10 Best Autoharps for Beginners – Read Before You Buy!

The autoharp is considered one of the easiest zither instruments to play. This instrument features chord bars that are attached to dampers. 

When pressed, all the other strings are muted. 

If you are a beginner, finding the right autoharp can seem like a daunting task. With so many on the market, which are the 10 best autoharps for beginners? 

With this helpful guide, you will receive all the information you need for finding the perfect one. 

10 Best Autoharps for Beginners - Read Before You Buy!

Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Autoharps for Beginners

This list offers a compilation of the very best autoharps for beginners. In this list, you will find a range of styles and prices, to help you choose the perfect instrument to get started on your path towards mastering the autoharp.

1. Oscar Schmidt 36-String Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt is one of the top autoharp companies, and for good reason. This 36-string model has an Ovangkol front and a spruce back. This instrument is hand-crafted with a satin finish and features 21 chords. 

This autoharp features an electronic pickup with an integrated Ft600 tuning system that allows you to fine-tune the instrument. With the rock maple pin block, you can rest assured this autoharp will stay in tune. 

Pros

  • Hand-crafted with the best materials
  • Offers 21 chords
  • Comes with a five-year warranty
  • Lightweight, measuring only 12 pounds
  • Easy to keep tuned

Cons

  • Does not come with a case

Learn more about this instrument!

2. Oscar Schmidt 21-Chord Autoharp

Once again, here is another Oscar Schmidt autoharp that is perfect for beginners. This model is made of maple and is a little more lightweight than the top model listed, weighing only a little over nine pounds. 

This model features a rock maple pin block to keep things in tune. The strings are alloy steel, and it features a beautiful tobacco sunburst design. This autoharp has 21 chords. 

Pros

  • Easy to keep in tune
  • Made of beautiful maple
  • Offers rock maple pin block
  • Alloy steel strings
  • Comes with a five-year warranty

Cons

  • Does not offer a pickup

See more about this instrument

3. Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL

While this model is similar in design to the autoharp listed above, you will find it has a slightly sturdier feel. The top of this autoharp is made of beautiful quilted maple with a bright blue stain.

This is an electric autoharp with stainless steel strings. There are 36 strings, and this instrument weighs around 12 pounds. This model plays in 11 keys. With their patented chord bar configuration, you will find this is a perfect autoharp for beginning harpists. 

Pros

  • Made from premium woods
  • Lightweight in design
  • Offers the perfect chord bar configuration for beginners
  • Unique design and color
  • Holds tune well

Cons

  • Does not come with a carrying case

Learn more about its construction

4. Oscar Schmidt Appalachian Autoharp

If you are new to playing the autoharp, this Oscar Schmidt Appalachian model is a perfect instrument for getting started. The top is made of select spruce, and it includes a beautiful flower cut-out sound hole.

This is a 21-string model and weighs in at about ten pounds. The strings are alloy steel, and the body is made of maple. It gives you that beautiful bluegrass sound many new harpists love. 

Pros

  • Features rock maple pin block
  • Unique floral design
  • Warm and beautiful tone
  • Lightweight and smooth
  • Easy to tune

Cons

  • Does not come with a fine-tuning system

Check out the details!

5. Oscar Schmidt Satin Brown Autoharp

If you are looking for the best beginner autoharps, you cannot go wrong with any Oscar Schmidt model, and this one is no exception. This is their OS11021AE model. The top of this autoharp is made of ovangkol, with a smooth satin brown finish. The back is made of solid spruce. 

Those who are looking for fine-tuning options will appreciate the built-in FT600 fine-tuning system. This instrument offers 21 chords and a rock maple pin block that helps it stay in tune. 

Pros

  • Crafted from solid premiere woods
  • Includes a built-in fine-tuning system
  • Offers 21 chords
  • Comes with a tuning wrench
  • Beautiful rich sound

Cons

  • Needs extensive tuning upon opening

6. Oscar Schmidt OS73C Autoharp (Black)

If you love the iconic styles of yesteryear, you are going to want to check out this retro autoharp that was recreated by Oscar Schmidt. The dimensions of this instrument are 41 x 16 x 5 inches, and it weighs a little over 11 pounds. 

