How to Create and Play the Ultratonic Autoharp


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The Pumping Felt Monograph Series

A growing collection of monographs (booklets diving deeply into one subject) devoted to “pumping felt,” (or what I now call chord-and-release playing on a diatonic autoharp. Each monograph (28-32 pages) is designed to help you master the diatonic autoharp, its music, and yourself as the musician. Most are geared for experienced diatonic autoharpists who are beyond the basics and want to fill in any musicality gaps.

How to Create and Play the Ultratonic Autoharp

After I won both the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship and the International Autoharp Championship for the first time in 1995, I decided to explore this little-charted area of diatonic territory, created by the late, great Marty Schuman. Now you can explore it, too. (What’s an ultratonic autoharp? Click here.) This monograph takes you step by step through the conversion process, then starts you playing simple songs on this fascinating diatonic variant that’s more mistake-proof than “normal” diatonic autoharps. Includes helpful charts showing ten “sort of” I-IV-V progressions, and the results of depressing any two chord bars together (but if you think you’re going to play that way all the time, you’re missing the point of this incredibly resonant and harmonious instrument).


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