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Selecting the right harp supplies can be the difference between enjoying the harp and hating it. When the correct harp supplies are always on hand, it is easier to keep the harp in good playing condition, which can make learning, practicing and performing a more enjoyable experience. Harpers, harpists and beginners should keep a good chair, learning materials, strings, cleaning supplies and tuners in their practice and performance rooms to stay comfortable while playing and to help maintain the health of their harps.
One of the most important harp supplies is the chair or stool upon which the musician sits. Chairs without arms are best, because the harpist's arms should not be obstructed by any objects while playing. Depending on the size of the chair, harp and harp player, a small footstool might be required to prop up the harp, so the musician can reach the instrument and play comfortably.
Experienced and beginning harp players can benefit from keeping sheet music and music theory books in their practice rooms. These books provide musicians with the foundational skills necessary for understanding scales and music composition theory. For beginners, digital video disks (DVDs) and books covering harp playing techniques can help them practice without the aid of a teacher or tutor. Compact discs (CDs) containing arpeggios, scales or harp music can aid with ear training and allow harpists to compare their playing to that of a professional.
A harp cannot be played well without installing the proper strings. Some harps are designed to accommodate certain types of strings, such as nylon or concert gut strings, so the harp player should find out which strings his or her instrument was designed for before fitting it with new strings. Nylon strings generally are easier to play and keep in tune, making them suitable for beginners. For a bright yet warm tone, lever gut strings are a good option. Concert gut strings are suitable for pedal harps and produce a warm, loud sound, but they require the harp player to have strong fingers and play accurately.
The most overlooked harp supplies usually are cleaning supplies. Every harp player should purchase a soft cotton cloth or duster for cleaning the harp every other day. Cleaning the harp regularly prevents dust and oil buildup on the wood and strings, extending the life of the strings and the instrument itself. Cotton buds can help musicians clean small crevices.
Tuning supplies, such as electronic tuners and tuning forks, help harp players keep their instruments in tune. An electronic tuner that has an attached microphone is especially useful in loud spaces. Pitch pipes and tuning forks are useful in quieter spaces and help players improve their pitch recognition skills. To turn the tuning pegs, a tuning key is required.