I just joined this forum last night. I have been lurking for exactly two days and in that short time I have seen all I need to know about Harpists. All good! Seriously, I play pipe organ professionally and Horn at an amateur level and I haven’t seen this level of discourse and insight on forums related to those instruments. It’s quite amazing.
I am 60 years old and have managed to not really consider harp seriously because I never saw any men playing one. I play horn duets with one of the parishioners at my church job and I would very much like to have a portable accompanimental instrument to accompany her solos. She is by far the better hornist.
Two years ago I sustained an injury to my left shoulder that for some strange reason caused the ring and pinky fingers of my left hand to not open fully straight. They maybe reach 45* open but they can close fully. Piano and organ playing is affected but I still have my job. I don’t think anyone is really aware. My typing which I was quite proud of is actually affected more. French Horn is not as affected as I though it might be. That may be because it really is just a thing I picked up on a whim and only got serious a year ago when I met this other horn player.
I have seen Harpists playing with their ring and pinky fingers tucked in. I have also seen them spread their fingers out. I don’t know exactly how much use the left hand ring finger gets in harp playing. That is really the essence of why I am writing. To find out. I don’t really know how much my injury would affect harp playing. I am hoping it would have less impact than it does on keyboard playing. I did see a hand specialist and had several months of splints and exercises and nothing worked and I stopped going to appointments. I am terrified of having anything more invasive done.
Does anyone here play with a hand injury? I do think having had a long professional career in keyboard instruments helped me keep going after things changed physically. I don’t know how it might affect learning a new instrument. In some ways I think it might be better that I don’t have any prior experience. Thoughts?