What are the shipping rates?
Shipping is calculated by weight and location. To calculate the actual shipping costs of your order, click on "Submit Order." Your order will not be processed until you enter your payment information. If you wish to continue shopping after checking the total of your order with shipping, just close the window.
$4.50CAD - Minimum shipping within Canada
$4.50USD - Minimum shipping within the United States
$27.00USD - Minimum shipping to other international destinations.
Lap Harps are shipped via Priority Mail in the USA and other international countries and Expedited Mail in Canada.
We generally ship orders Thursday or Friday. Orders received by Wednesday Noon EST will go out the same week. If your order was received later in the day on Wednesday, or on Thursday or Friday, your order will go out the following week.
• Orders to the USA and Internationally are shipped from Lewiston, NY.
• Orders within Canada are shipped from Shelburne, ON.
What is a lap harp?
A lap harp is a wooden, 15 string instrument. It is also known as a zither.
Who can play a lap harp?
Anyone Can! Younger children to seniors enjoy playing the lap harp. The recommended age in Canada is 4 to 100+ and is used confidently by individuals and by families with young children. However, in the USA, due to rather stringent government regulations on items for children, it is not recommended for use by anyone under 13 years of age at this time as countless items commonly used have been brought into question.
What size is the lap harp?
Both the Music Maker and the Melody Harp are 13" (33cm) wide across the bottom, 8" (20cm) high, and 2" (5cm) thick trapezoid shaped instruments.
Is additional music available?
Yes, there are additional music sheets available. The Melody Harp has six different sets available. The Music Maker has over 20 different sets available. None of the songs are a duplicate of what comes with the lap harp. The Music Maker songs sheets can be used with the Melody Harp if you re-tune the two F strings to F#. This web site provides a full listing of the songs contained in each packet.
Will the music sheets fit other brands of lap harps?
While the music sheets are compatible between the Melody Harp and the Music Maker, the music sheets will not fit most other brands. For sure, they do not fit the First Act Lap Harp.
What key is the lap harp tuned to?
The Melody Harp is tuned to the Key of C.
The Music Maker is tuned to the Key of G.
The bottom string on both the Music Maker and the Melody harp is tuned to the "G" note. By simply re-tuning the F string you can use the same music packets for either instrument.
Where is the lap harp made?
The Music Maker is made in Belarus.
The Melody Harp is made in China.
What is the lap harp made of?
The Music Maker and the Melody Harp are both made from quality hardwood, giving exceptional tonal qualities. The Music Maker has a matte finish. The Melody Harp has a glossy finish.
Which is better - the Music Maker Lap Harp or the Melody Lap Harp?
To be honest with you, they are both excellent instruments of similar high quality and sound. The Music Maker does have many more music packets available to use with it.
Does the lap harp come with a case?
No, but an excellent case is available and recommended to protect the lap harp when not in use and to discourage your cat from attempting to learn how to play it. On the other hand, your cat just may be the next You-Tube star!
Is it easy to tune my lap harp?
Both the Music Maker and the Melody Lap harps come pre-tuned, however, can sometimes loose their tune in transit. Yes, it is easy to tune a lap harp but it can take a while the first few times you do it, particularly if many strings are needing adjustment. It takes very small adjustments to make a big change in the string. You are better to start with a middle string, ensuring its' sound is correct and then move up the strings and then down from the middle string to tune the other notes.
How do I tune my lap harp?
1. Your lapharp should have come with a pick for strumming and a tuning key that fits over the pegs on the left and right edges of the instrument. You should also have card that fits under the strings with the notes and tuning instructions on it. An electronic tuner, pitch pipe or access to a piano makes things easier. If you have a good ear and can recognize the sounds of an ascending or descending scale you can just rely on that. We do sell a quality pitch pipe on our "Lap Harp Accessories" page.
2. Strum a note and listen carefully and compare the sound to the previous strummed string or to the same note sound emitted by your pitch pipe or piano. If the string requires re-tuning, place the tuning key on the peg for that string. To raise the pitch, tighten the string, being very careful not to over-tighten it. The pitch can be lowered by loosening the string. Sometimes the change required will be so tiny that you may not even need to feel the tuning key move.
3. Repeat the process until all strings are playing correctly. Your lapharp will sound much better when freshly re-tuned. The first time or two that you tune your instrument can take time as you learn to identify the sounds and apply just the right amount of pressure on the tuning pegs. It can be a long process so feel free to take breaks when you need them. If you just can't get it or you get bored, anyone who knows how to tune a guitar should also be able to do it. Your local instrument repair shop personnel should be able to tune it for you. However, with practice comes the ability to tune quickly and easily. Keep the tuning key out of the hands of children who don't know what they are doing with it as they can quickly create a major tuning task!
How often will I need to tune my lap harp?
Usage and the passage of time will make your lapharp go out of tune. Performing regular tuning will help you to be able to really enjoy your lap harp. Listen to the sound that is being produced and you will learn to recognize when the instrument needs to be tuned. As mentioned above, keep the tuning wrench away from children and that will eliminate some unscheduled tuning. Sometimes a child will be convinced it is needing tuning when in reality the child is just strumming the wrong strings! Tuning frequency will vary depending on how much the instrument is used and the care with which it is played.
What do I do if a spring breaks?
The strings are quite sturdy and are not prone to breakage. However, if one does break, there is card or address packed with your instrument where you can obtain replacement strings. Be careful to not over-tighten springs and they will last a long time.
How often should I play my lap harp?
As frequently as possible to facilitate continued and advancing skill levels and for ultimate relaxation! If you can't get enough access to it because someone else is always playing it - buy another one! Oh yes, and don't forget to buy additional music packets for even greater pleasure.