The 10 worst things about playing the harp, by Claire Jones

24 February 2015, 15:25 | Updated: 6 January 2017, 14:45

We asked harpist extraordinaire Claire Jones to tell us the worst things about being a harpist. Turns out there's quite a few to choose from.

1. It's not collapsible

No, the harp does not break down into pieces. I’m trying to imagine if it did… how… nope. That'll never work.



2. Your fingers

Say goodbye to your dainty, harpist fingers forever.

3. Tuning

You'll always be tuning those strings. Ever timed a piano tuner? Almost the same amount of strings, but you have to do it in a fraction of the time.


4. The harp chooses the car

Sadly you'll never drive a cute sporty motor.

(via Flickr) 


5. It's too darn quiet

Yes orchestra, play louder. That will help everyone hear the magic of the harp.


6. Five-note runs

Why do composers think we play with five fingers on each hand, same as the piano? With just a little research, they’d find that the pinkie never gets involved – EVER.

(via Wikipedia)


7. Feet and hands... together

Most people are unaware that harpists have to use their feet as well as their hands - it probably makes us the most dexterous of the whole orchestra *grins smugly*, but also calls upon superhuman skills of co-ordination *cries*.


8. No warm-up time

Don't expect to play or warm up before a performance - it's sitting on stage an hour before (looking glorious, obviously).


9. Expense

For concert harps, think racehorse. And that's before you've had your monthly string bill.


10. You're first and last

But don't call harpists lonely, just because we're first to arrive and last to leave rehearsals.


See Claire Jones live in concert and win £1,000 of Clogau jewellery

Claire Jones’s new album ‘Journey’ is out on 1 March on Silva Screen Classical.