Thanks Monica. I just stick to a few basic chords on autoharp while i try and figure out the strumming. Strumming seems to be the tricky bit for me.
Sounds very nice Helen. I just started learning myself and Its a lot harder than the dulcimer. Hope to hear more recordings of you on the autoharp.
Hi Annie.... that's so cool...thanks for sharing that memory with me.
Oh thats so sweet Terry.. and a fine couple you must make.
Nice sound, Helen! You are giving me flashbacks - me, 50 years ago, Grade 11, playing my autoharp on a rocky moonlit lakeshore....not so well tuned as yours, though...not as nice a sound at all, but something to sing with...enjoy!
Helen. My dear wife of 48 years is one of the most gracious proper lady I have had the privilege to meet, and by golly she loves wearing jeans and tees.
Awe Terry my friend...you are sweet. An Australian Belle you say. Thats very flattering but i am a complete tomboy.. just never grew out of it..still at 54, its tshirts and jeans. In fact there is a semi affectionate word used for down to earth people like me who dont really enjoy the finer things in life like fancy clothes and fine dining. (Except the fine thing of music)...The word is 'dag' which in good ol' country aussie vernacular also means the dirty bit of wool they trim off sheep's bottoms.. its true!. Its so great you are getting so much enjoyment out of your NAF buddy.
Thanks Steve, i found making my own little series of notes to strum got me back into it (and no fingerpicks). I think it takes a lot more skill to play a tune u have heard for years. I have a big ukelele songbook that just has chords marked to lyrics. On some tunes a single strum per chord is all u need. Like onBig Yellow Taxi. Dig her out and yes, take all that time to tune her and leave her visible in your living area at least for a few weeks. I find playing around with another instrument actually helps my dulcimer playing and song writing. Instruments are too easy to forget once u put them away.
Nice going Helen. I tried the Autoharp but we didn't really get along.
Maybe I should give it another try
Thanks for the info. Your harp and your playing, sounds so nice. Makes me want one. Of course, I want one of everything. Ha.
Helen, I just want to remind you again: "You are something special, I hope you know that."
You remind me so much of my sister, looks, mannerisms, and gitty up. But one glaring difference. Your voices. You're an "Australian Belle", while she is a "Southern Belle". And both are equally wonderful.
Gee, thanks Gail
Hi Terry, no, just one chord at a time and 30 strings to tune.... main thing is not to miss a chord, because the sound an autoharp makes if a chord button isnt pushed down is dreadful...you could clear a room with it. As i said, mine is a 15 bar (chord) autoharp.. you can also get a 21 bar one and if you get a custom one you can even choose your chords. Non custom Oscar Schmidt brand autoharps are very reasonable in price. I did have one but it was too big and heavy for me and my weak left hand. I got the Daigle Sparrowharp because its smaller and lighter but still has a big sound. The clip was just recorded on my Tablet. They need a very strong rock maple frame to take the string tension so they a very heavy. As you press a chord button a combination of felt dampers press down on the appropriate strings so only the note strings that makeup the chord are strummed...I'm no expert by any means but that is my understanding of the instrument. Ken Backer could probably tell you a lot more.
Helen, your little Sparrowharp sounds really nice! You are really getting a nice sound from it even without the fingerpicks. Very nice!
That would be great if u did get your autoharp going again Dusty..i know what u mean about tuning time but it is worth it. Like i said on clip, it was watching other dulcimer players playing autoharp that got me back on mine. I considered a diatonic one but decided I'd like a simple way to play different chords to the few i play on dulcimer ànd dont know the name of. Its a lovely old time sound too and has equal novelty value as md down here... not too many folk have seen one. I wrote anothr little tune on her yest. Happy strumming.
That was nice Helen. So, for my info, you have 15 chords to choose from, you press a button, and hold it down until the next chord change? You never press two buttons at once? Fifteen strings?
That sounds nice, Helen. I have a beautiful autoharp my uncle made for me, but I play it so rarely that each time I do I have to spend 30 minutes just tuning it. I like the harps with fewer chords, too. In fact, mine is a diatonic hard that can only play in D and A, but since a lot of the strings are doubled up it has a really rich sound.
Listening to you might be the inspiration I need to tune that baby up and give her a strum or two.
Hi there Gordon, thanks for watchin'.
Hi Robin, I was really surprised, and i dont have much in the way of fingernails either. I think if i let them grow just a tiny bit the tone will be even better. She hadnt been played for months so it took a while to get her tuned up. I have found some fun songs to do on her at our local folk circle in the coming months from my big Ukelele song book... songs like King of the Road, Big Yellow Taxi and Nutbush City Limits.. they are hilarious on autoharp. I am now wishing i had gone 21 bar but i do like the simplicity of the 15 bar.
Helen that sounded real sweet. Thanks for sharing.
Hey, Helen, you're getting nice tone without fingerpicks! You're inspiring me to haul out an autoharp, my friend, and strum.