Thursday, February 3, 2011

Autoharp Funtimes

I've learned a lot about my autoharp over the last couple days. Mostly just by reading about them online, but also by spending time getting to know my way around the instrument.

We had a check-up at Lightning Joe's today, where I was given the good news that not only is it in good playing condition, it actually needs no work (other than tuning) before it can be played! I was a little worried because some of the tuning pins have a bit of rust on them, and the strings look old and like they've not been played in ages. I should be able to get by with it how it is now, and I know what maintenance to expect soon. Another plus -- a full set of strings doesn't cost anything near what I expected -- so in case that's my first related expense, it shouldn't stop me from playing.

Autoharp, meet Lighting Joe's shop.

Lightning Joe seemed to imply that tuning one of these things is quite a challenge, in an effort to get me to not ask him to tune it. I don't care! Part of learning a new instrument includes readying it for play, so I had better start practicing. My autoharp has 36 strings and 15 chords. It took me about two hours to successfully tune it, and I still feel like the tuning could use some work in a few places. I'll tune it more before I play it tomorrow.

Now I have to find some beginner instruction... I have no idea if that will be simple or difficult.

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