Have you been told to do some slow practice? I’ve been hearing that a lot from my dear teachers (and now I keep reminding my students about this!).
The longer you’ve played the harp, the more you’ve probably heard it. But what if you tried slow practice but it doesn’t feel like it’s making things any better?
You may be missing one of the 3 key elements that you need to make slow practice work on the harp. Without them slow practice can feel at best like just another boring exercises at best (or a complete waste of your time at worst).⠀
Have a look at these 3 tips and find out how to make your slow practice work!
Slowing down is meant to help us stay focused when there’s a lot going on, as it gives you more time to think about what you need to do next. For this to work on the harp, you need to look ahead and anticipate the next thing you need to do.
Harp often requires you to look a lot further ahead compared to other instruments. This can be challenging, especially since the static score sitting on your music stand may not feel like it’s inviting you to move along.
That’s why when I teach reading music I share with my students movable scores as part of my online course, Reading Music for Harp. Want to know more? Sign up below and watch the FREE introductory video training.
3 videos, 15 minutes of your time, one big change to how you look at your harp music!
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Know your cues
Depending on the challenges coming up, you may need to remind your fingers what to do – ahead of time!
In the video you will see me using a short cue as a reminder about directional placing in Bach’s Prelude in C. You can use your own hints for any other challenge, like a placing bracket, change of fingering, a lever or pedal change. Just make your cues are short and clear!
Play slow, PLACE fast
On the harp, when it comes to speed, the limiting factor isn’t as much about how fast you can pluck, but rather how quickly you can place and move from one area of the harp to the other. And that’s why it is so important to keep your placing fast, even when you’re practising slowly.
The practice strategy you’ll see here is SO powerful you simply cannot afford not to try it. Make sure you watch the video until the very end so you can make good use of it!
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Two stumbling blocks you’ll find in EVERY harp piece – episode 36
- How to get started with RAISING – episode 46
- The Water Is Wide – harp arrangement
- Prelude in C by Bach – lever harp arrangement
- Free video-training on reading music