Live 21: How to play spread (or rolled) chords on the harp?

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Spread, rolled or arpeggiated?
A quick explanation on the terms I will be using as the terminology for spread/roll/arpeggiated chords may be slightly confusing! You can see the discussion under the social media posts.
Exercises for spread chords
These are closely related to arpeggios (see the discussion above!) and we will use exactly that to work on our spreads. For more accuracy, you can set your metronome to give you a beat of 60 per crotchet (adjust it to higher or lower speed depending on your needs!).
Exercises for straight chords
Straight chords can be slightly more challenging than spread. However, they are extremely useful when you’re learning pieces where chords accompany melody. These and above exercises are inspired by the ones found in the First Harp Book by Betty Paret and Metodo per Arpa by Maria Grossi.
Foggy Dew
It is a good example of a simple melody with spread chords as an accompaniment. In the video you will hear me play it from 10 mins 32 seconds. The music can be found in the First Harp Book by Betty Paret.
Hands separately
I show you a technique for helping your left feel more confident while jumping from one chord to another – play slow, and place fast to get to know the “geography” of the chords on the harp.
Right hand needs to place fingers in correct order. For that, you may want to add some extra markings to the score – you will see an example in the PDF.
Hands together

Start from the tricky bars and work at a slow and steady speed. Play all the chords straight. Remember to place fast and play slow, especially for the left hand.

Starting to spread

Once you can play the whole piece through at a steady tempo (however slow – it needs to be consistent!), you can add the spreads. Make sure that your left hand is placed early, because it needs to start playing slightly before the right hand.


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Series of mini-lessons for beginner and intermediate harpists

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