Mudcat Café message #2803198 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126074   Message #2803198
Posted By: beeliner
04-Jan-10 - 02:11 PM
Thread Name: Autoharp Advice Sought
Subject: RE: Autoharp Advice Sought
Once again, thanks to everyone who contributed advice.

I was able to find a local guitar dealer (not my usual) who was willing to special-order the .024 plain steel strings I needed in order to complete the stringing.

I cut 6 of the twelve felts, the D, D7, G, A, A7, and C. (Aside to Songbob: Bob, I gotta have them ol' 7ths. To me, paraphrasing the old orange juice commercial, a tune without 7ths is like a day without sunshine!)

I have not yet cut the other six (mainly minors).

So using those six chords I tried it out, and I gotta say, I am deeply disappointed. The double-strung middle octave is so OVERWHELMING that it virtually obliterates the bass and high-octave strings.

I followed all of the advice in the Mel Bay AUTOHARP OWNER'S MANUAL on converting to diatonic, with the exception, as I noted before, of adding a couple of accidentals (two C's and a G#) in order to make certain chords.

I might retune and refelt it as a D-A-E 'Triatonic", with the felts redone for the principal chords in those keys and only the 1sts and 5ths doubled.

Or I might just retune and refelt it normally. At this point, I'm not sure, so any further observations or advice would be appreciated.

P.S. For felts, I'm using "Ultra Heavy Duty" furniture pads from my local hardware store, and they seem to work fine - as well or better than the originals. The pads come in 4x6 inch pieces, two to a package, and I'm cutting them into 1/4 inch strips, one pad the long way and the other the short, so one of each, laid end to end, fill the chord bar perfectly.