Crystal Adventures

64 Arts
Water Glasses

My practice set-up on the bar.

It’s been kinda fun having a bunch of my glasses pulled out where I can make them make sound at a moment’s notice. I haven’t broken out the tuner, yet, but the sounds aren’t horrible–though they are more akin to misty mood music and not any sort of recognizable tune.

A few things I’ve learned so far:

  • The thicker the wall of the bowl, the harder it is to get sound. The case of 12 wine glasses I thought would be great is just too thick to work for this, but my pinot noir glasses work great!
  • The heavier the stem and base of the glass, the better it stays put. My champagne glasses make a great, high-pitched sound but they are prone to topple over unless I hold or weight the base.
  • Much as I’d love them too, martini glasses have not worked–I think it has something to do with the shape of the glass (angle and not a bowl).
  • Even though my reading instructed me to use my entire finger tip for the best sound, I had better luck concentrating pressure on the base of my first knuckle. Todd, on the other hand, hand no problem just by using the tip of his finger, so experiment to see where the strongest, most even pressure can be applied.
  • Dipping your fingers into the playing glasses can be awkward mid-note–have a small bowl or ramekin off to side so you can re-moisten your fingertips as needed. Playing with 2 hands? One on each side wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Now some inspiration:

I love his set-up! Looks like there are small anchors at the base of each glass and some are elevated to keep them all at the same level.

His are tied down–very smart.

Now, this is another variation of the glass harp–instead of filling each glass a certain amount to achieve pitch, the edges of the glasses are ground down to a permanent pitch. Playing them with a violin bow is a pretty novel concept, though.


My plan was to do the final installment of this art this weekend but we’ve run into a bit of a scheduling issue–Todd’s uncle passed away and we’ll be travelling this weekend for the funeral. My attempts at playing a recognizable tune on the water glasses will have to wait until next week.