Today's episode is a brand-new podcast feature, a “Quick Fix'' episode. These are special episodes designed to take your harp learning out of the realm of the theoretical and get totally practical. It’s obviously not enough just to know why something is important, although that’s a great place to start. Sooner or later you have to actually do whatever it is, and for that you need to know how.
So from time to time here on the podcast, I’ll be sharing my favorite quick fixes, the nuts and bolts step by step instructions to put some of the things we’ve talked about - or that you’ve asked me about - into place in your harp playing.
The inspiration for today’s show was a comment I received in response to a podcast episode I did nearly a year ago, episode 14, about Taming the Terrible Thumb. On that podcast I talked about how your thumb should work, the proper mechanics and the reasons why those mechanics were important. But more recently I got a comment from a listener asking for more detailed instructions about how to implement some of the things I mentioned on that show, and I have to tell you it was a wake-up call. It’s so easy for a teacher to assume that a student knows something, and unfortunately, many students are hesitant to ask for information they need. They figure it’s their fault, that everyone else already knows it and they’ll just figure it out themselves. I’m very grateful that this particular listener reached out to me - you know who you are - because I’m certain that there are other listeners out there with the same question.
Answering your questions, being a resource to harpists, is a main part of what we at Harp Mastery® are committed to doing. We don’t want you to have to figure it out yourself. There are plenty of things that are hard about playing the harp, but getting answers to your questions, especially the questions that are stopping you from making progress, shouldn’t be one of them.
So today, for our inaugural Quick Fix episode, we will not be merely talking about what your thumb should be doing; I’ll be sharing how you can fix the issues you might be having with your thumbs. There are three common complaints that harpists have about their thumbs: thumbs that are too soft, thumbs that are too loud, and thumbs that are tense. In fact, most playing challenges related to your thumbs come down to one of those three, even if they seem to have a different cause.
So as you listen, don’t be afraid to push pause and try some of these techniques at your harp. That’s what a Quick Fix show is all about.
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
Get involved in the show! Send your questions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]