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Tuxcat 05-27-2012 08:04 PM

Any harp guitarists?
The subject pretty much says it all...are there any harp guitarists in the house?

I play a Holloway Model 5 Natural (6/6) and have just heard an updated rumour that we could see a reasonably-priced replica of John Doan's 20-string (6/6/8) in the next few months. I'm already saving up...

ericcsong 05-27-2012 08:27 PM

there are a few of us on here! I have a harp build thread going on in the custom shop section :)

jay7347 05-31-2012 06:11 AM

I'm a HG wannabe, $$$ willing...(and with a certain Bashkin in line before that), Scott's next production run looks to be end of June to mid July from what I hear. Dan Carey just got a Holloway from the last run so he's another bitten by the bug.


Teleplucker 05-31-2012 11:56 AM

I got the bug when I heard Stephen Bennett play for the first time about 4 years ago. I got one of the first model 4 guitars from Holloway. I think it was serial number 2. It was definitely a lemon, I traded it back to Holloway and got one from the second batch. Much better guitar, I played that one long enough to find out that I was willing to make the comittment to learn.
I ended up stumbling upon Tony Karol, a guitar builder in Canada. He was finishing his first harp guitar and I liked the looks of it. He has built many other guitars, SB plays a baritone that was built by him.
So now I have this guitar, it's called the Belair. Wonderful guitar, great to play and it sounds great also.I've had it since September 2011.


My approach to learning this instrument has been a combination of working on specific Stephen bennett arrangements, and making up my own arrangements of songs that I already have learned.
I play a lot of weddings with my wife (harp player) and we recently started playing with a cellist. Lots of times I am playing the rhythm and using the harp strings to fatten up my sound. It has been a good way to try to get comfortable with using the bass strings and learning a technique for playing them.

Recently Stephen Bennett did a concert at my church and I got to play harp guitar with him, certainly the high point of my HG life!

Here are some videos from both settings to give you an idea of my approach.

It's a fun instrument to play and worth the effort.

jay7347 05-31-2012 01:03 PM

Randall, that Tony Karol guitar is beautiful!

Tuxcat 05-31-2012 07:39 PM

II'm glad Holloway was able to bring out something better. I am very pleased with my Model 5 although I would have preferred an ebony fretboard. They're supposed to be coming out with those soon but it's not worth buying another one at this point. Not with the possibility of a 20-string on the horizon! :)

I play re-arrangements of songs I know but about 80% of my HG material is original. I often tell people that the best thing about HG is that Joe Public doesn't know anything about it so you're not bound by someone else's body of work. If you sit down with a regular 6-string, everybody has a list of songs they want to hear. With a harp guitar, all you get is curiosity about the instrument, how it sounds, and how you play it.

I've seen SB and John Doan recently but didn't get to play with them. Maybe next time...

Teleplucker 06-01-2012 09:52 AM

Jay,the Karol is a good looking guitar. Several features that are new to me, (slanted frets and a bevel).

Be sure to check out the DVDs that SB made for harp guitar, they are full of good songs and tips on how to play Harp Guitar.

Dan Carey 06-01-2012 01:20 PM

'Nuther Holloway Model 5 owner here. Had to replace all of the tuners, the nut and the saddle before it was playable. And that was when the prices were about $250 less than they are now.
Customer service response was non-existant so buyer beware.

Oracle 06-01-2012 10:16 PM

Holloway model 5 here too......

Tuxcat 06-02-2012 09:50 PM

To those who have Stephen Bennett DVDs, how about a quick review? Specifically, does he explain technique or just show it? I don't see well and can't get anything out of just pictures.

Oracle 06-04-2012 10:13 PM

They are good. He takes you through each section. Explains and shows several times.
If you've never used any Tru Fire DVD's, know that they are only playable on a computer, and not a dvd player. Desktop with a large screen, and some good quality speakers are in order.
Also, if you are going to go with the SB dvd's, you'll need to change your sub bass strings. Head over to and get your SB tuning strings there. I prefer the John Pearse set to the D'Addario set.


dekutree64 06-04-2012 11:29 PM

Love that Karol harp guitar, and that's some fine playing :)

I don't have one yet, but I'm working toward building one for myself. Just finished up a harp ukulele that is quite enjoyable. I think I'll do maybe one more regular steel string acoustic, and then the full size harp guitar. Depends on when I can get more shop space, since it would be quite a challenge to make something that large in my current nook.

Here's a sound clip and picture of my harp uke

Teleplucker 06-05-2012 08:45 PM

Harp Uke is very cool, enjoyed listening to your clip

drcmusic7 06-06-2012 06:32 AM

The Harp Uke is pretty cool! Thanks for sharing.


jay7347 06-06-2012 08:30 AM

Lol... that harp uke is great!!! Love the Dole sticker!

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