|Lap Harps are a great way to get started playing the harp! They come in a wide range of prices to fit any budget, and are extremely portable.
But picking the right Lap Harp can be confusing - That's why we are here to help!
First of all, the market is flooded with cheap "imitation" lap harps that are stamped out by the boatload in foreign factories where the word "quality" doesn't even translate. Yes, they have strings, and some even claim to have "levers". But you wont find those harps at The Harp Connection; they simply do not meet our quality standards.
Overview of Lap Harp Models
For the budget-conscious buyer, our Harpsicle and Sharpsicle harps (26-string) offer prices as low as $349, but are hand-crafted in America by craftspeople who are paid a living wage and covered by full medical benefits. That's important to us.
Triplett's Zephyr (22-string) is a popular Travel Harp and their Christina Therapy Harp (25-string) is a very high-quality hand-made instrument that is designed for professional therapeutic applications.
Levers - what are they and why do I need them?
Lap Harps come with a wide variety of sharping lever configurations. Our lowest-priced Lap Harp - the Tasty Harp Company's "Harpsicle" - has 26 strings covering three and one half octaves - G to C below Middle C. Part of the cost savings is achieved by leaving off all the sharping levers. This means you have to change the tuning of individual strings if you want to play in a different musical key (sharps and flats).
Sharping levers let you quickly raise the pitch of a string by exactly one semitone. Need to modulate to the Key of G? No problem! Flip up the F levers and you are there.
Intermediate designs are partially-levered. In most cases that means sharping levers are available on the C's and F's - so at least you can quickly get to the keys of C, G and D.
A fully-levered design includes sharping levers on each string, so you can quickly get to 7 keys. By tuning the harp in E-Flat (here's where you will need a harp teacher!), you can quickly set up a fully-levered lap harp to play in E-Flat, B-Flat, F, C, G, D, A or E.
|Sharping Lever and Bride Pin Comparison
What is a bridge pin and what do they do?
The more expensive Lap Harps use bridge pins to precisely space the strings - both front to back and so that all the strings are on "the same plane". That is, the bridge pins line up all the strings to achieve a flat surface over which your hands can move without accidentally grazing a vibrating string.
How about the tuning pins?
Lap Harps come with two styles of tuning pins - "zither" pins or "tapered" pins. Zither pins are silver-colored metal pins that go into the left side of the harmonic curve, so you tune with your left hand. Tapered or through pins are larger black metal pins that actually go all the way through the neck, so you tune with your right hand. Tapered pins are stronger than zither pins so they are used on Lap Harps with higher string tension. This can give a Lap Harp with tapered pins a slightly larger sound than its zither-pinned cousin.
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