Lyre Harp

How To Choose The Lyre Harp For Beginners

How To Choose The Lyre Harp For Beginners - Little Kalimba Shop

How to Choose a Lyre Harp for Beginners

The lyre harp traces its origins to ancient Greece and Mesopotamia, where it played a crucial role in ceremonies and storytelling. Its timeless beauty and soothing sounds continue to enchant musicians today, offering a unique blend of tradition and melody. As an ancient instrument with a rich history, the lyre harp comes in a variety of shapes and colors, with strings ranging from 7 to 32 or more. With so many choices available, selecting the right one can be a bit challenging for beginners. Here’s an informative guide to help you choose the best lyre harp for your needs.

5 things to consider when choosing the lyre harp for beginners

1. Choose the Note Arrangement You Prefer

When selecting a lyre harp, the first step is to determine the scale orientation you prefer. There are two primary types of note arrangements:

- Common Arrangement: The lowest string is on the left-hand side, similar to a keyboard. This setup is recommended for beginners, especially those with a keyboard or piano background. It’s easier to learn and has more tutorials available online.

- Harp Arrangement: The highest string is on the left-hand side, commonly found in a 19-string lyre harp. This setup can feel counterintuitive for those new to the harp and has fewer online tutorials. However, it’s a good choice if you plan to transition to a standard big harp in the future.

2. Choose the Scale

The second step is to choose the actual scale of the lyre harp. The scale determines the notes that the strings produce, and different scales are suited to different musical purposes:

- C Major Scale: This scale is the easiest for beginners to learn. Most lyre harps on the market are tuned to C Major, making it a popular choice for novices.

- Other Scales: For free play, improvisation, or meditation purposes, scales like the pentatonic scale and D Celtic minor are quite popular. These scales offer a different tonal quality and can be more relaxing or meditative.

At Little Kalimba Shop, we polish, test, and tune our lyre harps multiple times before shipping. If you’re unsure about which scale to choose or if you want a specific scale for your lyre harp, please email us. You can also leave a note at checkout, and we will customise your lyre harp tuning for free.

3. How Many Strings Should I Choose?

- 16-String Lyre Harp: Ideal for beginners learning through YouTube tutorials. It is small, easy to hold, and suitable for playing popular pieces. This type offers a good balance between simplicity and musical range.

- 21-String Lyre Harp: This option allows for more complex and expressive arrangements. It is great for playing both classical and popular music pieces, with chords on one hand and melody on the other.

4. Engraved Notes on Top of the String

Another factor to consider is whether the **notes are engraved** on top of the strings. Lyre harps with engraved notes make it easier to follow tutorial videos. If the notes are not engraved, you can use sticky notes as a practical alternative.

5. Choose the Design or Sound You Like the Best

Our lyre harps are made from high-quality woods like mahogany, maple, and spruce. These materials significantly impact the sound quality and durability of the instrument. The choice of wood can affect the tone, resonance, and overall playing experience. All the lyre harps we sell are unique, meaning there are many ways to play them, and there is no wrong choice. Even for lyres with fewer learning materials online, we provide free tutorials on our website. Choose the design or sound that resonates with you the most; in our opinion, this will be the most suitable lyre harp for you. Videos are attached to each product for you to hear the sound differences.

Our All-Time Favorite Lyre Harps for Beginners

Here are the links to our top favorite lyre harps for beginners. Both models feature notes engraved on the strings and the lowest string on the far left, making them ideal for novices. These selections should help you make your decision easier:

- 16-String Reindeer Mahogany Lyre Harp with Bag

- 21-String BYLA Deer Mahogany Lyre Harp with Bag 

If you don't mind using note stickers to mark your strings, this premium version below is also an excellent choice for beginners. Compared to the two models above, this one has a richer, more refined, and expressive sound quality. It is made with higher quality mahogany and upgraded strings. If superb sound quality is what you care about the most, this one would be a perfect choice:

- Premium 16-String Lyre Harp Mohogany with Bag


Discover More About Lyre Harps

The benefit of playing the lyre harp

How to hold the lyre harp

Maintenance Tips for Lyre Harps

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