There will never be a shortage of exercise books. As long as there are harpists, they will want to develop a more facile technique to make their playing easier, faster, more fluid and more musical. Scales and arpeggios will always be staples of our technical work but obviously, there is so much more that goes into harp technique. And with the plethora of choices of exercise, etude and method books, where does a harpist start?
The short answer to that question is to just start; it doesn’t really matter where. Any technique growth is better than none. A steady progression of skills is even better, of course. Again the simple solution is a good one; work your way through any exercise book beginning to end and you will cover most of what your fingers need. When you’re finished with that book, choose another.
There are some technical issues, though, that are very common and yet are often resistant to the usual approaches. On today’s episode of the podcast, I want to discuss a few of those issues (seven, to be precise) and some exercises that are favorites of mine for resolving them. I will give you two exercises for each, one that is more basic or fundamental, and one that covers a more advanced aspect of the particular technique.
And while you may want to take notes as we go, never fear, I have put a link in the show notes to the books and exercises I mention so you can download it at your convenience.
Two more things before we dive in. First, these aren’t the only exercises that solve these problems and they may not be the best ones for you. They are ones I like and ones my students have found helpful.
Secondly, what I think is important about today’s discussion is that I will share not just the exercises I like, but why I like them, how they will help your technique and your playing and how to practice them.
We have a lot to cover today, so let’s get started.
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
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