Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thing Six: Harping On

For my 26th birthday, I bought myself an autoharp. This is the point where a lot of people say, "A what now?" An autoharp. It's an instrument used commonly in Appalachian/folk/bluegrass type music. Sort of like a dulcimer. You press down keys which mute some of the strings, and then you strum and pick the rest, and it's very melodious. June Carter Cash played one. I thought it was a good instrument to get, because not many people play them anymore, and I like the idea of preserving folk traditions like that where I can.

I know, how hipster is that?

Except that I really got it because I am hopeless at guitar, and I was hoping I could do a little better with the autoharp, which requires a less arthritis-triggering hand position.

So I bought a little tuning tool, and I got it all tuned up, and...I left it in a closet for four years.

I mean, not really, I would pull it out every now and again and strum it, and say, "Ooh, this really does seem to be up my alley." But I never really settled down to learn how to play it right.

But I am absolutely not moving it in and out of another living situation without learning to play it. It's ridiculous that I have an old-timey-jug-band instrument and I don't know how to play it. If I'm going to own a hipster instrument, I am at least going to be authentic enough to actually know how to play it.

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