Loosing my eyesight & having a hard time finding my Cs & Fs on my pedal harp

Posted In: How To Play

  • Participant
    mia-strayer on #183490

    Hi, I’m loosing my eyesight & having a hard
    time finding my Cs & Fs on my pedal harp.
    I only have a bit of sight in my left eye & it’s starting to go
    I don’t have any sight in my right eye exept light perception

    Do you have any ideas to help me with this?????????????
    If so please tell me ASAP
    THANKS

    Participant
    paul-knoke on #183493

    Have you tried the “Concedo” strings from Bow Brand? The D, E, G, A, and B are varnished bright white for better visibility. Also try using unfiltered LED light. The bluish color of this light can help make details stand out.

    Participant
    mia-strayer on #183494

    I’m having trouble finding my Cs & Fs NOT my
    clear strings on my pedal harp!!!!!!!!!
    🙁 🙁

    Member
    Angela Biggs on #183496

    Hi Mia,

    Paul’s idea may be a good one. If you can see the white strings better, it will be easier to infer where the blue and red ones are.

    Another thing you might try is green and orange high-visibility tape on the Cs and Fs just above or below where you play.

    I hope you find something that works!
    Angela

    Participant
    mia-strayer on #183497

    Hmmmmmmmmm how much would it be
    to do the white strings for
    Gina my pedal harp???????????????

    Spectator
    Sid Humphreys on #183498

    As long as you can see a difference between the clear strings and the colored strings is a good thing. Maybe start to identify the way that pianists do for reference. When glancing at the piano, you see a pattern of two and three (these are the black keys). There are 3 clear strings between F and C and two clear strings between C and F. There are many ways to find the correct string as you will soon learn. Another good way is by training your ear to identify pitch.

    Member
    hannah-anderson on #183501

    I have severe vertigo so I cannot tell most of the strings apart from one another. It’s a little different from your problem, but here are some of the things that have helped me and that I hope will help you:
    1) Always use the same bench at the same height and distance away from your harp. Always play on the same pedal harp (if that’s at all possible). This allows you to develop a feel for where each string is physically located.
    2) Like Sid mentioned, learn to develop a good ear for the pitch (and even tone quality) of notes/strings. It’s absolutely essential for finding your way around the harp.

    I’m a harp major at college right now, and while it’s still a struggle not being able to see the strings, it’s definitely possible to play and play well. It takes time and patience, but I hope that you will get there! Good luck!

    Participant
    catherine-rogers on #183506

    Try to have as much light as possible on the strings. That may help some.

    Participant
    mia-strayer on #183590

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm I use natural daylight & I
    also have all my lights turned on exept
    the 1 that’s too high for me to reach
    But… because of the time change the days are shorter & the nights are longer it’s even harder to see at night when I practice on my harp
    how much do those white strings coast?????????????????????
    Do florescent lights have a baby pink or blue tint to them or are they white & curly???????????
    Are these lights cool to the touch or do they get HOT??????????????

    Spectator
    Sid Humphreys on #183591

    “Concedo” strings from Bow Brand are sold at Lyon and Healy West, I don’t know what type of pedal harp you have but I added up the cost for strings from 1rst oct E down to 5th oct A. Without tax and shipping the cost is $435.14
    Florescent lights come in all shapes and sizes these days but if the lightbulb is “curly” then if definitely is florescent. I don’t know why you are asking if they have a tint to them (baby pink or blue). GE makes a line of lightbulbs called “Reveal” that have this tint to the bulb, it helps to enhance colors but I don’t think this will help you in this case. Stick to “bright White”. Florescent lights do burn hot, though not as hot as incandescent light bulbs. If you want a lightbulb that doesn’t get hot then you should look for LED bulbs and again, for work purposes choose bright white. I will warn you, LED bulbs are expensive, a bulb equivalent to 100 watts will cost about $20 at Home Depot, but they are cool to the touch!

    Participant
    mia-strayer on #183601

    Holy cow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll never be able to afford those strings & the lights either
    I’d have to give up a lot of harp lessons for the strings alone UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(:(:(:(:(:(

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #183603

    There is a history of blind harpists. If you can reliably reach an octave, then measure from the octave above. Or the one below, the lowest string being a C. Lighthouse for the Blind has programs for musicians, and they may have methods for dealing with such problems.

    Participant
    emma-graham on #183628

    I think concedo would be a good idea to try. You can just buy one octave’s worth of non coloured strings (so 5 strings) of the second octave for around $50. Try them out and see if they work. If so, you could buy them gradually. I’m not sure if they are the same gauge as the strings you already have so you may need to consult a technician to see if the harp would need to be serviced to check the regulation with the new strings. I used to have a harp strung with them and the are VERY bright white so the contract against the red and black is quite strong. I swapped them because I didn’t like them but I didn’t need to have the harp serviced once I did.

    Member
    Marco Hilgeman on #183655

    Hi Mia,

    If the costs of Concedo strings are a problem, you could consider Silkgut strings (they’re made by Aquila but also distributed by Bow Brand)…I use them on my Camac since a few months instead of the factory gut. The colour is like milky white, not that bright white as Concedo but they definitely have a better contrast to the F’s and C’s compared to gut. Do notice that Silkgut is a synthetic string, where Concedo is gut…but when you check out the specs of the Concedo, they mention ‘a white polyurethane coating’ which means a synthetic layer covering the gut string, so I wonder if there’s a big difference in sound. I can’t compare them, alas, but I think the Silkgut sound great! More sparkle than regular gut IMO. And they are cheaper than Concedo. I don’t exactly know price differences for the US, you would have to check that out.

    The thing Emma mentions about regulation is definitely something to bear in mind…my harp was definitely in need for a regulation after the string change.

    Hope you’ll find a solution…best of luck!

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #183785

    I think I said this before, as she clearly stated the upper strings are NOT the issue! You can learn to reach an octave automatically where you can see the strings, so you can reach down from the one an octave above. With a lot of practice, this should become natural to you. I don’t know if it would help, but maybe a colored postit on the sounding board at the position of the string could guide you?

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