The Serrana Harp from Dusty Strings

The Serrana Harp from Dusty Strings

This is the Serrana Harp from Dusty Strings. It was designed for Mariachi playing, so the strings are a little bit closer together. It has a lot of different fun features and uses for anybody interested in playing the harp, just getting started or professional.

• 34 strings, 43/4 octaves
• Light-tension strings & closer string spacing
• Strong and lightweight carbon fiber pillar
• Laminated birch soundbox
• full set of Loveland sharping levers
• Two extendable legs included
• Deluxe case included

You can play this harp a couple of different ways. In this video, Allison has the legs extended so she can play standing up. Or, you can use the harp stand and play seated.

Have You Ever Wanted to Learn the Harp?

The harp is a beautiful, unique and versatile instrument. Because of these factors and more, many people are actual hesitate to follow their dreams of learning the harp, thinking that the harp is too difficult or too expensive to learn.

It’s true that all instruments have their difficult areas to master. Just like any musical talent, it will take practice and lots of dedication to play the harp.

However, we want you to be aware of a couple points that make the harp a really enjoyable and fun instrument to take up!

#1. The harp instantly has a wonderful sound all on its own. As you progress and gain more strength in your hands and playing skills, you will only enhance this quality. However, just starting out with your first couple of harp lessons, you will already be making beautiful music.

#2. You are needed as a harpist. Harpists are seen as rare creatures in the music world. Therefore, there is less competition in gaining harp gigs.

#3. The harp world is expanding more than ever right now. There are more styles that are becoming popular for harp music. This includes Jazz, Rock, Celtic, traditional or classical, and pop music.

#4. Harp music is found particularly healing and soothing and there are a lot of charitable opportunities in the musical therapy field.

#5 The harp that is right for you is more affordable than you may think. There are plenty of options and price ranges for you. Harps can start out as low as 65.00 a month in a rent to own program.

#6 Private harp lessons are highly recommended especially for beginning players. Having one on one time with a professional harpist will help you grow faster in your musical abilities as well as insure proper hand positioning and technique. With the use of Skype or Facetime, private lessons are easy to get scheduled no matter where you live. In addition to this option, many universities offer private music lessons, and teacher listings are found on our website.

 

Songs for New Harpists

A lot of harpists remember fondly why they originally chose the harp and their very first days learning their instrument. No matter their age or musical background when they start, there is a lot of positivity and anticipation in bringing home their first harp and beginning private lessons.

However, with this positivity, there is also a common fear that new harpists share:

 

…They do not want to sound like a beginner.

 

It’s true that easier harp pieces have their purpose. They build our strength in our hands, our understanding of why hand position is important, and help us gather all the needed skills in harping. Yet, it doesn’t mean you need to be pigeonholed into only learning elementary-like songs. (Think Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.)

 

Rather, beginning harp pieces can still sound absolutely impressive.

 

We’ve created a list of songs that are very simple but are also songs you will want to save in your repertoire for years to come. (Some even have fancy glissandos!)

From the book “First Harp Book,” by Betty Paret:

  • Lavender’s Blue
  • The Wonderful Inn
  • Hymn of Thanksgiving
  • German Dance
  • Drink to Me Only

 

From the book “Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp,” by Sylvia Woods:

  • Southwind
  • The Grenadier and the Lady
  • My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
  • Blue Bells of Scotland
  • Minuet
  • Ode to Joy
  • Robin Adair
  • Scarborough Fair
  • Greensleeves

 

From the book “Fun From the First VOL. I,” by Samuel Milligan:

  • Kol Slaven
  • The Northern Princess

 

From the book “First-Grade Pieces for Harp,” by Marcel Grandjany and Jane Weidensaul:

  • Lullaby for Violet
  • Little Waltz
  • Midnight Stars
  • Passing By
  • Melissa
  • El Numero Uno

 

From the book “50 Irish Melodies For All Harps,” by Sylvia Woods:

  • The Castle of Dromore
  • Cockles and Mussels
  • Sweet Carnloch Bay
  • Rosin The Bow
  • O’Donnell Aboo
  • My Wild Irish Rose
  • The Foggy Dew

 

From the book “50 Christmas Carols For All Harps,” by Sylvia Woods:

  • The Angels and the Shepherds
  • The First Nowell
  • God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  • I Saw Three Ships
  • Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel

 

We hope you find songs that you personally enjoy and can be proud of.

 

Happy practicing!!

 

 

Know any other great beginner songs? Let us know in the comments!

Cleaning and Polishing Your Harp

 

 

A good system of keeping your harp clean is to lightly dust the instrument once a day.

Once a week do a more thorough dusting.

The area in between the strings at the top of the harp is hard to get to, but should be dusted about once a week, or when visible. Use a light brush to get in to the grooves and between strings.

The second thing you will do is clean the harp with the appropriate cleaning product. Cory makes a cleaning product we recommend called The Coconut Cleaner.

This cleaner is light enough that you can spray it on all parts of the harp except the soundboard.  

Spray Coconut Cleaner on a cloth first for use in cleaning the soundboard to keep it as dry as possible.

When polishing your harp, also use the appropriate product. In this video we are cleaning and polishing a high gloss harp. We recommend the Cory Super High Gloss Piano Polish, which is safe for all fine woods. Do not use furniture polish when polishing a harp.

Just like the Coconut Cleaner, the Cory Super High Gloss Polish is light enough to spray directly on your harp. Then, buff your harp until it is completely dry.

Dusty Strings Mariachi 34 Harp-Coming Spring 2017

We are so excited about Dusty Strings’ new Mariachi 34 string harp. Maricachi style harp performance is getting more and more attention and excitement in the harp world. It was fascinating to see Willy Acuna play at the Dusty Strings booth at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and we are loving the sound of this beautiful lever harp.

Find more information on the new Mariachi 34 from Dusty Strings on their site HERE.