“To Zanarkand” is a beautiful melody by Nobuo Uematsu from the video game Final Fantasy X. I plan to record a music video of this sometime this summer and I still need to practice the lever changes towards the end of the piece – join me as I work on them!
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I use the left hand pattern in Kim Robertson’s arrangement of Fauré’s Pavane to talk about three things to do to make an up and down left hand pattern sound as smooth and flowing as possible.
Kim Robertson’s Celtic Harp Solos is an excellent book. Your favourite harp music retailer will probably have a copy (or could obtain one for you). For example: https://gourd.com/robertsonbooks.html
It’s also available as a PDF download: https://harpcolumn.com/music/all-music/artists/kim-robertson/celtic-harp-solos/
Relaxation is so important when playing any instrument – both for speed and to remain injury and pain free. Making sure your fingers don’t stay clenched into the palm when they aren’t playing is one key to staying relaxed. In this episode I talk about how to achieve that (including using a rubber band as an aid!) and demonstrate how it looks.
A bit of a ramble about fingerings! When can we and can we not trust our hands to tell us when a fingering is bad or good?
As promised, here’s the link to Hasselman’s “Petite Berceuse“ at the harp archives.
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about ways to practice playing fast downward arpeggios – using Samuel Pratt’s classical “The Little Fountain” as my example!
And I did a Slow Motion Monday episode from a different angle:
I’m home from my fall 2018 European tour and ready to get back into recording Harp Tuesday episodes! Here’s a look at a short section from Debussy’s 1st Arabesque that features two different places where you have to be very careful to avoid buzzing!
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I take a look at a fun pattern from Lauren Scott’s interesting new book, Adventures for Lever Harp
A quick look at left hand muffling with open octaves. Also check out Episode 24.
I did a follow up Slow Motion Monday video:
In this episode oI talk about chord progressions and working on the ability to automatically go up and down a chord sequence (root, 1st inversion, 2nd inversion). As a companion to this episode you might find these two episodes helpful:
In this episode I talk about how to play a 4,3,2,1,2,3,4,3,2,1 pattern – a great basic exercise and good workout for the fingers!
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I take a look at pedal slides, an extended technique for harp that takes advantage of the sound created when we change the pedal of a still vibrating string. Two of the pieces that I talk about are Salzedo’s “La Desirade” and Andre Caplet’s 2nd Divertissement “a l’espagnole“.
We so often play chords with a break/roll, even if it’s very slight. It’s good to be able to play chords with every note sounding at the exact same time – here I offer a few thoughts on hand position and finger action when playing 4 finger solid chords.
Here’s a “Slow Motion Monday” video of me playing chords:
In this episode I have fun slowing down three short clips. To start is a look at a right hand scale, followed by the last page of Grandjany’s “Rhapsody”, and finally a short section from Anne Vanschothorst’s “A Bird Came Flying”
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I take a close up look at playing a left hand pattern often referred to as an “Alberti Bass”. (For example, C, G, E, G, C, G, E, G, etc.)
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.
A chord/jumping exercise! Download the free PDF here!
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I conclude a look at some of my favourite Etudes. I talk about Hasselmans “La Source” or “The Brook” and Felix Godefroid’s Etude de Concert.
Stay tuned at the end of the episode for a short bonus clip of the conclusion of the Godefroid etude.
In this episode I start a 3 part look at some of my favourite Etudes.
I look at 3 etudes from Bochsa’s set of 50 etudes.
No 31 starts at 2:57
No 8 starts at 8:16
No 10 starts at 13:12
I take another look at the basic finger/hand motions involved in playing the harp, including some close-ups that give a clear picture of what I’m talking about!
Looking at 4-finger trills
I talk about how to do lever changes on the folk harp
I talk about getting a good tone
I talk about ornamentation – turns, graces notes, trills, mordents, etc.
This wikipedia page is a good place to start exploring ornamentation
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about three different types of exercises – scales, finger independence, and arpeggios. I give a somewhat in-depth look at arpeggios starting at 14:26
I talk about chords – some very basic theory (what is a chord, anyway?), inversion, some possible exercises.
A look at both thumb and fourth finger slides:
A two part look at muffling and dampening techniques:
Plus check out episode 135:
And these Slow Motion Monday videos:
In this episode of Harp Tuesday, I talk about playing 4-fingered chords, and working on finger independence:
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I go back to look at some basics, and talk about how to cross over/under to play scales and similar passages.
In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about glissando or glisses. The gliss is such a quintessential harp sound – but here I also explore some of the more unusual glisses that are possible:
Arm and wrist movement:
In this episode I talk about harmonics:
In this episode I talk about how to play one of the quintessential sounds on the harp – the rolled or broken chord:
Your second harp lesson. In this episode I talk about playing multiple notes at the same time (chords) and some fingering basics (connecting, etc.)
In this episode I look at pedals changes, and how you can change two pedals with one foot. (Plus a follow up video)
Your first harp lesson! I talk about some basics to get you started playing the harp: