How To Play

Index

  • Begin by placing the index and the thumb on the C and E strings.
    •  Play each string in repeated succession keeping one finger preplaced as the other plays its string.
    • Play both simultaneously, feeling that pinch action between the thumb and the index, and taking advantage of it to generate strength and tone.
    • Normally such an exercise would have all the notes linked, but at the moment we are only interested in taking that two finger position and transposing it up a string, so that you are now playing the D and the F strings.
    • Again, play these back and forward and as the third.
    • Move to the next string, and so on up the treble range of your harp. Remember to keep a constant eye on the height of your elbow and the alignment of the forearm and wrist, and ensure that these remain constant as you move up and down the instrument.
    • Do the same in descent. See Ex. 3 This exercise is notated to two octaves but you should attempt this exercise by degrees, moving up and back in the range of an octave before attempting to encompass the entire notated two octaves. Eventually you want to be able to do this exercise up and down the entire reachable range of your instrument.
    • Remember at every stage to apply neural patterning. Be careful at all times that the forearm position is maintained, that you are following all the way through with all of the finger movements, and that you are remembering to breathe evenly, with that evenness extending to your tempo and your tone.  

      • THE THIRD FINGER AND TRICHORD. (LEFT HAND). This is the same set of exercises as the right hand. The same elements of preplacement and linking are essential to observe with the left hand as well. You will find the notation for the left hand exercises in the bass part of the right hand examples. Remember to apply your neural patterning. The more fingers you are using, the more important it is to help the brain out. Also, remember to use different dynamics, that is, loud and soft, as this helps to establish tone, variety and expression in your playing. TRICHORDS FOR THE LEFT AND RIGHT HANDS TOGETHER. 1. Begin with your simple A.B.C. trichord ascending and then descending, see Exercises 4 and 6.

        2. Continue on with ever extending walks up and down the whole range of the harp, see exercises 5 and 7. Watch out for buzzing, using a crisp attack to avoid it.

        3. Keep the volume and the tone of both hands balanced. 

        4. Watch particularly that you keep the thumb of the left hand and the third finger of the right hand, placed closely to the cusp of the strings. Get into the habit of  keeping your hands playing up and down the cusp, and not roving either too high with the right hand, or too low with the left hand.

        5. Be mindful at all times that you are following through with the fingers to the palm of the hand and that as you move up and down the harp your forearm, elbow and shoulder are all involved correctly, and not inhibiting overall movement, and that you are preplacing and linking at all times.

        5. Play the above exercises as loudly as you can.

        6. Play the above exercises as softly as you can.

      7. Apply neural patterning.


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