How to Order a Harp
The difference between a custom harp and one that is ordered from a catalog is that from wood plank to finished harp, your instrument will be entirely your own. From the first decision to the last everything about this harp revolves around you and the world into which you will take it. Your harp is not just a tool to make music, it will be a part of creating experiences, wonderful ones, for years to come. What follows will guide you, a step at a time, to the day when those experiences will begin.
If you already know what model you want then go ahead and skip right down to the section on selecting the wood.
Knowing what you would like to do with this harp will drive a great many of the decisions you are about to make. The nest three questions will help you to keep in mind some of the primary practical elements in making a decision about which Rees model will best accommodate your needs. It is worth saying, however, that being inspired by a harp should not be discarded as unimportant. If you are drawn to a particular harp, you will play it more which, we believe, is really the whole point.
Do you plan to perform with this harp?
Every model in the Rees Concert harp line is designed to have the highest quality voice. This, in fact, is why so many professionals play Rees Concert Line Harps. All Rees', even the smallest, have big, clear voices full of color. Every Rees model has been used in recording. In fact, it is common for recording engineers to comment on how easy the harps are to work with because one of the trademarks of a Rees harp is that the voices are especially even through the full range of the instrument. For recording engineers or concert sound professionals, this means they can set all their gain to level all the way across the board. For you this means that you never have to adjust the way you play (lighter here or heavier there) to compensate for uneven voicing in your harp.
Of course, our Aberdeen Meadows and Mariposa harps have especially big voices. The Shaylee is a lovely small venue harp and even the Morgan Meadows and Morgan Meghan have been played in concert to acclaim.
What kind of music do you like and plan to play?
Two of our harps, the Aberdeen Meadows and the Mariposa, are offered in two ranges. For the Aberdeen, these are C to C or A to A. For the Mariposa these are A to C or F to A. For these two models, the ranges which end on A tend to be slightly more lightly strung and the range is often preferred by those who play primarily Celtic music.
Some people think that because a lap harp, like the Morgan Meadows or the Morgan Meghan, has a range which is less than a floor harp it also is limited in terms of repertoire. This is simply not the case. A lap harp can play any piece a standard floor harp can play as long as the piece is transposed into the range of the lap harp. The real question is, do you feel like you want those big bass strings? If so than a lap harp might mot suit your needs.
Is the weight of the harp an issue?
Weight is one of the biggest concerns for some people. All the harps in the Rees line are among the very lightest wood harps in the industry but if weight is a significant factor for you than both the Mariposa and the Shaylee Meadows are excellent choices. Both harps will provide a concert quality voice with significantly less weight to carry or support.
Design the ornamentation for your harp
Our harps are really very beautiful just as they are but if you would like to add ornamentation, begin by taking a look at our Standard Ornamentation offerings. If you are sure you want ornamentation but want to consult with one of our artists first than select "Standard TBD" under "Ornamentation" in the Rees Marketplace.
If you think you may want fully custom ornamentation than take a look at our Custom Ornamentation work and select "Custom TBD" under "Ornamentation" in the Rees Marketplace. One of our artists will reach out to you and begin the conversation about what you would like on your harp. Know that because we are a small company, fully custom work takes a long time for us to complete. Obviously, something small is much quicker than, for example, a giant dragon. Your artist will discuss delivery times with you based upon the designs you two are working with.
Once you have chosen a design, make certain to confirm colors or wood types. Also, both Melissa and Garen are trained, skilled artists. We strongly recommend that you trust their judgment if they are concerned that parts of the ornamentation will not flow smoothly together. Garen has ornamented hundreds of harps, winning many awards along the way, and he has a real feel for how elements of design compliment one another in the space. Melissa is an equally accomplished artist with an art degree and a sense of unifying a design on the instrument. You are in good hands with them.
In addition to the selection of a model, knowing where you plan to play your harp will help you in the selection of accessories. If you plan to keep your harp at home, then only a few things are really needed. We strongly recommend a chromatic tuner. If you are ordering a Morgan Meadow or a Morgan Meghan, we also recommend a Harp Stick to make holding the harp on your lap a bit easier.
If you plan to travel with your harp then there are a number of items which it is wise to have on hand. Of course you will need a padded bag but we also strongly recommend carrying both an extra tuning wrench (because those little guys have a strange sense of humor and will run away at the wrong time just for the fun of it) and a full extra set of strings. Remember that the fastest way to absolutely guarantee that you will break a string is to not have a back-up for it in your bag.
Another general thing worth thinking about is a Rees Lever Regulation Kit just to be sure you are always prepared for that fluke emergency.
Additionally, if you plan to play professionally or in a large venue, then you will need some form of amplification. If you are unfamiliar with amplification, see our page on Amplifying Your Harp. If you already know what you need you can make selections in our Rees Marketplace.
Sign and return your purchase agreement
Upon placement of your order, you will be sent a purchase agreement. If you are ordering ornamentation but have marked "TBD" then the agreement will be delayed until those decisions are made. The Purchase Agreement confirms all the relevant design details of the harp so we recommend that you take a moment to be absolutely certain that everything is just right. This may be your first harp or your tenth but no matter what we know you have been dreaming about it . We want it to be absolutely perfect when it arrives and the Purchase Agreement helps us to be doubly sure we will meet your expectations.