All Thumbs? 4 Quick Thumb Fixes for Harpists


Do you feel like you’re all thumbs?

Thumbs can just plain get in the way. Sometimes our thumbs make us feel clumsy and slow when we play. They get tense; they don’t place accurately. Thumbs can be hard to control, and it can be even harder to make them sound beautiful and musical.

But with a little understanding and a little attention, your thumbs can be as nimble and expressive as the rest of your fingers.

Henriette Renié in her Complete Method for Harp says that the base of the thumb should extend outward from the palm “forming a curved space between the thumb and second finger.”  Salzedo writes in his method that “the space between the thumb and the 2nd finger is the main concern of the player – this space is formed by stretching the hand.”

With those expert opinions in mind, I offer you four quick thumb fixes on the blog at

While you’re there check out my upcoming free webinar, “The Need for Speed – Flight School for Your Fingers.”

And don’t forget to register for our third annual Harp Mastery Day to be held in the Philadelphia area on Saturday, May 30. Take the day and focus on your harp – it’s worth it!

Finally a huge shout out to all the amazing harpists and teachers who contributed so generously to the “Learning Beyond the Harp Bench” article in Harp Column this month. So many words of wisdom – don’t miss it!



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