So, the folk learning process is somewhat failing for me on the harp since I am the only harp player in my session. In fact, I am the only folk harp player I know of in Cambridge(shire). I am a somewhat decent Irish whistle player, and I can hold my own on a bodhran (honest, honest I can). I live every Sunday in the pub and play/practice with my friends quite a lot during the week. I can do folk….but I can’t do harp. Or rather, I’m only getting very, very slowly better just by sheer exposure, but I’m not learning so much because I have no one to learn off for the specific folk-harp things.
So, I need the help of you very nice folk harp people on the internet. Ornaments, how? Favourite/suggested chordal accompaniment patterns (i.e patterns of playing chords, not chord sequences)? Is it normal to only be able to play waltzes to speed (barely) at this point? Jigs and reels, are they ever going to happen? Like, ever? They are damn fast for a harp. I don’t have any trouble playing by ear, but my fingers won’t move anywhere near as quickly. Do I just move too slowly? Should I stick to playing accompaniments? Should i go find myself an English session (please no)? Should I stop trying to play the tunes and an accompaniment in the LH at the same time, or what? How the hell do you roll on a harp? Or cut? Or are there a completely different set of ornaments for harps?
Answers and tips much appreciated. Youtube can only get you so far…
Lastly, if there ARE any folk harpists in the Cambridgeshire region that are happy to help, please tell me where you session and I can shyly come and invade. In return, I’ll bring a box player with me, everyone likes those. And fear not, I promise to leave the bodhran at home.