10 Best Harps for Beginners – Read Before You Buy!

What Harp Should I Start With?
What Harp Should I Start With?

Because harps are not standardized, it can become confusing for beginners to find the perfect instrument.

Knowing what to look for is essential. Unfortunately, not all harps are created equal.

Some harps are made from substandard materials. Thankfully, many models are superior and offer a better playing experience. 

With this guide, you will learn about the ten best harps for beginners.

Here, you will find detailed information that will help you determine which harp will be best for you. 

Table of Contents

Before We Get Started – How Do You Plan to Learn the Harp?

If you don’t yet know how you are going to learn the harp, we recommend having a look at some of the cheap online courses on offer here. The great thing about these courses is the instructors are qualified and you can stop, pause and rewind at any point during the lessons. Great if you want to stop briefly for a cup of tea!

Without further ado, here’s our recommended list of the 10 best harps for beginners.

What Should You Look for in a Harp?

Multiple aspects should be considered before choosing a harp. Most people consider the purchase of a harp to be an investment, so you should take the time to learn as much as possible about the instrument. Consider the following to make the best purchase. 

best harps for beginners

Sound

Sound is the most important aspect of purchasing a new harp. Tone, volume, clarity, and overall balance are essential. Listen to how the harp sounds as it is played. 

Size

Choosing between a lever and pedal harp is important. Deciding between the two depends on the repertoire of music you wish to play. Classical harp music relies on a pedal harp and Celtic music on lever harps. 

Durability

The harp should be made from the finest materials and by a company with a consistent track record for quality. There should be no buzzing or clicks as you push the pedals or levers. 

10 Best Harps for Beginners

The following are the ten best harps for beginners. Any one of these would make a fine instrument for someone who is just starting to learn how to play the harp. 

1. Royal Celtic Knee Harp

This is a beautiful harp that is intricately carved. This harp is 27-inches tall and weighs 15 pounds. This harp includes strings, a tuning key, and a padded bag. The Royal Celtic knee harp is made of solid wood and hand-polished.

This harp has seventeen strings, and it is perfect for beginners and children. This harp is easy to tune, and it comes with colored strings for ease of play. 

Royal Celtic Knee Harp

Pros

  • Beautifully designed
  • Made of solid wood
  • The perfect size for beginners
  • Nice melodic sound
  • Color-coded strings for beginners

Cons

  • The strings may need to be replaced.

2. 19 String Mahogany Harp

Most beginners want a harp that offers everything they need for getting started, and this one delivers. It comes with the 19-string harp, strings, carrying bag, and tuning wrench. 

This harp comes with color-coded strings to help beginners learn to play. The mahogany body produces a very pleasant warm and melodic sound.

19 String Mahogany Harp

Pros

  • Includes everything beginners need to get started
  • Lightweight for beginners
  • Color-coded strings for easier play
  • Also comes in a smaller seven-string model
  • Meticulously spaced strings

Cons

  • The strings may need to be upgraded.

Watch this unboxing video!

3. 15 strings Mahogany Lyre Harp

Great for beginner adults and kids this 15 string hand-crafted mahogany harp is a work of art, and it plays beautifully too. It is lightweight and perfect for beginners. It offers a three sound hole which gives great resonance. 

This harp also comes with extra strings, tuning tool and a carrying bag.  

15 strings Mahogany Lyre Harp

Pros

  • Offers color-coded string caps
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Mechanically superior Chelby levers
  • Hand-carved solid wood frame
  • Bridge pins can easily be adjusted

Cons

  • A little pricier than some beginner models.

Learn more about the Chelby lever upgrades!

4. 12 String Celtic Irish Lever Harp

If you are a beginning harpist, this harp will allow you to hone your skills easily. This harp is handmade in the United States, with the proper string placement. Each of the strings has a sharping lever and bridge pin. 

This instrument is 22 inches tall and is lightweight and portable. Because they are made to order, you can expect a short delay in receiving your harp. This Celtic Irish Lever Harp also comes with a tuning wrench, extra strings and a carry case. 

Celtic Irish Lever Harp 12 Strings Free Extra Strings and Tuning key

Pros

  • Unique color with a classic design.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Levered strings.
  • Maintains a tune like professional harps.
  • Comes with a learning DVD for beginners.

