February 4, 2015

Travel can break your harp – car

If you’ve been playing for more than about 15 minutes you know that people frequently want you to play in any of a number of places.  And there is no limit to where people would like you to play – the tops of mountains, just below the low tide line, or inside the walk-in freezer! This, of course, requires that you get your harp there.

These are exciting opportunities to play and no one want to disappoint their friends (or clients) so you will need to get your harp to the even.  But a car can be a very dangerous place for a car.  A wise harper* once told me that you should never leave your harp anywhere you wouldn’t leave an infant.  And it is wise advice, even though it is unlikely that your harp will toddle off!

But what does that mean?  It means you need to remember what your harp is made of and how it’s put together.  Harps are (typically) made of wood which is a natural material which is joined by glue (which can soften with heat) and finished (typically) with a finish (which could crack in cold).
  • keep it out of the direct sunlight.  Remember how much of your car is windows! This is especially important in the summer
  • keep it at a comfortable temperature – remember that your harp can’t sweat like you can so keep it temperate
  • protect it from bumps, bangs, and potholes.  The soft case will help protect it but be sure you avoid harp points inside the car 
  • don’t leave your harp in the car (overnight or on the road)
Of course, it’s your harp so you in the end you have to make the decisions.  I find that it’s better to make cautious choices than have to get a new harp!

* Kris Snyder told me this the first time in when I was first learning to play!

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