Some general, non-technique related thoughts on ways to stay pain-free while playing the harp. Please note: I am not a medical professional! 🙂
Need to play a bunch of glisses and want to save your fingers? A hard felt pick might be just what you need 🙂 In this short episode of Harp Tuesday I demonstrate what a glissando with a pick sounds like.
I’m using these Ukulele picks from Amazon – 3 for $3: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B005A09I7Q/ (not an affiliate link) but I believe any hard felt guitar or ukulele pick should work!
I’ve found half page turns to be a super useful thing when working with an iPad and digital sheet music. It helps allow you to do both pedal changes and bluetooth foot pedal page turns, as well as reading “across” the page when practicing.
I’m using the forScore app for iOS – I highly recommend it as a way to view and manage sheet music on an iPad. https://forscore.co/
I did a longer episode talking about my experience using an iPad in place of paper music: http://www.joshlayne.com/harptuesday/ep-113-sheet-music-on-tablets-forscoreipad/
Happy 2019 everyone! I’m busy finishing my annual New Year’s Improv video, and I thought what better subject for today’s Harp Tuesday episode than a look at improvisation. I offer two concrete ideas to spark your creativity and get you improvising in 2019 🙂
You might also enjoy episode 70
And here’s a playlist of my various improv videos
A year ago I bought a beautiful new Camac “Excalibur”. I did a video talking about it when I first got it and I thought it would be fun to do something a year later (spoiler alert, I’m still in love 🙂
For more on changing strings, check out episode 10.
In this episode I talk about problem solving as I try to make a section easier at the end of Debussy’s “Prelude” (from his Suite Bergamasque).
In this composer-centric episode I talk about pedal change, pedal markings, and pedal charts. As a composer, should you include these in your scores/parts? Answer – it depends 🙂
Hopefully helpful and interesting to composers and non-composers alike! Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I use my arrangement of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring as one of my examples – find the sheet music here.
A real-time look at adapting for lever harp the first of six “Noels” by Marcel Tournier. Tournier wrote these for pedal harp, and there’s a certain amount of modulation going on in this Noel. Still, having played through it a couple times I’m hopeful that I can adapt it for lever harp – join me for the journey and lets see if it works out! 🙂
I’ll be arranging the Skye Boat Song over several episodes, starting with this real time look today. Hope you enjoy!
In this episode I complete my look at the gear I use to create Harp Tuesday and music videos, etc.
This episode looks at some of the software I use.
Here’s a list of not only the software I talk about in the episode, but also other tools I’ve used:
Reaper. Fantastic audio editor that also functions as a pretty good video editor. Just recently discovered that it has more video editing capabilities than I was aware of and I’m super happy about that! I love it as an audio editing program and am now using it as my main video editing program. These two videos were both created in Reaper, for example:
Try out the complete program for free for 60 days, and it’s just $60 for a personal license. Highly recommended!
The rest of these programs are either free or have a free version:
Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Steaming/capture software that lets you record your screen if you want to display sheet music + video, for example (such as this episode):
Of course, you can also use it for livestreams!
Lightworks. Professional quality video editor. Free (basic) version only lets you export at a max of 1280 x 720. Steep learning curve and not particularly intuitive, but very powerful.
Since it’s free, potentially worth checking out. I have used it for various music videos over the years:
DaVinci Resolve. There is a free version available (scroll to bottom). I’ve played around with it a tiny bit, but wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle the learning curve given that I all ready know how to use Lightworks (to some extent!) and now I’m very happy with Reaper. Still, if I end up wanting to do some greenscreen videos, for example, I may revisit Resolve.
Handbrake. Open source (free) video conversion tool, can be handy to have around.
VirtualDub. Free tool for encoding/some editing.
FFmpeg library – many other programs make use of this library, can also access it from the command prompt.
In this second of three Harp Tuesday episodes I talk about the gear I use to create Harp Tuesday videos and offer some thoughts and suggestions for those looking to record their own videos.
