Volume 1, Issue 1, July, 2004


by Stacy Hobbs

Hello to everyone and welcome to the first in a series of columns dedicated to all harp guitar aficionados and fans! We’ll be discussing the ins and outs of performing (for the beginner up to the seasoned professional) and feature some instructional material along the way as well.

To begin, lets discuss the “why” aspect of playing in front of the masses.  (Masses constitute 10 or more people in the harp guitar world)

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to playing the harp guitar.

One thought is‘It's really cool being the only one who plays the harp guitar - gee, I hope nobody else figures out how great this is’!

The second is ‘I love the sound of the harp guitar.  I wonder why nobody else plays these things or has even heard of them?’

Our focus will be on the second train of thought.

Let’s ask ourselves, why should we lug these monsters out of their comfort zone and subject them to the rigors of gigging?!

There are several reasons for doing this.

Reason #1, and possibly the most important reason is the listener.   We live in an age of information where everybody has ‘seen it all’, ‘done it all’ or have ‘heard it all’. 

How many times has someone come up to you while you are playing and said ‘I have never seen one of these before   - what is it?’  My point exactly!  This is your chance to make someone feel like they’ve encountered something unusual (they have) and it makes them inquisitive about the harp guitar.

Reason #2, to raise awareness among folks about the harp guitar.

Once someone feels like they have stumbled upon something unique, they will tell their friends and family about it.  Thus, creating a revitalized interest!

Reason #3 for playing out is to develop a working repertoire for the harp guitar.

Many of you know that playing your ‘just learned’ song in the living room can be quite different than taking it to a public forum.

Some have even said that you don’t really learn a song until you’ve performed it out in public.  (Food for thought!)

Keep in mind, taking it to a stage can be a simple endeavor.  Performing for you family and friends at Christmas, with your newly arranged tunes, can be as valid as performing at Carnegie Hall. 

The focus here should be playing your harp guitar tunes in front of an audience for the interplay and feedback. This way your songs naturally become part of ‘what you do’ and ‘who you are’.  Plus you have expanded the harp guitars’ repertoire in the process!

So change those bass strings and tune up!

Play like there’s no tomorrow – for somebody!

Stacy Hobbs has been performing, recording, and teaching music for the past 22 years. He purchased his first Harp Guitar in 1998, which proved to be his true calling. Visit www.stacyhobbs.com for more!

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All Site Contents Copyright © Gregg Miner, 2004,2005,2006. All Rights Reserved.

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