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Beginner harper, very late starter!


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#91 Zixi

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 11:07

@AdLibitum - thank you! I've added Bernard Andres to my list. I thought I'd prepare for Trinity's Initial Grade and then move on to ABRSM Grade I. I have no intention of really taking the exams but I can do pretend very well!  :lol:  Andres is on Grade 1 with Asters so I'll order that. I really do like someone else to put a schedule together for me so I'm using the exam syllabus.

 

Is there any particularly good place to buy harp music on line? Even without Covid I'd be an online buyer. We live in the countryside and won't travel far because of the collie.


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#92 AdLibitum

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:31

The Creighton Collection is good. I've also bought stuff from Sylvia Woods' website - she sells quite a lot of other people's sheet music, not just hers.
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#93 Pickle

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 13:53

Tim Creighton of Creighton's collection is very helpful - if you want something he doesn't stock, he'll track it down for you - but he also stocks an enormous selection.

Morley harps also have a good stock - very useful filters for exam pieces and links to youtube performances of them.

Rowlands music online.


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#94 Zixi

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 15:20

Thanks both of you! I'll take a look. The last time round I tried learning, I'd got 'into' it but damaged my hand very badly and just never went back to it. I'm hoping that this time it will last! I've certainly been enthused reading through the thread again!


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#95 Saxwarbler

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 21:15

Someone took her harp down, tuned it and started the first chapter of Play The Harp Beautifully! I've been doing 20 minutes a day for a few days now. I've forgotten the bottom clef. I can't read the treble clef because I don't read notes, I automatically convert to recorder fingering so it's slooowwww. Luckily, so is Bruner's book! However, I absolutely love the way I can count the rhythm aloud as I play. I can't do that on the recorder. I even put the metronome on and counted along with that while I played. It was really good fun. Stick the metronome on me when I play the recorder and I throw a tantrum! :) I'm so glad I've been nudged by this thread again... I'd forgotten how beautiful even simple 'tunes' sound!

Oh dear! Reverting to woodwind fingering is something I kept doing when I started learning guitar. I passed grade 1 on that but didn't go on for much longer. I somehow couldn't grasp the idea that moving my left hand alone was what altered the pitch, nor the idea that moving the hand 'up' the fretboard lowered the pitch (vs opening your hand 'up' a recorder raises the pitch). Interestingly enough it's a similar thing on the harp vs piano - RH notes on the piano go up as you play further away, so a simple ascending scale is thumb first. Harp does the opposite.

I too am also moving slowly but I have no ambition to do much more than noodle around on a few traditional tunes so I'm OK with that. I'm doing it piano style - learn the right hand first and then when I've got that, I'll start to put in the left.

Is there any particularly good place to buy harp music on line? Even without Covid I'd be an online buyer. We live in the countryside and won't travel far because of the collie.

Not sure what sort of harp you have or what sort of music you're playing, but I've bought a couple of 'beginner' tune books from Derwent. They're mostly written for Derwent's Adventurer 20 harps - non-lever, so they're all in the key of C. Difficulty ranges from 'easy' to 'a bit challenging' within each book. They're all around £5 and downloadable. I've got the 'Welsh Dance Tunes' and the 'O Carolan Tunes' but I might just treat myself to a couple more.


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#96 AdLibitum

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 23:01

I forgot: folkharp.com has a great selection. I vaguely recall that I might have bought only downloads there because shipping of paper copies to the UK was expensive, but I might be misremembering. In any case, they have lots of music and excellent previews of most of what they sell.
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#97 Zixi

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Posted Yesterday, 06:52

@Saxwarbler - I'm using Play the Harp Beautifully. I have Sylvia Woods too and a couple of other beginner tutor books. I have some very simple tunes by Betty Paret. I'm just learning to use my thumb! My recorder playing is around grade 3 - I can sight read Grade 4 stuff easily. Unfortunately my playing is no better than my sight reading!  :lol:  But on the harp I have to name all the notes first. I'm hoping that having to learn the bass clef will be useful for the treble recorder though as some music uses the bass clef.

 

I'm glad it's going well for you! I hope the new piano is ensconced and the old one exited! My harp is a Fullsicle (Rees Harps). It's 26 strings and fully levered. I can't imagine ever getting competent enough to outgrow it but if I do I'd 'upgrade' in a heartbeat because just plucking the strings makes such a lovely sound. I can understand why it's used in therapy. The recorder played by an absolute beginner sounds dire. You need therapy listening to it. But it seems impossible to make a horrid noise on the harp.

 

@AdLibitum - thanks! I bought from Creightons (mentioned above). They really are fast and have a great selection. I don't like their website, it's awkward to navigate but I can't fault their content. They really do help to make informed choices. It's now a firm favourite. I wish every music site was like that! Prices are good too! I was going to be strict about buying new music until I'd shown some commitment but then I thought: That's not the way to treat a 5 year old! :lol:

 

My major problem at the moment is I can't figure out where to put the music stand while I'm playing. I'm trying to concentrate on the music rather than my hands but I don't find that easy. However, it's early days. I'm having fun.


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#98 AdLibitum

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Posted Yesterday, 08:03

I agree with everything you say about Creightons. I'm glad you've had a good experience with them too.

I'd say listen to your five year old. :) You don't have a problem with the amount of music you have until the pile gets taller than your harp. Then you need a bigger harp.
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#99 dorfmouse

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Posted Yesterday, 09:05

Ah, position of the stand!
This has been one of my big bugbears, partly due to eyesight issues. My peripheral vision is not as good as it was, neither the ability to quickly shift focus. All age related, added to extreme short sight, blah blah moan! Trouble with the harp: there's a large distance between the nearest and furthest strings, the music is to the left. To use the score while playing involves quick changes of focus and rapid eye and/or head movements. So while reading, the stand needs to be in the optimum position which will probably vary from player to player. I splay out the tripod feet as wide as poss, then they are respectively one to the front and one just behind the harp left feet. That brings the score roughly to the middle of the strings when the harp is upright, and when the harp is tilted the music is roughly at arm's length, not too high.
However, for the issues mentioned above, I find I'm having to learn more and more by heart, as using the score I'm much more likely to lose my place on the page, or I'll lose my place on the strings if there are jumps that I can't place in advance. Another option is to play by feel as much as poss which is a tortuous learning process for me! Though I have surprised myself when I've stuck at it sometines.

If you haven't found Christy Lynn's site, do have a look. She is very clear and engaging about all sorts of beginner techniques and issues. Here's an episode where she deals with eyesight issues and some interstind music stand ideas:

https://m.youtube.co...eature=youtu.be

So nice that the harpists are back posting!
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