How to Play Harp Chords

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Basic chords on the harp are made up of at least three notes and are identified with the colored strings in the middle of the instrument. Learn how to play the most basic chords on a harp, including C, G, E and F, with tips from an experienced musician in this free video on the harp.

Part of the Video Series: Beginning Harp Lessons
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Video Transcript

So, now I'm going to teach you about basic chords. Chords are really, well, they're basic. We're going to play a C chord. So a C chord is named such because it starts off on a C, the red string, always a C. So you're going to place your third finger on the C note, and then the next note about that is a D, and the next one is an E, and that's where you're going to want to place your second finger. Now the next string above that is an F, and the next string above that is a G, and that's where you're going to want to play your first finger. This is a C chord. When you play it separately, it becomes an arpeggio. Now if you play it all together, as harpists we like to complete our chords, so where you might use all four fingers, and we're going to want to place our thumb on the C, one octave higher. That was an arpeggio running up, and an arpeggio running down, and a C chord. Now you can... run the arpeggio all the way up. Now if you wanted to play an F chord, it's the same thing. You just start with the F note, and then you run to the A and run to the C. Or if you want to complete the chord, you can use all four fingers. And that's it.


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