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#125: 8 Tips for Perfect Lever Or Pedal Pushing

I’m a pusher, and I hope you are one too, a lever or pedal pusher, that is.

Just imagine a world of harps without levers or pedals. Certainly, there are folk harps that don’t have levers and still play beautiful music. But to me, that’s a little like living in the forest. There is endless beauty in the forest, but I like the seashore and the prairies too. The world of music has so much harmonic richness and I really love having my pedal harp to explore it all. 

Of course that harmonic richness isn’t exclusive to harps with pedals. Lever harps can play music every bit as chromatically varied as pedal harps and sometimes even more easily. 

But perhaps you’re new to the world of pushers, of harp music – either lever or pedal – with accidental changes that require pushing a lever or pedal. If so, or if you’re not a newbie to pushing but would like some help with ways to improve your pedal or lever technique, then you’re in luck because that’s what we’re talking about today. 

So often students don’t really learn to push those levers or pedals before they are playing music that calls for them. It’s not just about pushing the right lever or pedal; the art is in knowing when and how to push. You may not have tried any drills to help you learn the right technique, but plenty of these drills exist. Unfortunately, not all of those helpful drills come with an explanation of the important aspects of this technique. Even fewer attempt to unravel the mysterious and very inconsistent ways the changes are marked in music.

Never fear, my friend. By the end of today’s episode, you’ll have all the info you need to become an intrepid pusher. Accidentals, those flats, naturals and sharps that occur in the middle of a piece, don’t have to cause accidents while you play, and I have 8 tips and maybe even an extra one or two, that will help you breeze through those changes with ease. 

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 and suggestions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected] 


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