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Building technique

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  • #89155
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    I have a question.

    #89156
    unknown-user
    Participant

    You’re probably expecting comments from traditional students, but thought I’d reply anyway.

    #89157
    Jeralee
    Participant

    For a beginner student, I have exercises that I have the students work on, scales, chords, arpeggios etc.

    For advanced players, I use no technique book at all, but take sections of pieces they are working on, and create an exercise out of that.

    #89158
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Thanks so much for an honest response.

    #89159
    alexander-rider
    Participant

    I’m doing the Bochsa 40 etudes at the moment and I actually think they allow a good deal of room for musical shaping, as well as building technique. My teacheris also drilling me on Handel’s tema con variazioni (ed. Hans.J. Zingel- Mainz und Schott), as it is really rather tricky in places, so she does what Jeralee does, and if I am finding a part difficult, then she’ll make an exercise out of that passage and write out similar patterns and fingerings. I did the Pozzoli, and grossi too.The Pozzoli was fun, but in comparison with the Bochsa the Grossi is really rather dull! but I supoose it is still good for me..so i do a little grossi and more bochsa each time I play- I treat the etudes like pieces so if I’m not getting it right, I just practice until I do. i.e the fingerings in etude 3 which are really tripping me up! 🙁

    #89160
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Good for you Alex-I think all teachers learn to make exercises out of patterns

    found in a piece, or in a difficult passage.

    #89161
    unknown-user
    Participant

    ok, everyone’s convinced me.

    #89162

    I use the Larivi?re Exercices et Etudes on a daily basis, and all my serious students use

    them. I like how there are so many patterns condensed into a single book. I also use

    Salzedo’s Conditioning Exercises, Pathfinder to the Harp and Method for the Harp, and

    yes, Bochsa. Judy Loman also made up some superb exercises to get rid of buzzing, which

    I teach to all my students. The only danger is the repetitive nature of ?tudes; too much

    repetitive motion can lead to injury. Absolutely one should do technical work every day,

    but vary it; i.e. arpeggios, scales, trills, octaves, thirds, etc.

    #89163
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Thanks for your response Elizabeth.

    #89164
    unknown-user
    Participant

    I have created many exercises for harp technique. I was taught using repertoire as exercise, primarily. That worked for many things. After decades of using Salzedo’s Conditioning Exercises, I now fashion them after LaRiviere, using every plausible fingering pattern, but on Salzedo’s chord progression, because LaRiviere’s goes on too long, and sounds kind of trite. I also expand on the exercises in the Lawrence/Salzedo Method book. I do them for three or four octaves instead of one, etc. It has helped my dexterity and facility greatly. I spend about 30 to 45 minutes on exercises. Too many etudes go on for too long, and don’t develop both hands equally. The Bochsa Universal Method etudes are a nice length.

    I also learned from Alice Chalifoux to do an exercise at 1/16th=60, 1/8th=60, 1/4=60, 1/2 note=60. It is important, I find, to be warmed up in every tempo you’ll be playing in. This was also true in a ballet barre. They’d begin with slow plies, faster battements tendus, faster battements degages, faster battements allonge, then slow again.

    The trick in doing exercises is to play them as music, to work on tone quality and evenness, to find the expressiveness in your instrument at even the most minimal activity, the simple beauty of a tetrachord.

    #89165
    Tacye
    Participant

    What is the least useful technique you dutifully learnt?

    #89166
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Least useful???

    #89167
    unknown-user
    Participant

    It may be one of the only pieces to do so, but Whirlwind by Salzedo has some 4th-finger slides that have to be as fast as the thumb slides at 176 for the beat. That takes a lot of preparation.I have a very good exercise in which I go 112344321123443211234432 and reverse 4432112344321123443211234, starting on each note of the scale. It is excellent for hand position, finger articulation, and equalizes the number of times the thumb and 4th finger play with the 2 and 3 fingers.

    #89168

    In response to the question, does anyone use 4-finger trills: yes, Judy Loman does these

    superbly. I think it might be necessary to have a fairly long fourth finger to make these

    work.

    #89169
    unknown-user
    Participant

    I use the Salzedo Daily Dozen and Conditioning excersises every once in a while. I also some time do La Source by Hasslemans (even though playing it makes me want to dip myself in batter and fry myself in hot oil…) to change things up. Most of the time though, when I sit down to practice, I still do trusty arpeggios, up and down the harp- i do them over until i get them right- and then do them 3 more times.

    I think another thing that harpists (especially very advanced ones) may be overlooking is the value of good, old fashioned SCALES. Theyre so simple, but yet so invaluable! Theyre the first things youll learn and the last things youll forget.

    I also have some Krumpholtz etudes I use every once in a while.

    :-)

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