05 Feb 12 - 11:16 PM

Newbie:

Here are two links to sites that will tell you which strings should sound for each chord bar:

http://www.telacommunications.com/nutshell/music/keyboard.htm

http://www.michael-thomas.com/music/class/chords_notesinchords.htm

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,Bob Briehl Appalachian Instruments
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:53 AM

If you are having trouble finding suppliers or someone to make custom chords for you, please get in touch with me. I stock A,B, C Series of harp parts and felts at reasonable prices.

e-mail
robert briehl @yahoo.ca
tel 289 242 5979 or (905) 845-0638


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,Extra Chords
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 01:38 AM

I love my Oscar Schmidt Autoharp! I did not love being limited, though, by the 21 chords it came with. So I started modifying it--re-tuning a string to give me an A minor 7th, to start with. But when I needed a G minor diminished with a diminished 7th, I had to cuts felts on a new bar...and that was the beginning of my collection of chords--20 extra chords, each with its own button.

Right now, in preparation for a song for church this weekend, these are the chords I've got going on:

B    F    C    G    Gmd\d7   A    A7
B7    C/G   C7    G7    Dm    Am   Em
Fa7 Cm\d7 Ca7 Dm\d7 Dm\a7   Am7 Em7

For placement, I generally follow the "circle of 5ths"--although I'll move the chord buttons around until the transitions make sense and are easy to play. [And the C/G is a C major chord with a low G. I just like it sometimes...the depth of tone.]

Also, the "m" is minor, the "d" is diminished [where you drop a note in a chord by ½-step], and the "a" is augmented [where you raise a note by a ½-step].

For storage, I cut off the top 2½ inches of a whole lot of 2-gallon Zip-Loc freezer bags, and sewed them to a long strip of heavy fabric. They're just right to store the bars with their buttons when I'm not using them.

It's so much more fun to play with more than just a few possible harmonies.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM

May I ask were you got the felt for cutting extra bars? I still have some of the pad I posted about earlier, and have NOT sent a smaple to Boston felt.

The main reason I have not used up my stock is that it never seems to wear out.. but now I have 2 more 'harps to refurbish.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,brotherchuckles
Date: 15 Dec 14 - 01:58 AM

Where can I purchase felt for my autoharp chord bars and about how much should I expect to pay? secondly do most musical instrument stores install the pads and again about how much can I expect to pay?
TY,
Charles aka brothrchuckles


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,brotherchuckles
Date: 15 Dec 14 - 02:11 AM

What is the best thickness and firmness of felt for an autoharp?
TY Charles aka brotherchuckles


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,Pervirtuous
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 05:35 PM

It is different for different models. Go to autoharpworks.com and look at the felts. 12 and 15 chord models use one size and 21 chord models use another.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp pads
From: GUEST,Steve Savanya
Date: 25 Sep 17 - 10:47 AM

How can I get replacement pads for OS21? Tips for cutting the felt?


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