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macmanmatty 05-04-2021 11:42 AM

Where to try Harp Guitars
I'm located in Saint Louis and so far none of the local music shops have had any harp guitars in stock. Is there anywhere to actually try a harp guitar and see this is something I'd like or not? I was wanting too see if one would work for alternating the bass in Travis style.

Teleplucker 05-04-2021 01:40 PM

They are hard to find in stores. What comes to mind when I read what you wanted to try is Dave Powell, he is one of the owners of Tonedevil Guitars. His style reminds me of alternating bass ala Travis.
This is the first clip I found on youtube, I'm sure there are many more.

frankmcr 06-26-2021 01:12 AM

Harp Guitar World, of course. Coming soon to a strip mall near you!

j3ffr0 06-29-2021 06:39 PM

The Harp Guitar Gathering is actually pretty close to Harp Guitar World! The catch is it's only once a year and at one location. I'm happy to hear they are having it this October -- I'm planning on being there.

Teleplucker 06-30-2021 01:15 PM

This year the harp guitar gathering will be in Milford Ct, October 29th-31st. You can find all the details at this site.

jaymarsch 07-26-2021 09:52 AM

I was able to play my first harp guitar at a regular guitar festival though there were only two luthiers who had them. I have not yet been able to make the trip to the Harp Guitar gathering but have heard wonderful things about it.

As far as playing alternate bass Travis style on it, you certainly can but what I found about playing a harp guitar is while it is lovely to have those deep bass notes, you have to learn the technique of muting them so they don't continue to ring and muddy things up when you don't want them to.

You might also network with some folks involved with the harp gathering and see if anyone in your area owns and plays a harp guitar and if they would be willing to meet with them and let you give it a test drive. I have found that some players are comfortable with that though others may be more protective of their prized possession, but it never hurts to ask.

Good luck on finding one to play. They are interesting instruments and I am happy that I had a chance to check a few out. The ones that I played were a couple made by Kathy Wingert and one by Mike Doolin (Mike is retired as a luthier).


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