[Harp-L] Grip covers

Richard Hunter rhunter377@xxxxx
Sat Nov 12 21:34:01 EST 2016

Okay, tape.  Here are a couple of candidates:

The first is a bunch of pre-cut black tape pieces in various sizes, most of
which are usable for the purpose without, and some with, trimming. I
estimate that you can get 30 pieces fit for purpose from the set, about
half requiring some cutting, mostly simple (like cutting a piece in half at
the middle). That's enough to do 15 harps, which works out to $1.33 per
harp.  If you don't have a lot of harps and want to get the job done fast,
this might be the way to go.

The second is a roll of clear tape, .75 inches wide, which would suffice
for a lot of covers given that you really only need a strip the size and
length of the outside flare in the cover plate, because that's where you
hold it and where it slips,  A Lee Oskar, which is what I just measured, is
about 3/4 inch from back to front, and I wouldn't want my mouth on the tape
(especially since it's grippy).

A thin strip on the top cover plate flare might be enough all by itself,
but a strip under the thumb on the bottom would really lock it in.  I think
you can get 5 strips from each 3-inch section of the tape, which means you
can get 200 strips (40 3-inch.sections times five strips per section).
That's enough to do at least 100 harps.  You could also combine 3-inch
strips to make longer and/or wider ones for chromatics.

The tape is clear, so it's arguably elegant (and barely visible) even if
the cutting is not precise.  At $40 for the roll of tape, the price per
harp is about 40 cents if you do 100.  Not bad if you own all the harps and
are willing to do the work, which might get a little fiddly given that
sticky materials that flop around are involved.  A little pricey if you
don't own all those harps and don't buy them fast enough to make it
worthwhile.  If I counted all the harps in my kit, most of which I don't
cart around unless it's a recording session, the number would be something
close to 100.

The labor involved to do a harp with this stuff is probably something like
3-5 minutes per, so doing 100 harp would be something like 5 hours. That's
enough to make me consider hiring someone else to do it.  The 17 harps in
my jam kit could be done with a more reasonable chunk of time.

In any case, it's clear now that there is no product on the shelf that I
can buy and immediately apply, i.e. no harps sold from the factory with
grips, no aftermarket grip cover plates). Any solution has to involve
physical cutting and pasting, or painting something on a one-at-a-time
basis, with a lot of time invested by the owner.  If my problem is shared,
perhaps harp manufacturers can begin offering original equipment with
grips, which would be ideal. Second best (because it costs the owner time
as well as money) would be an aftermarket offering from a company like Blue
Moon. Third best is what I described above, which is what I'm going to do
given the absence of first and second best.

Thanks, Richard Hunter

On Sat, Nov 12, 2016 at 8:15 PM, Gary Lehmann <gnarlyheman at xxxxx> wrote:

> Have you seen the rubbery key labels some folks are using on their harps?
> I imagine a couple of those strategically placed on a harp would provide
> the kind of traction you are looking for.
> Rockin' Ron has them from a variety of sources.

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