Learning difficulty re playing the thumb.

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    HBrock25 on #156444

    Hello Harp Column People! I just joined your lovely site!
    I am teaching myself Harp via book / dvd. I’m practicing the learning technique of playing strings with thumb whilst holding my second finger on a string. I’m finding that I’m striking two strings at once whilst playing with the thumb. Any suggestions? Much appreciated! 🙂 Sarah.

    unknown-user on #156445

    Hi Sarah,
    It’s hard to know exactly what you’re doing it without seeing it for ourselves, but I’ll give it a shot.

    I’m guessing that when you say that you strike two strings at once, you mean that you strike the string you meant to strike and then you also graze the string directly below it.

    If that’s the case, your issue would come from either hand position or thumb folding technique, although the latter is rather straight forward in most techniques. That means it’s probably just your hand position.

    I would suggest trying two things, either together or separate. One, try bringing your wrist a bit closer to the strings. This will force your hand to change position so that when you place your thumb on a string, the string will be almost parallel to your thumb. Don’t push your wrist in too much, it’s a rather subtle change in position. Two, and I personally think this is probably a better solution, place your fingers as you would normally, and then twist your wrist towards the harp (that is, counterclockwise for your right hand and clockwise for your left)a bit and see if that helps. The overall effect will be the same, but the first proposed solution is more just to make sure that you’re not playing with your hand to far away from the strings.

    Hope that helps!

    Sarah Ashton on #156446

    Hello Sam!

    Thank you for your reply. I know its hard to know what I mean without seeing it, but you got it exactly. I’ll try those suggestions and let you know how it goes.
    Again, many thanks for your time and knowledge!


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