Randall Sprinkle has recorded a beautiful Christmas carol on his Synergy X20 Super Treble harp guitar.
In this video, recorded and produced by Brad Bailey, Randall performs a beautiful version of Carol of the Bells on his new Synergy X20 Select Series 10/17.
The North Carolina native acquired the harp guitar, which was featured in Alistair’s October Select Series collection, during his visit to the Harp Guitar Gathering in Carlsbad, CA two months ago.
“This is my first harp guitar with super trebles. I met Tony Barnard through the Harp Guitar Gathering. He let me try his guitar and gave me some pointers on using the super trebles. He is such a great player in addition to being a super nice guy.”
When Randall met Alistair at the gathering he tried his hands on our super treble, having first heard about Emerald at the 2013 Harp Guitar Gathering in Connecticut where Alistair had given a presentation during the luthier session.
He said: “My wife was with me at HGG15 – She liked the sound of the treble strings and encouraged me to make the purchase. That was all I needed to hear! I think Alistair’s accent won her over as well!”
“My fingers felt pretty clumsy trying to pick out the trebles, but it sounded cool enough that I felt it would be worth the effort to learn a new technique. Of course, hearing Tony’s playing and his recommendation for Emerald guitars helped.
“For a working musician the harp guitar offers an opportunity to stand out from the crowd because of its unique sound and looks. The Emerald guitar has all of that going for it plus it gives you the advantage of the benefit of the stability of carbon fiber. The temperatures in the southern United States in the summer are routinely above 90 F. That can be pretty brutal on a wooden guitar, especially if you have to leave it in a car.”
Randall has been a telecommunications technician for 34 years and day job is with the local electric utility (Duke Energy). But he also worked as a professional musician most of his life.
“In my younger years I played electric guitar in various rock and country cover bands. I got to travel around the US and Canada doing that. After I went to work for Duke Energy I continued playing weekend gigs.
“These days I do most of my gigs with a group called Musically Yours. This includes my wife playing harp, me on harp guitar, a cellist, and sometimes a violinist. We primarily play wedding ceremonies and corporate events. We do traditional classical music, but our specialty is our arrangements of contemporary tunes.
“We have a CD (A light in the wilderness) that features a lot of Christmas tunes, including Carol of the Bells on my first harp guitar. It was pretty cool to add the super trebles to that arrangement.
“I originally learned this arrangement for 6 string guitar from Robin Bullock. The six string neck is tuned CGDGABb with capo on 7. I think he invented that tuning for this song.”
The harp guitar
Randall’s introduction to harp guitar came, like many, through Stephen Bennett. “In 2009 I was at a guitar camp called the Swannanoa gathering in Asheville North Carolina. I had signed up for a class called ‘Finger style Beatles’ that was offered by this guy named Stephen Bennett. During the class Stephen played a tune on his harp guitar, I had seen pictures of harp guitars before but I had never seen or heard one in person. I was hooked instantly.
“I jumped into the harp guitar world with both feet. I was the host for the 13th annual Harp Guitar Gathering in 2015. The great thing about the harp guitar community is the openness of the players and builders. They are all eager to share their passion for this wonderful instrument.”
Thank you so much to Randall for sending us this wonderful video. The Christmas album ‘A light in the wilderness’ by Musically Yours is available on their website, or CD Baby. If you would like to find out more about the Synergy X20 harp guitar, click here.