This episode is about recording equipment. I use a Royer SF12 ribbon mic and an AEA “TRP” preamp for most of my recordings. I also have a Zoom H5 for easy on location recording.
In this first of three Harp Tuesday episodes I talk about the gear I use to create Harp Tuesday videos and offer some thoughts and suggestions for those looking to record their own videos.
This episode is about cameras. I currently record with a Canon T4i and Canon 18-135 STM lens. The Canon Rebel/Ti series are solid cameras, with the ability to connect a mic via a 3.5 mm input and an articulating screen, both essential features as far as I’m concerned. I’m currently eyeing the Panasonic GH5…
In this special episode of Harp Tuesday I’m very excited to show off my new Excalibur lever harp! (Made by Camac Harps and purchased from the Virginia Harp Center). It’s a super fun harp to play – I do some live improv to give you a chance to hear how it sounds!
Will be doing a lot more videos featuring this harp on locations around beautiful Victoria, BC.
The Virginia Harp Center can be found at https://www.vaharpcenter.com/
Camac Harps: https://www.camac-harps.com
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about my experience using the forScore app on an iPad air in place of physical sheet music. (I’ve found it very useful).
I mentioned three places to find free, public domain music online:
And for traditional music – The Session
In this episode I continue my look at electric harps (playing a “Firefly 2” electric harp I bought last year from Wickford Harps / Dick Ranlet http://wickharps.blogspot.ca/) with a focus on looper pedals and some of the things you can do with a looper pedal!
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about and demonstrate the “Firefly 2” electric harp I bought last year from Wickford Harps / Dick Ranlet as well as talk about electric harps in general.
I will be doing a follow-up episode demonstrating using a looper pedal – if you have any questions you’d like answered let me know!
Video where Dick Ranlet demonstrates his two part harp system –
Welcome to the 100th episode of Harp Tuesday! 100 is a big number and I feel proud to have reached it! 🙂 Thanks to all of you who watch and comments on my videos – you’re the reason I’ve made it to #100!
In this episode I offer some thoughts and advice on buying a harp, with an emphasis on advice for someone looking to buy their very first harp.
I hope this is helpful, and thanks for watching!
The complete episode is below, but I also split this episode into individual sections if there’s something specific you’re interested in.
1. Introduction https://youtu.be/lY2PVTGFb-A
2. General advice/synopsis https://youtu.be/znZ6D3Pyss0
3. Three categories of harps https://youtu.be/IINfg-emaQo
4. Celtic harps – how many strings? https://youtu.be/8m-vBBdJY7c
5. Celtic harps – do I need levers? https://youtu.be/OrqoGgxEc8I
6. Build quality and ergonomics https://youtu.be/JcdPXdPgG6k
7. Sound quality https://youtu.be/Q_hj0a-OvRQ
8. Strings – gut or nylon? https://youtu.be/P1xQUAT1mDw
9. Pedal harps https://youtu.be/9tz-M-EvqCQ
10. Other type of harps https://youtu.be/S87aHF79BiE
In this episode I look at a very small section from Marcel Grandjany’s composition “Rhapsodie” and talk about and play around with different ways of phrasing it.
In many ways what it boils down to is first figuring out how you want it to sound (in your head) and then working on being able to play it that way on your instrument…
From orchestral playing to harp ensembles to duets, playing with other people is a lot of fun! In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about two aspects of playing with others and give some specific exercises you can practice on your own.
In this somewhat silly episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about some of the useful things I keep in my harp bag, plus ways to deal with difficult page turns.
I had a lot of fun with this series of episodes – all about arranging Greensleeves. I ended up with an arrangement/composition that I really like, and it’s neat to see it happen bit by bit, including in the first episode, in real time!
And the music video!
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about taking piano music and adapting it for the harp. I use the example of Bach’s Partita No. 1, in particular the Courante:
Still one of my favourite episodes 🙂
How to change a harp string:
I later did a follow up to this episode, plus an episode on changing wire strings:
And low octave gut strings: