Tuning your Lever Harp
August 7, 2017

Megan from our New Jersey Showroom demonstrates how to properly tune your lever harp. This is an easy step-by-step guide for beginning harpists and even parents of young harpists.

Things you will need:

  • Tuning Key
  • Digital Chromatic Tuner – we prefer to use a Korg at our stores.

Instructions:

  1. The first step is to make sure all the levers are in the down position.
  2. line up your tuning key with the tuning pin on the string you would like to adjust
  3. If your pitch is too low or flat you need to tighten your string, to raise the pitch and make it sharper turn your tuning key clockwise.
  4. to make the pitch lower or more flat turn the tuning key counter clockwise
  5. Using your Digital Chromatic Tuner adjust each string until you achieve your desired pitch shown on the display screen

Follow along with these instructions by watching this video:

 

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Youtube pages for more video demonstrations and tutorials!

 

How To Change Wire Strings
June 28, 2017

Another tutorial for you this time from our sister store in Atlanta!

Michael demonstrates how to properly change wire strings on a pedal harp.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Youtube pages for more video demonstrations and tutorials!

How To Tie Harp Knots
June 1, 2017

Our Va Showroom manager Amy demonstrates how to tie some basic harp knots. She shows in this video how to tie a basic harpers knot and her favorite, the Camac knot, with and without a string anchor.

 

Stay tuned for more videos and tutorials each month from the Virginia Harp Center.

Premier Harp Strings
December 20, 2016

premier stringQuality Gut Strings for Today’s Harpists

Since our Premier harp strings have made their debut in November 2015, they have clearly resonated with harpists across the country! I remember everyone’s excitement and anticipation when David mentioned this possibility and it has been awesome being able to watch the process from conception to reality.

Many harpists have called our stores with questions and this entry is a collection of our FAQs, and more importantly, their answers.

1. What type of harps are these strings for?

This string works universally for any pedal harp or lever harp that is strung with concert tension gut. Recently the Lyon & Healy/ Salvi Technicians Guild approved Premier Harp Strings for use on any harp that requires concert tension gut strings. If you’re not sure what type of string your harp uses, check out our handy string guides.

Pedal Harps

Lever Harps

2. Where are the strings made?

The Virginia Harp Center imports these strings in bulk from the Camac Harp Factory, located in France. The raw material and final product are produced in Europe.

3. Are they the same as the Camac pedal harp gut strings?

Premier Harp Strings are produced by the same manufacturer as Camac strings, but we use different gauges that have been tailored to our unique specifications

4. Are they associated with Bow Brand?

No, it is a completely different string manufacturer.

5. How do they sound compared to other gut string options?

From comments we received, harpists are saying that Premier Harp Strings are bright, clear and project very well. The sound is brilliant with uncompromised clarity and evenness.

6. Do they feel the same as other competing brands?

Yes, the Premier gut strings have the same feel as competing brands. Harpists have commented that they are easy to grip and feel good under the hands.

7. Can I blend them with other brands of strings?

Yes, if your harp is currently strung in a different brand of strings, you can replace a newly broken string with Premier Harp Strings without experiencing any issues playing. To hear the best results in sound, we recommend restringing your entire harp to Premier Harp Strings. ​

8. Do you use them on your own harp?

Yes, I restrung my Lyon & Healy Style 30 in February 2016 with the Premier gut strings and have been enjoying the sound and reliability ever since! Here are what some other members of the harp community are saying about the strings:

“The clarity and tone quality of the Premier Harp strings are perfect for both solo and orchestral performances. I’m so relieved to have a reliable source of strings I can count on!”

–Adriana Horne, Principal Harpist with the National Symphony Orchestra

“We are so impressed with the new Premier Harp Strings!  On the road and in the shop, we change thousands of strings each year, so we see a lot of strings. What amazed us was the clarity and focus of the tonal center as well as the feel when playing on them and how quickly they hold pitch. It is a pleasure to work with these strings!”

– Thomas Bell and Scot Baker, Bell Harp Tech

“Premier Strings have a big sound and do not break, I finally have harp strings I can depend on for my professional performances! Whether I am playing in an orchestra, in the pit or on stage playing a concerto, Premier strings will give me the powerful sound I need and not break or go false. I highly recommend Premier Strings to my colleagues and students.”

– Laura Byrne, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“When I first played the new Premier Harp Strings, I felt an immediate sense of ease. They sing at the slightest touch and provide more traction than other strings I have used in the past. I can’t wait to try them on my instrument!”

– Dr. Kristina Finch, Director of the Miami Harp Academy

“After replacing the strings on my harp with Premier Harp Strings, I appreciated the excellent quality, ease of installation, responsiveness to the player’s touch, and beautiful sound. Premier Harp Strings are a very desirable new choice in strings for Lyon & Healy, Salvi and Camac harps!”

– Cheryl Slaughter, Freelance Harpist in Atlanta, GA

9. Are the strings durable?

Premier Harp Strings use the finest quality material to prevent untimely string breakage and give you peace of mind!  That being said, they are made out of a natural animal fiber and string breakage may occur. If you put a Premier string on your harp and it breaks within the first two weeks of use, be sure to call us and we would be happy to replace the string for free.

10. Does Premier make lever gut strings?

As of right now, we are only offering Premier concert tension gut strings. We’ll be sure to keep you updated if this changes.

11. What is the gauge of the Premier Strings vs. the Bow Brand strings?

The link below will take you to a helpful chart.

Comparison Chart

12. How much do they cost?

Per String Price
00 Octave Gut String $6.00
1st Octave Gut String $6.00
2nd Octave Gut String $9.00
3rd Octave Gut String $13.00
4th Octave Gut String $19.00
5th Octave Gut String $29.50

 

Per Octave Price
1st Octave 00G – 1F $54.00
1st Octave 1E – 1F $42.00
2nd Octave 2E – 2F $63.00
3rd Octave 3E – 3F $91.00
4th Octave 4E – 4F $133.00
5th Octave 5E – 5A $147.50

 

Complete String Sets 10% Discount Included
00G – 5th Octave A $439.65
1st Octave E – 5th Octave A $428.85
2nd Octave E – 5th Octave A $391.05

I hope you found my first blog entry useful, be sure to call or e-mail us if you have any other questions and we would be happy to help. Happy Holidays!

~ Megan, Virginia Harp Center of New Jersey

Our Story
April 11, 2016

MJ and David D'ArvilleOur Roots

For those of you who not familiar with our story, the Virginia Harp Center began with Mary Jane convincing David that it would be a good idea to buy two Troubadours to sell in his family music store for her students. The rest, as they say, is history. Within the first two years of our marriage in 1996, we had our first child and our first harp store. Fast forward five years and we were juggling two stores and two kids. Twenty years and counting and there is still never a dull moment.

Oh, the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met!

From our first voyage to France to check out Camac Harps with our young son in a backpack, to the many trips throughout the states for regional and national harp events hauling as many harps as the big white van would carry, VHC has fulfilled the vagabond spirit in both of us. But hands down the best part of our business are the people we’ve met along the way!

Working in a family owned, niche business comes with unique challenges and personal rewards. We are extremely fortunate to work with exceptionally kind customers from all walks of life, hard-working, honest employees who continue to motivate us to challenge ourselves, and many business relationships that have grown into endearing friendships.

For everyone who has made Virginia Harp Center what it is today, we would like to say thank you for being part of our lives and allowing us to be part of yours.

Looking Forward

Next year VHC celebrates its 20th anniversary! We’re looking forward to continuing our involvement with the wonderful harp community that has been such an integral part of our lives. This new web-site has been a labor of love and we appreciate all the work Diana Dunnavant, VHC’s Manager of Marketing, has done to put it all together. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to many exciting years to come!