Video: Harp Guitar Tricks With Yasmin Williams

Yasmin Williams plays an unconventional instrument. It is both a guitar and a harp—a guit'harp, if you will, simply because that's fun to say. But what's even better about the guit'harp than its nomenclature is how it sounds.

As Williams explains in the video above, the harp guitar is a regular acoustic with floating sub-bass strings—usually six or more—added above the main neck. Just like regular acoustics, the guitar harp comes in a variety of sizes and styles, and the one Williams is playing is a parlor-sized harp guitar from Timberline, with separate pickups for the regular acoustic and sub-bass strings.

Players usually use their picking hand to play both sections of the strings, but in Willaims' case, she finds it easier to use her fretting hand to pluck sub-bass strings when it's not in use. Williams also occasionally plays the guitar laying across her lap, like a lap steel, using tapping techniques on the frets. And, of course, you have to a have a pedalboard with an instrument like this, right? Williams does, and hers is packed with highlights like the Strymon Big Sky, Pigtronix Infinity Looper, and Audio Sprockets ToneDexter.

Be sure to check out the full video above to learn more about the guit'harp and hear Williams demonstrate just how excellent it sounds. You can also find her new album, Urban Driftwood, on her website here.

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