First... What IS a harpejji?
Before we cover the Top 5 Reasons to Play Harpejji, let's describe what it is. The harpejji is an electric stringed tapping instrument, invented by Tim Meeks. It is hand-built in the USA and has been sold directly to customers in over 30 countries worldwide since 2007. Three models are available (U12, G16 or K24) with different string counts (12,16 or 24) and note ranges (3, 4, or 5 octaves). You can play seated or standing, but the instrument itself rests on a stand and plugs into wall power and an instrument amplifier. It has some characteristics of guitar, some of piano, and some all to its very own. The basic idea is to tap and hold any string onto any fret with any finger, for as long as you want the note to last. The notably unique characteristics of the harpejji are:
The electronic string muting system- Once you release any string, it gets individually electronically muted so that you do not hear the unwanted open string note ring out. Play a 5 note chord and strum ALL of the strings... you only hear the strings you are playing!
The whole tone tuning system- Since ALL of the strings are tuned in whole tone intervals and ALL of the frets are tuned in semitone intervals, the entire fretboard is isomorphic (same-shape), meaning all chords and scales of any type use the same exact fingering pattern. Way less to remember!
The piano-like visual note markers- The white notes on the harpejji are the white notes on a piano. The same goes for the black notes. Clusters of 2 black notes = C# and D#. Clusters of 3 black notes = F#, G# and A#, all like a piano. The C markers are hollow.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what it is, click the arrow at right or swipe your touchscreen towards left to start the Top 5 Reasons to Play Harpejji. Let's get started...
1. Because it's fun to be...
Choosing the harpejji is already unique, but consider how original your musical arrangements will be as your fingers fall into musical positions that are near-impossible on other instruments. For example, your chord voicings can be more open than piano, while also tighter than guitar. Speaking of your fingers, you can use all 10 of them to make individual notes! Most importantly, the highly expressive response of the harpejji will allow you to discover and develop your own, special harpejji voice.
2. Because it's good to be...
There are a lot of instruments in the world that are unique... but not very versatile. The harpejji has an authentic, timeless and familiar string sound that fits well into many styles, genres and studio mixes. And there are many techniques to choose from: tapping, strumming, slapping, sliding, bending, plucking, muting, etc. to adapt to changing dynamics. These techniques add lots of expressive colors. Moreover, because it is an electric instrument, you can also add an infinite number of effects to make it fit the mood of any song.
3. Because it helps to get...
A very important feature of the harpejji is the visual note marking system. The fretboard is a big matrix of strings and frets. Without note markers... you'd get lost quickly. Black and white note markers (similar to piano) show you exactly what note you are on no matter where you are on the fretboard. Even the C notes have a special hollow shape. Not only will you know where you are, you will also become more visually oriented with the many patterns in music theory, each and every time you play. Connecting the visual part of your brain to the music theory will only help you understand it even more.
4. Because why not keep it...
Chord books for other instruments can be one inch thick! Hundreds, if not thousands of fingerings need to be memorized in order to become a master. That's because on those instruments, an F chord has a different fingering than a D or C# chord, for example. On the harpejji, it's easy as pie! All chords of a particular type have the same fingering, regardless of the root note. That's because the harpejji is an isomorphic instrument. F major, D major C# major, etc. all have the same fingering. That goes for all chord types and all scale types. Less time spent memorizing fingerings = more time for making music!
5. Because it's important to feel...
Many stringed instruments that are worn on the body can be hard on the body, especially after long term usage. They can strain your back, neck, arms and hands. The harpejji is designed to feel comfortable and utilize softer, subtler hand motions, whether you are playing seated or standing. There is no need to pound on the harpejji! Even robust harpejji playing requires minimal downward force and thus low impact on your joints. Less pain is your gain!