How many sharping levers do I need?

When trying to answer this question, it is helpful to understand that levers can only be added to a harp once all of the strings have been installed and the harp has stabilized enough to hold its pitch.  So if you are building a kit, you don’t have to purchase levers when you purchase the kit.

The number of levers you will want depends largely on your ability and the music you play.  Most beginner method books don’t require you to have any levers at all since most of the music is written in the key of C.  Many beginning harp students could quite easily spend 6 months to a year without needing any levers.

As your playing progresses, you’ll start to find you need to change keys.  At that point, you can add a full set of levers or, if you would like to spread out the cost, you can add them by key.

If Celtic music is your thing, you’ll see lots of music in the keys of G and D.  In that case you would want to have levers on all of your F and C strings.

If you are more into classical music you might find yourself needing to play in the flat keys of F, Bb, and Eb.  In that case you would add levers to the B, E, and A strings.

If you aren’t sure what music you’ll be playing but would like to save some money and just add a few levers to start, the most common configuration is to add levers to the F, C, and B strings.  Having levers on those notes will allow you to play in the keys of C, G, D, and F.  You’ll find enough music in those four keys to keep you busy for years.

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