If you are looking for a great beginner instrument, the lap harp is a great option! These small, portable instruments can be played by children and adults alike.
In this blog post, we review 7 of the best lap harps on the market today, including Lyre harps for beginners.
We will also give you tips on how to play the three styles of lap harps, and the importance of lap harp tuning.
So get ready to discover the unique, comforting, and relaxing sounds from today’s lap harps and why the harp is such a popular choice for beginners.
Let’s get into it!
Lap Harp Review
Here’s a look ahead to see our choice for the best lap harp musical instruments everyone can enjoy, from children just getting started, to adults young and old.
Children’s Lap Harps
First up we’ll look at two 15 string lap harp kits for beginners with carrying bag, song sheets, and picks – everything to get started
Lyre Harps – 7 String, 10 String, and 16 String
Next, we’ll review our top three picks for the popular Lyre Harps
Beginner Lap Harps
And we’ll round out our lap harp review by looking at two mini harps for adults or children looking to take the next step in harps.
Category: Children’s Lap Harps
The first 2 handheld lap harps make the perfect gift for children to learn how to play a musical instrument and hopefully discover a lifetime of fun and passion for music.
Each of these lap harps is super-easy to play which is important for beginners to keep them motivated and enjoying their newfound musical talents!
Our #1 Children’s Lap Harp Pick: Hape Lap Harp 15 Nylon Strings
This Hape lap harp won our top pick thanks to its design especially made for kids.
Its non-toxic materials have all been carefully selected to make it super safe to play with. The nylon strings are soft to play while keeping a realistic sound. And the design is perfect for small hands.
This lap harp is also made from wood sourced from environmentally sustainable forests. It’s amazing to find a musical instrument made with environmental preservation in mind.
We also like the fact that the Hape lap harp comes with 5 song sheets and 1 blank sheet. This is a nice touch to build the player’s skills and encourage creativity.
Hape also includes extra strings and tuning keys in the kit – another nice touch!
Runner-up: Music Maker Lap Harp with Sheet Music and Black Carrying Case
Play beautiful music instantly with the Music Maker! Anyone can play regardless of age.
Simply slide a song sheet in and pluck strings above each note to follow along.
It’s easy as 1-2-3!
Handcrafted in Mexico using a blend of ash wood & specially selected hardwoods. We found this wood combination provided excellent sound quality.
Music Maker kit includes lap harp, black case & 12 song sheets. Additional song sheets can be purchased separately.
We found the instrument came tuned and ready to play right out of the box. However, when tuning is required it is easy to adjust the string tension to bring it back in tune. Replace strings is also an easy task.
Category: Lyre Harps
These three Lyre handheld lap harps are easy to play and suitable for all ages.
Our #1 Lyre Lap Harp Pick: Donner Lyre Harp, 10 Metal Strings with Tuning Wrench, Extra Strings, Manual and Gig Bag
We chose the Donner Lyre Harp as our first choice because 10-string lyres offer a good well-rounded sound while still being easy to learn.
The 10-string layout includes; 1 (E4), 2 (F4), 3 (G4), 4 (A4), 5 (B4), 6 (C5), 7 (D5), 8 (E5), 9 (F5), 10 (G5). C major scale.
This harp instrument is made of solid mahogany and carbon steel keys to produce a clear and gentle sound. A bone saddle is used to transmit the vibration better and avoid saddle wear, enabling our product to use for a longer time.
Donner Lyre Harp comes with a padded bag, extra strings, tuning wrench, user manual, and music score sheets.
Runner-up: Mr.Power Lyre Harp Ancient Greece Style 7 Metal Strings Lyre with Tuning Wrench Extra String Set and Gig Bag
As a runner-up, we chose the Mr.Power because the beautiful Okoume has a hardness and density that helps to keep it in tune.
Having seven (metal) strings makes it even easier to learn and play than 10-strings, although you don’t get the same range of sounds.
The design makes the instrument easy to hold and the bone saddle helps to transmit vibrations and keeps it in tune.
The Mr.Power Lyre Harp comes with a black bag, extra strings, a user’s manual, picks, a cleaning cloth and a tuning tool.
2nd Runner-up: Donner Lyre Harp, 16 Metal Strings, Mahogany Body and Copper Saddle DLH-003
For our 2nd runner-up, we chose a 16-string lyre because of the added sounds that 16-strings can produce.
The 16-string notes include: 1 (G3), 2 (A3), 3 (GB3), 4 (C4), 5 (D4), 6 (E4), 7 (F4), 8 (G4), 9 (A4), 10 (B4), 11 (C5), 12 (D5), 13 (E5), 14 (F5), 15 (G5), 16 (A5).
Made from select mahogany, the sound quality is excellent, with warm tones and sustain.
Comes with a black bag, extra strings, a user’s manual, a cleaning cloth, 2 picks, and a tuning tool.
Category: Mini Harps
These two mini harps offer a great way to see if the larger pedal or lever harps may be the next step in your harp journey – at a more modest price.
Our #1 Mini Harp Pick: AKLOT 15 Strings Mahogany Harp, 22 Inch Height for Adult Professional Beginner
This lyre harp has a warm sound thanks to the 15 (nylon) strings, mahogany frame, and two sound holes.
The 15-string notes include: 1 (C4), 2 (D4), 3 (E4), 4 (F4), 5 (G4), 6 (A4), 7 (B4), 8 (C5), 9 (D5), 10 (E5), 11 (F5), 12 (G5), 13 (A5),14 (B5), 15 (C5).
This lyre harp has two strap locks so that you can play it in a standing position, or sit back and relax in a sitting position.
The nylon strings have a steel ball on the ends and connect to steel-string posts to keep the instrument in tune.
Comes with a carrying bag, strap, and tuning wrench. Spare strings are NOT included.
Runner-up: Zsdm 12 Strings Mini Harp for Beginner Carbon String
With 12-strings, the Zsdm mini harp is our runner-up choice for a beginner’s mini harp. The compact size and light weight make it ideal for smaller players looking to get a feel for playing the harp.
The carbon strings are extremely durable while still providing a good quality sound.
The frame is constructed from spruce wood.
Tips On How To Play A Lap Harp
The lap harp is a traditional Irish musical instrument that can be played with two hands at once. Before you start playing, make sure your fingers are in the right position by telling yourself numbers 1 through 4 and your thumb on top (always).
When learning how to play the harp, you should start with your right hand at F and E. Then move on down through D-C as well as up again for it all make sense!
Next use both hands equally without letting one side dominate over another while doing these movements—think about playing across instead of side; this will help when understanding which notes go where better later on.
As you get more comfortable with the harp, try to experiment with different finger placements on the strings!
When you first start playing, don’t feel anxious or afraid. Your arms should move freely and try to follow the right path on each string as it glides up into place because that’s where your best tone will come from!
What is a lap harp?
The lap harp is a small, portable stringed instrument that originated in Europe. It is played by plucking the strings with the fingers or a plectrum.
This type of instrument is ideal for beginners because it is easy to learn how to play. The lap harp is a great choice for children as their first instrument because it is small and portable.
It is also a popular choice for adults who want to learn a new instrument or brush up on their musical skills.
Where did the Lap Harp originate?
In eastern Europe, the Lap Harp is also known as a ‘Perepyolochka’ in Cyrillic, which translates to “Little Quail“.
Due to its easy playability, it is popular with musical beginners.
Harps have been found across many cultures and countries. They’re often used to signal the changing of seasons, or as part of celebrations like birthdays because they produce such beautiful sounds!
A harp is a string instrument that dates back thousands of years but remains an integral part in many modern-day ceremonies today – especially those where there’s music involved (think weddings).