playing barefoot?

  • Participant
    alexander-rider on #144880

    I play my pedal harp in bare feet and i always have, but it is
    beginning to hamper me a little as the other week i was playing a
    concert at a cathedral where i was playing harp in the orchestra and
    singing in the choir, meaning I had to put them back on when i went
    to choir (good thing they were just a pair of horrible old loafers
    huh?) and then when i went back to play my harp i had to quickly
    slip them off again. the point is i can”t feel my way with shoes on
    as my harp has very sensitive pedals. Also; does it look really
    stupid? professionals please let me know what you think? ALex

    unknown-user on #144881

    Hi Alex

    carl-swanson on #144882

    I agree with Jim.

    anita-burroughs-price on #144883

    I grew up when at the first lesson, I was given a method book and directions on purchasing “harp pumps”—closed toe, closed heel. I realize the wisdom. I find my ankles more comfortable and accuracy easier when I wear the same shoes for practicing and performing. At harp camp, the harpists were always easily recognized–shorts and dress shoes at orchestra rehearsal!

    brook-boddie on #144884

    Ditto here, Alexander.

    unknown-user on #144885


    It’s 2005! Do whatever makes YOU play the best, period! There are no rules
    anymore. I tried Capezio shoes for several months and absolutely hated
    them. I play best in my socks, so I do just about anything that allows me to be
    the best I can. Remember, it’s 2005 and the old fashion rules don’t matter
    anymore. The only people who have critized me about playing with my socks
    on were two middle age harpists.

    One of my all-time favorite pianists is George Winston who only plays piano
    on stage with his socks on (fully dressed). There are some string players who
    play totally barefoot because it makes them connect to the earth. Remember
    again, it’s 2005 and it’s time to more forward and break the old fashioned
    rules, because those rules don’t apply anymore.

    unknown-user on #144886

    Hi Christian

    alexander-rider on #144887

    I couldn’t fathom playing the “in paradisium”(faure; requiem) WITH shoes! boo hoooo. oh and I didn’t turn up with no shoes i just slipped them off when i thought nobody was looking!*shneaky. I am SO clever…ahem…must practice with shoes on yesh….

    unknown-user on #144888

    Thanks for the compliment James. I remember the 60’s also, and also have
    memories of the 50’s.

    It’s just good to be discrete certain circumstances, and other times not.

    On stage during a concert, I play both piano and harp with socks. I do that
    because I play better that way, period.

    Tuxedos are “out ” (part of the last century), being cool is “in” …it’s 2005.

    Catherine Heise on #144889

    My teacher, Mary Bartlett, always insisted (and still insists) that one practices in conditions as close to those of performance as possible in order to eliminate possible sources of unfamiliarity or anxiety.

    unknown-user on #144890

    I always play in socks – I tried playing with shoes on in a concert (luckily I was in an ensemble) but I kept changing the wrong pedals and ending up in a muddle because I couldn’t feel them properly. So now I always play in socks, but I guess as I’m still only an amateur, it doesn’t really matter at the moment. I have had a couple of people asking me if it’s necessary to play barefoot, but they seemed to think it was quite funny.
    My harp teacher has given me the suggestion of getting some ballet shoes, which, while looking enough like shoes, would still be soft and small enough for me to feel the pedals. So I’ll have to try that. But I’m guessing that would only work for girls…

    Tacye on #144891

    Male dancers wear soft ballet slippers or character shoes so I don’t see why male harpists

    unknown-user on #144892

    i hatttttte playing pedal harp with shoes. I have some nice fitting black leather shoes that are quite nice, but my toes dont NEARLY come to the tip, so they can be noisy in the pedally sections. When I play with orchestras, i rehearse and perform in black socks- since im in the back of the orchestra, where no one could possibly see my feet. I think with socks on i can sort of “wrap” and “caress” if you will, my toes around the pedal which makes for a much smoother, quiter glide. I knowwwwwww i should start practicing with shoes on.and i have- im just getting used to it before i get TOO used to playing with socks.

    unknown-user on #144893

    Wasn’t going to add another “2 cents” but can’t resist.

    unknown-user on #144894

    James – please share where you got the vest/shirt combination.

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