Cons

  • Delivery may be a little longer, but it’s worth the wait.

5. Royal Harps 22-String Lever Harp

Royal Harps is another trusted maker of these beautiful instruments. This 22-string harp comes with a free storage bag, extra strings, and a tuning key. 

This harp is built with a sound box to amplify the sound. It is hand-carved and polished and made from solid wood. The harp is 36” tall and 20” wide.

ROYAL HARPS Celtic Irish Lever Harp 22 Strings Free Deluxe Bag - Extra Strings & Tuning Key

Pros

  • Includes everything a beginner would need to get started.
  • Made of solid, hand-carved wood.
  • Offers a buy-back program if you upgrade later.
  • Offers a beautiful tone.

Cons

  • May need to upgrade strings.

6. Tall Celtic 12 String Harp

This is a 12-string harp is made of solid wood. It is handmade and comes with a dulex storage bag and nylon strings. It also comes with an extra set of strings and a tuning key. 

This Sturgis harp is more lightweight weighing around 9lbs, and it offers a beautiful tone. 

Tall Celtic Irish Harp 12 Strings Lever Solid Wood with Dulex Bag

Pros

  • Made of hand-carved solid wood
  • Perfect harp for beginners
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a protective bag
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • It is a little more expensive than some beginner harps, but you definitely are paying for a well-crafted instrument.

7. Rees Harps Fullsicle Natural Maple Harp

This harp is made from beautiful natural maple. Its dimensions are 37 x 25 x 6.75 inches, and it weighs a mere four pounds. All the strings on this harp feature bridge pins and modified Robinson sharping levers. 

The spacing of the strings is perfect, and it offers a beautiful tone that holds well. You can sit or stand to play this harp. 

Rees Harps Fullsicle Harp Natural Maple

Pros

  • Made from solid wood with a beautiful design
  • Each string offers bridge pins and sharping levers
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Offers a beautiful tone

Cons

  • The case is sold separately.

Learn about the history of Rees Harps

8. Roosebeck 12-String Baby Celtic Harp

Beginners are sometimes intimidated by the number of strings a harp can have. This 12-string offers the perfect option for harpists who are just getting started. 

This harp is approximately 21-inches high and offers Dupont Nylon strings. The strings range from F above Middle C to High C. This harp comes with an extra set of strings and a tuning key. 

Roosebeck Baby Celtic Harp 12-String w: Knotwork Design - Walnut Wood

Pros

  • Perfect size and string count for beginners
  • Handcrafted from solid wood
  • Offers a note range of F4 to C6
  • Lightweight in design

Cons

  • Does not come with a bag or instructions

Listen to its beautiful sound!

9. Sturgis 12-String Baby Celtic Harp

This is another baby Celtic harp that is ideal for beginners because of its size and number of strings. This harp weighs a little under 6 pounds, and it is made from solid wood. 

This harp comes with extra strings, a water-resistant storage bag, and a tuning key. Sturgis will offer a buyback credit should you decide to upgrade to a larger harp in the future. 

Sturgis 12-String Baby Celtic Harp

Pros

  • Made of solid wood with hand carving
  • Comes with everything you need to get started
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Offers a beautiful sound
  • Easy to tune

Cons

  • May need to upgrade strings

10. Smequeen 15-String Beginner Harp Set

If you are looking for a harp set that is perfect for beginners, this is a great find. This set comes with a bag, extra strings, and a tuning key. 

The dimensions of this 15-string harp are 23 x 17.7 x 9.4 inches, and it weighs just over 7 pounds. This is a hand-carved mahogany harp with three large sound holes to help amplify the sound. 

Smequeen 15-String Beginner Harp Set

Pros

  • Easy to tune
  • Comes with everything you need to get started
  • Made of solid mahogany
  • Offers a complex tone with perfect resonance
  • Comes with Nylon strings

Cons

  • Does not come with a shoulder strap

Top 10 Best Harps for Beginners – Conclusion

Finding the 10 best harps for beginners was no simple feat. 

With so many on the market, it is not always easy to decide. 

No matter which of the ten models you choose above, you are sure to find them a welcome addition to your collection. 

Learning to play the harp is relaxing and fun.

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