In one episode, Mayik sang "The Girl from Ipanema" while playing. Singing while playing makes it easier since all the harp needs to do is accompany the vocal in some way. In later episodes, Mayik played "Everybody Hurts," by R.E.M. and later "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Jon Bon Jovi.
Mayim plays bass guitar in real life. Of course, any musical background does help to learn this fairly difficult instrument.
My favorite starting instrument, however, is still the piano, because the open hand and curved finger technique transfers better to the harp than guitar hand/finger positions. Rotate the piano hand till your fingers are at a 45-degree angle to the strings and you have nearly perfect fingers 2, 3 and 4 for the harp. Add thumbs up and you have a good basic hand position.
I love that Mayim wanted to actually learn to play, no dubbing, and "not look like a beginner," instead of faking it. All the same, Mayim is a good illustration why the guitar can begin some very difficult to break habits that are detrimental to the good harp technique.
Guitarists play with a more closed, clutching hand which as you can see from Mayim, this translates to the "claw hand" that many beginners instinctively adopt. Picking at the strings. "Plucking." And also difficulty maintaining "the big space" thumbs up that is so essential to good articulation.
So if you are coming to the harp from guitar or any other closed-hand instrument, be aware!
Keep reminding yourself to keep good position and articulation.
More details about the experience and the live taping of the show are here: http://www.harpcenter.com/category/big-bang-theory-harps
Watching "The Big Bang Theory" reruns the other night and saw "Amy," who had always talked about loving harp music, but this time actually playing the harp!
It is a Dusty 32 Celtic harp, rented from Sylvia Woods Harp Center.
According to Aedan MacDonnell, who facilitated the rental, "Amy" (played by Mayim Bialik, had only three lessons before taping.
Harpists on TV - "The Big Bang Theory
Mayik Bialik as "Amy" on "The Big Bang Theory", not dubbed, actually playing the harp.