The name Autoharp would lead you to believe that the instrument is in the harp family, but it's actually a folk instrument related to the Zither. Most likely the many strings and the shape of the instrument helped to form it's name.
I own and play and Autoharp. It's a fine folk instrument with enough strings to keep those that play it happy tuning and strumming to their hearts content for hours. It's not a hard instrument to learn. Tuning is where you'll do most of your work if you tune your own, but a good Autoharp will hold it's tune for quite a long time.
Let me show you the different ways the Autoharp is held while playing by some very talented, well-known and loved musicians. I'll share more about the instrument, and how the Autoharp came to be a special part of my life.
Do you play an Autoharp or have a question about the instrument?
@Pamela, I am not sure, but do know that they were helpful to me when I was learning, and also when tuning.
Why do some autoharps have the keys printed at the bottom of the strings, and some don't?
@Georgiana I'm glad you are enjoying the instrument! Have you done a search online for instructors in your area? It is nice to have a variety of ways to strum the instrument and find the one that you enjoy the most! The best of success to you.
Hi, I've been learning the autoharp and am struggling with the strumming rhythms. In particular, I'm trying to mimic June Carter Cash and how she plays a fast strum. I live on Long Island, NY and would very much like to connect to an instructor or other autoharp people. Many thanks!
You are welcome, and I'm glad you've discovered the autoharp and are finding joy in music...I imagine it is a bit of "home" since you remember your grandmother playing. I have family down there in Virginia, and my Dad was born in West Virginia.
Hi, I am Dave, and 60 yo. for at least the last 50 years, I have been a frustrated musician. I started out trying guitar at 14, with almost no success, As time went on I spent a small fortune on keyboards I never did more than pick out a melody on. From there I tried a variety of flutes. No joy there either. Now, it seems I have come full circle more or less. You see, I am originally from the foothills of Virginia, where bluegrass rings through the hollers, and autoharp is king. My grandmother played autoharp. I never considered it for myself because because I thought it rather limited, till I was recently cruising YouTube and heard AMAZING music... on the autoharp. I immediately went to EBay and put in a bid on a couple. I will be frustrated no more, because I KNOW I can play the autoharp. I just want to thank those intrepid YouTubers (they know who they are) who wiped the scales from my eyes.
Thank you for your page. It is a great resource, which I will bookmark and return to it often.
You're welcome, it's nice that you had lessons like that in school..I don't ever remember seeing an autoharp in school.
I still remember Mr.Grandy, our elementary school music teacher, teaching us the Autoharp. I loved that instrument! Thanks for bringing back the memory
Roy...you wrote to me months ago, and I apologize for not replying. I went into tuning more at another page linked to through this one, but I use both a keyboard and a Korg and am satisfied with the tune. Though with all of the instruments that you play, your ear for music may be even more refined than mine. I have a friend who takes hers in and pays to have it tuned, haven't done that yet.
I have a autoharp exactially like yours, and also asume it was made in 79. I also asume sense it said 1879-1979 that it is an aniversary edition maybe? How can you not let it make you go crazy tuning it? I have been trying to tune it for a while now on and off and just can't get it. I got a keyboard, and been using the piano to try to tune it, but been having trouble. I play guitar banjo, mandolin, autoharp, and some on the dobro. I love string. My wife is trying learn bagpipes. I am just now learning keyboard. Any ideas you can give me on tuning would be appreciated... Thanks.