Already a My Harp Mastery member or purchased a course? Click here to access your library!

#157: 10 Tips for Terrific Thumbs

I was going through some old music the other day and came across a notation that made me smile. It was written in my best elementary school cursive script and read, “Thumbelina’s having trouble with her thumb.” I don’t even remember what piece of music it was on, but it could have been on just about any one. I always had trouble with my thumbs. In fact, most of my music has the words “Thumbs up” in my teacher’s handwriting somewhere on the page.

I am double jointed, not to any circus freak level but in the more or less usual way. My thumbs bend backwards at the first knuckle. It’s not a big deal, not unless you’re a harpist, that is. It took me until I was sixteen to finally learn how to control my thumbs and have them play properly.

What I learned in the process was exactly how crucial our thumbs are for our harp playing. Our thumbs actually have the ability to free our fingers to be relaxed and supple; used another way, our thumbs can just about immobilize our hands. They can play ringing melody notes or trip us up in a scale. A simple repositioning of your thumb can make all your other fingers sound better. 

So we are all thumbs, or maybe it would be better to say, everything you need to know about your thumb, on the podcast today. We’ll talk about how the position of your thumb affects the rest of your fingers and how a “long and strong” thumb can make everything you play a little easier and a lot prettier. And I’ll share 10 things you need to know about how your thumb works and how to make it work better.

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] 


We love spoiling Harp Mastery® subscribers!

We will keep you posted on brand new webinars,
blog posts, courses and special opportunities.
You can unsubscribe at any time.