Adventures with 'other' instruments...
I've been doing a little playing with this instrument over the last couple of months. It would be good to get your harp checked out by a knowledgeable person - the chord felts may need replacing, a dull string may need replacing etc. Also the bars are usually taken off and rearranged in an order that makes for easier fingering. for eg grouping chords together that are common in songs (I, IV, V). An old harp needs to be checked for warping as well which can be fixable - or not depending on where the bowing is. If you've got yourself an Oscar Schmidt from the 70s, made in America, well those ones are reputed to have the best sound. Lucky you!
A couple of accessories you'll have to get is a tuning wrench - either gooseneck or T-style - and some finger picks - a thumbpick and finger picks for your index & middle fingers. Ha! Don't do what I did the first time I put the finger picks on and put them on so they resembled talons, curving over my fingernails. They go the other way, so they curve up and over the fleshy pad of your finger tip. I have a plastic thumbpick and metal fingerpicks.
Strings, the felt pads, tuners and books can be bought from Elder Instruments
The Autoharp Owner's Manual (Orthey) has been recommended to me as a thorough book to have on this instrument.
Repair person: Chuck Daniels (in Arkansas)
autoharpguy @ minpin.com
I met Chuck at Winterfest in Irving Tx, earlier this year. He looked over 2 old autoharps for me and fixed them up to be playable again at a very reasonable price. Ask him about your Meg.
A very good teacher is Charles Whitmer. He has packets of music w/ instrumental CDs for sale. There's a lot to select from.
More about Mr Whitmer here: https://sites.google.com/site/capitalharpersclub/songs-and-tunes
I was fortunate to be in 2 of his classes at Winterfest - I learned a lot. By day he's a high school music teacher - his students are lucky to have him!
check out Marc Gunn - celtic music on the autoharp - cool!
This forum is posted information rather than a forum of active users. I haven't had much luck finding an active forum for this instrument - but I haven't looked that hard either.
Abilene Tx has an autoharp & dulcimer club. this is the contact email -
bcadclub @ gmail.com
The lady that replied to my queries, Carlene Wood was also helpful.