Sunday, 6 February 2011

"It's An Autoharp"

So in my mania to learn as much as possible about how to play the Autoharp I am ordering another Autoharp instrustional manual. This one was recommended to me by one of the contributors to the Cyberpluckers email list. It is the book (and accompanying CD) - "It's An Autoharp" by Cathy Britell. Cathy is a fantastic Autoharpist and Autoharp teacher who is also a member of the Cyberpluckers group herself.

"It’s HERE!!   The long-awaited second edition of “It’s An Autoharp” with a 47-track learning CD included!  

"In this new book, Cathy builds on over 15 years-experience as an autoharp instructor to give you a proven method for learning how to play the autoharp.  She takes a very personal approach to teaching you how to play, with hard-won pearls from her heart to your fingers.   You’ll find an introductory section with information about positioning, picks, chord bar setups, and how to read the autoharp tablature.
"There are 20 lessons, each with beautiful illustrative songs, designed to bring you gently from absolute beginner to progressing melody player.  If you go through these lessons methodically from beginning to end, you won’t be a beginner any more!" (taken from website)
Here is Cathy's Website at where you can find ordering information on the book - please note that if you are from outside the US then you will need to email Cathy directly for pricing/payment etc.
I did and she got back to me almost straight away and was so nice when talking about her book and autoharp playing with me. Also, if her shipping ETA is anything to go by I'll be getting it delivered quicker than either of the books I've ordered through professional retailers previously.
(I am still waiting for both books ordered although the "Autoharp Owner's Manual" should be arriving next week sometime and "Mel Bay's Complete Method for Autoharp and Chromaharp" that was out of stock has now been shipped so shouldn't be too far away)

Will let you know more about Cathy's book (and the others) once I have it - hopefully it should prove to be a fantastic aid to my learning (anything is going to be a help!!!).



  1. Hi there! I recently acquired a chromaharp here in NZ and found your blog during a Google search. Are you still playing? Have you found any good NZ resources for strings, tuning wrenches and the like? Cheers. :)

  2. Hi there Supernaturaltoe, my apologies for the tardy response, I actually wrote a reply about a fortnight ago but my dinosaur of a computer stuffed up...Unfortunately I didn't keep on top of the Chromaharp. I still want to learn but probably a bit slower than I had originally planned. At the moment my 'harp is sitting in its box half dismantled, judging me. I completely restrung and tuned it one day but it also needed a refelt and I didn't complete it. I have been thinking about it more and more lately though so any week now I'll probably get a case of itchy fingers and complete the task so that I can play it again. In terms of NZ resources I was not able to find anyone in NZ who I could get the correct supplies from. I strongly recommend dÁigle Autoharps in America, there's a link on one of my toolbars, just go through to their shop. I got both my strings & new felt from them. They were super helpful with all of my enquiries and the items arrived quickly and in good condition. I remember seeing Tuning wrenches on their site as well (A long-time Australian autoharpist that I knew also uses dÁigle so I'd reckon they're a pretty good bet). If you're looking for strings then dÁigle do have sets marked for the Chromaharp, if you do need felt make sure to specify it's for a Chromaharp as the Chromaharp uses a slightly different width felt - if in doubt, as I mentioned, dÁigle answered all my queries, I just emailed them. Any other questions then please let me know, although I can't guarantee how helpful I will be. Cheers