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Beginner harper, very late starter!


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#16 sopsaxharpflute

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 14:13

Oh, well, I am not sure what you mean by trigger finger, but I still tend curl up my fingers  2 and 3 now and then. My harp teacher might call it, very cute,  little rabbits (they mimic the ears of a rabbit). So, at least you are not the only one!


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#17 dorfmouse

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 20:18

Mine is a one-eared rabbit. ???? ????
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#18 sopsaxharpflute

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 07:24

Mine is a one-eared rabbit. ???? ????

Lucky you! ;)


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#19 dorfmouse

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 17:49

I see it's nearly two months since I started so passing things in review:

Am gradually taming the bad bunny though he's still irritatingly determined to pop up his one ear
Right hand is working quite nimbly and can place quite nicely
Left hand is still stodgy in comparison
Hands together coordination is frustrating and anything involving changes in position or placing in both hands causes brain freezes. Am slowly learning to judge what is doable at this stage, and it's not what looks easy to a pianist! So I keep going with the baby arrangements in the tutor book. By chance I came across Grandjany and Weidensaul's First Grade pieces for Harp yesterday and bought them on an impulse and am pleased - clever little pieces, the first ones just using one or two notes but very tunefully and surprisingly satisfying!

Bought Deborah Friou's harp exercises and finding them really good. Clear printing, nice spiral binding. Most of the exercises are written out in minims or quavers, which is much less daunting to see than masses of semiquavers, but of course they can be brought up to any speed eventually. So far they are really helping me concentrate on hand position, and keeping hands level. Hopefully the speed and agility will happen later!

I am waiting for the Pamela Bruner to be delivered but will have to see when I'm ready to start it.

Paaaaatience!!
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#20 sopsaxharpflute

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 15:03

I love Friou's Harp Exercises too. The great thing about them, is that they keep you busy for years and years. 

 

Which book(s) of Pamela Bruner did you buy? Her Play the Harp Beautifully 1 or 2 and/or maybe even 3?


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#21 dorfmouse

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 15:37

Hi, just book 2. Waiting for it to arrive still!
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#22 dorfmouse

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 14:02

I was feeling rather down about my progress a while ago and felt the need to find a book with lots and lots of simple pieces to build up confidence. I came across Betty Paret's First Harp Book and cannot recommend it too highly! Lots of short pieces that progress gently in difficulty. She had a genius for arranging simple tunes beautifully. I get a lot out of each piece and don't get bored practising them. My teacher's very pleased to discover it as it's not a book known here it seems.

I would like to get her Second Harp Book for later, but I'm not clear how much of it is suitable for lever harp, it's not clear in the blurbs. Does anyone know? (My harp has 38 strings.)
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#23 erard

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 17:10

Some of Betty Paret's second book needs pedals, and my recollection is that quite a bit does.
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#24 sopsaxharpflute

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 17:14

Hi Dorfmouse, I googled and found on "https://www.theharps...etty-Paret.html the following information:

"A lovely collection of pieces for the intermediate pedal harpist. Some pieces are playable on a 36 string lever harp."

 

I understand that you are looking for: " a book with lots and lots of simple pieces to build up confidence."

 

You may like Pampuchs series of books for the lever harp. You can order them directly from Christoph Pampuch himself. These books are rather popular in Germany, so you may even buy them second hand.  I love these little books. 

 

Have a look at: http://www.harpamund...tischeharfe.htm

7 books for the first year of playing the harp; 7 books for the second year and 8 books for the third year.

I myself have got several of them.


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#25 dorfmouse

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 18:09

Thanks both! Yes, I read the blurb and was basically wondering how many "some" are! The second book is quite a bit more expensive but I don't mind if not all are suitable as long as there's a good few.

I have the first two Pampuch books and like them too. Lots of lovely tunes. I think I just dived in too quickly with some of the pieces before I was really ready. There's just something about the pace of the Betty Paret that really suits me.

x
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#26 dorfmouse

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 09:21

Well, I spent time this morning dabbling around on the Tube listening to grade 1 stuff and came across "Harping On" by Fiona Clifton-Welker. Seems like a copy will be winging its way here soon .....!
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#27 Zixi

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:15

dorfmouse - what would you suggest for an absolute beginner? It looks like you're a way along your journey now so have the advantage of reflection!


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#28 dorfmouse

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 19:59

Hi Zixi, I feel still very beginnerish so I'm really not someone to give advice!

My teacher lent me a harp tutor book aimed at children to begin with, which was fine but everything's in German of course so I don't know if that helps you. Nursery tunes in German are no more inspiring than Humpty Dumpty! I don't really know specific tutor books, the equivalent to the plethora of tutors you can find for piano. That's why I like Betty Paret's First Harp Book so much; after the first few pages you feel as if you're playing something that's not too boring to spend a bit of time on. But it's not a tutor book per se or designed to be a self-teaching book.

Sylvia Woods is often recommended, but I haven't seen her books.
I got Pamela Bruner, mentioned above, but actually have hardly used it. It has good explanations of the basic techniques but I imagine you'd need the videos to really 'get' it if you haven't got a teacher's guidance - but that's only my impression.

I have found it much harder than I expected, and can only admire people who manage without a teacher!

What are your plans? Have you started yet?
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#29 Zixi

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 11:59

Actually, your thread is very inspiring! I think I'm just curious about how you feel a year on.

 

I have a 26 string harpsicle (Rees harps). I bought it in 2015 because I'd always wanted a harp but I never did anything about it because at the same time I found out just how ill I was and a year was taken up with dealing with that. Then once I was well enough I went back to learning the recorder. Reading your thread has reminded me that all I do with my harp is tune it and pluck random strings! I think I should do a little more!

 

The problem with the harp and my brain is that whatever I do to  it I think it sounds wonderful! It is very very easy to make the recorder sound truly dire so I've concentrated on making that sound ok; and I have a teacher. A teacher for the harp isn't possible at the moment but I suspect it's one of those instruments that you really, really do need a teacher!

 

I wonder if you realise how inspiring it can be to see how someone is coping? smile.png


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#30 sopsaxharpflute

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 16:56

Hi Zixi, you may like to join the (free) and well moderated virtual harp circle at yahoogroups at: https://groups.yahoo...harpcircle/info . There you find lots of people, some at the very beginning of their harp voyage, others are well advanced or even professional teachers. 

 

I would start with Pamela Bruner's book Play the Harp beautifully, Vol. 1

 

Also, you may like to have a look at the great (and free) tutorial clips of Ray Pool at: http://raypool.com/video.html.

Finally you may like to start following Josh Layne's Harp Tuesdays. You find a list of them at: http://www.joshlayne...m/harptuesday/ 


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