Live 27: Little finger on the harp

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One thing that we all learn rather early in our harp lessons is that out of ten fingers we will only need eight to play. But what shall we do with our little fingers then? Watch today’s Live Harp Lesson to find out!

First news of the day
This is the first ever Black Friday sale in my shop! I’m sharing my thoughts and experiences with what can look like one big madness all over the internet, and how can it feel when you’re a small independent business who’d like to play along.
 
For anyone who’s interested in my Christmas Carols collection (and may have missed my previous offer for the newsletter readers), the code BLACK15 will get you 15% off the Polish Christmas Carols (only valid on 29/12/2019).

Cover of the Polish Carols with harp and Christmas tree

 
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About today’s topic

Does anyone play with little finger? Were we always using only 8 fingers on the harp?

5 fingers or not – if you are a harpist, you really MUST check out Edmar Castaneda 

If not many people use it, then why talking about the little finger at all?
Little finger can be a very useful sign as it may indicate a possible tension in your hand. It is not easy to relax when playing the harp – especially at the beginning you are processing many different instructions, and relaxing can be the last thing you can do. But going back to really simple exercises like the ones I am showing today is a great way to remember that feeling in your body.
5 exercises where we teach little finger to work together with the fourth
…and a slight off-topic, but I thought the viewers deserve and explanation on why my harp strings are covered in pink markings!
Watch the video to see me demonstrating the exercises, and download the PDF for this lesson to have them handy on your music stand for the next practice session.
 
Other situations when you don’t necessarily use 4th finger…
…but where you may still want to watch out for your little finger!
  • playing with 2 finger only
  • playing chords with 1 & 2 fingers, or 1& 3
  • patterns of fingers 3, 2, 1, or 4, 3, 2, 1

Interesting solutions involving little finger…

…and a quick note on calluses and blisters! To learn more watch Live Harp Lesson no 12 on avoiding blisters.

Watch the video from the lesson
Series of mini-lessons for beginner and intermediate harpists

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