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#077: How to Reach that Unreachable Left Hand Chord

How are you supposed to reach that left hand chord?

You know the one I mean. It goes by a lot of different names, a root-position triad in open spacing, a 1-5-3 chord, or maybe just the chord you can’t ever place accurately. Certainly when we first encounter the chord, it’s a stretch for our hands, but eventually most of us can manage it without too much difficulty.

When we place and play the chord well, it sounds warm and rich. Because it’s a big reach, though, it’s often a challenge to get to the right notes at the right time and play them without hitting neighboring strings. 

And that’s a problem because this combination of notes is everywhere in harp music. We encounter it sometimes as a chord, sometimes as an arpeggio. In fact, I often call this the “left hand master chord,” because it is the one chord that, when we master it, solves playing difficulties in so many pieces. We don’t want to have to spend our practice time negotiating this chord in each new piece we learn.  Once you have discovered the placing techniques that work for your hand, you can apply them easily every time. 

So today I’m going to try to help you reach that unreachable chord. You won’t need to stretch your hand or your fingers; that’s not healthy for you anyway. I’ll give you my best strategies for placing and playing this chord or arpeggio accurately, comfortably and beautifully. 

By the way, there’s an extra bonus here. You’ll find these techniques work for those larger right hand chords too.

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]


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