QUOTE(gemmasue @ Aug 17 2011, 11:16 AM)
About a year ago, my parents bought a lap harp from a local auction. They know I love all things musical and love trying out new instruments, so they've give it to me.
I thought I would see if I could learn it, as you never know unless you try and harps always sound lovely!I'm normally a woodwind player (flute), so have no idea where to start with the harp. Are there any books anyone can recommend for a COMPLETE beginnner?
I'm hoping that maybe it's not too hard. Otherwise, I would still keep it as it's very pretty. It just seems a shame for it not to be played!
Hope someone can advise me!
Getting at least a few lessons from a teacher to make sure you have your position at the harp right (to prevent injury eg tendonitis and backache) and hand position correct is a really good idea.
However, if that's not possible, there are some good books that illustrate this, and some DVDs (available mostly in the US I think) that will help:
Sylvia Woods Teach yourself the Folk Harp
Mel Bay Harpsicle Harp Method
Laurie Riley You can Teach Yourself Lever Harp
Pamela Bruner Play the Harp Beautifully (this one can be bought with DVDs)
Some of these can be bought at reasonable prices from Amazon. They all teach you things like how to hold it, hand position, tuning, how to change the strings etc, and are all aimed at folk harps instead of pedal.
If you would like to talk to more like minded friendly people there is a great group on Yahoo groups called the Virtual Harp circle of mostly Lever Harpist/ers who are very welcoming to beginners.
Hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.