The mordent that starts the Toccata and Fugue in D minor is one of the most recognizable openings in all of classical music. In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about two possible fingerings – one that I feel is ideal for this type of pattern, and the other, that I ultimately ended up using 🙂
Play along with me as I do some rolled (broken) chord practice on the harp!
I’m using a metronome app called Pro Metronome (thanks to viewer Keven for his suggestion!) and its “practice mode” to very gradually speed up the pace. Link below, though note that practice mode is a paid upgrade. Do you have a favorite app that does something similar? Let me know in the comments!
In this episode I talk about how choosing a fingering that focuses just on a fast ornament or section and then comes off, even if there are additional notes after the ornament, can be a useful approach. I use two sections from Deborah Henson-Conant’s “The Nightingale” to demonstrate what I mean.
“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
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.
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 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 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”
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.