The top of this autoharp is made of solid spruce and the backs and sides of mahogany. It offers 21 chords. This autoharp comes with a gig bag for storage and transport. 

Pros

  • Offers a superb sound
  • Beautiful retro style
  • Made of premiere woods
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • You may need to work with the springs a bit

Discover more information about this autoharp!

7. Oscar Schmidt OS150FCE Acoustic/Electric Autoharp

This Oscar Schmidt autoharp can be played acoustically or electrically with its passive electric pickup. The dimensions of this autoharp are 41 x 16 x 5 inches, and it weighs 12 pounds. 

The beautiful tobacco sunburst design makes this autoharp stand out from other models. It offers a high gloss finish with a flame maple top. This is an ideal autoharp for those just starting playing. 

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Solid flame maple top
  • Can be played electrically or acoustically
  • Straightforward tuning
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Does not come with a gig bag

Check out this video to learn more!

8. Oscar Schmidt 36-String OS11021FNE Autoharp

This Oscar Schmidt autoharp is made from natural flame maple on the top. It has Nylon strings and an integrated Ft600 fine-tuning system. 

With the built-in pickup, you can play electronically, for an amplified sound. This instrument offers 21 chords and weighs around 12 pounds.

This model comes with a tuning wrench and an Allen wrench for fine-tuning. It offers a beautiful and rich sound and is ideal for beginners. 

Pros

  • Comes with a passive electric pickup
  • Offers fine-tuning capability
  • Has a solid flame maple top
  • Offers 21 chords
  • Has a beautiful tone

Cons

  • Does not come with a case or bag

9. Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTR Autoharp

Those who are looking for a solid autoharp with a beautiful design will want to check out this OS21CQTR model. This instrument has a quilted maple top with a beautiful red stain. 

The dimensions of this instrument are 25 x 13 x 5 inches, and it weighs 12 pounds. This model features a rock maple pin block and offers 21 chords. This is a beautifully designed instrument with a rich gloss finish. 

Pros

  • Has a beautiful solid quilted maple top
  • Offers 21 chords
  • Rock maple pin block
  • Superb sound
  • Ideal for beginner harpists

Cons

  • Does not come with accessories

10. Oscar Schmidt OS11021FE Electric Autoharp

Those who are searching for a slightly lighter autoharp will appreciate this Oscar Schmidt model that weighs only ten pounds. The dimensions of this instrument are 26 x 17 x 6 inches, and it is made of maple. 

The back of this instrument has a stunning design of The Mayflower ship. With this limited edition, it is sure to become a collector’s item over the years. 

This model has brass strings and can be played acoustically or electrically. It also offers a fine-tuning system.

Pros

  • Beautiful hand-engraved Mayflower ship back
  • Can be played acoustically or electrically
  • Patented chord bar button configuration
  • Offers a five-year warranty
  • Made of a solid flame maple top

Cons

  • In limited supply

Check out this beauty!

Conclusion

With so many models it can sometimes feel overwhelming choosing an autoharp, especially when you are new to the instrument. 

Knowing what to look for is integral for choosing the best. 

Although there are other brands available, Oscar Schmidt has proven time and time again that they are the reigning champions in the manufacturing of autoharps. 

With a solid design and affordable price, the above instruments are ideal for beginner harpists who are finding their way in learning to play this beautiful instrument. 

When deciding on any instrument, it is all about the sound and the construction. 

The autoharp is one of the easiest zither instruments to play. 

With just a few chords, you can learn to create beautiful music in a short time. 

Feel free to click through the links to learn more about the specs of each autoharp listed in these 10 best autoharps for beginners. 

No matter which model you choose, you are sure to be satisfied with your purchase, especially when you begin making beautiful music. 

Now is a perfect time to get started learning.

Leave a Comment