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04 March 2014 @ 11:50 pm
Harp update  
The harp has slowed down for me now that I'm trying to learn the basics well, I really love the books I'm working with (suzuki method mainly) and there are some really great youtube teachers who are showing me some good stuff.

Having it in the living room is very nice, since I'll just wander over and do some scales from time to time. I put a bit of effort into making a harp nook, which pleases me.

I'm quite glad I got the larger one. As it is I can't always play the lowest notes properly. I'm also working on some reels, but it will take quite a while to get up to speed.

I'm hoping to buy an effects pedal for my birth month and start playing with some of the rock harp ideas I have. I do want to get a solid foundation first, however.

This is such a departure from taiko, which in some ways (because I've been having concerns about my hearing) is very good, but in some ways I kind of feel like the harp is too "delicate" and "dainty" an instrument. Hopefully some nice guitar filters will dispel me of that soon. Interestingly enough harp is teaching me respect for how versatile a guitar is and why popular music uses it so much.

This is my first serious avenue into a chord instrument. I learn some piano back in the day by sheer force of will, skipping all the basics. It's interesting that I've always thought of "hand independence" as mostly trying to get one hand going and just hope it keeps the beat while you think about the other hand, but instead I'm learning more about the interplay between the two, which is feeling more like the way to go.

I'm trying to have extreme patience with myself. I think that this can turn out really cool if I get some solid skills under my belt. I have a tendency to never get good at things because I never put the focus in. I just hope that my subconscious hopes about where this might take me don't trip me up. I also hope I end up growing my like of this instrument. I feel like I should be obsessed with it first, before putting the time in it, but there's really nothing I'm obsessed with musically right now. Taiko used to be that way, but the group has grown more casual and there's not really a place for obsession any more. I was burning myself out being obsessed anyway, so it's likely healthier that way.

I'm interested to see where I am in a year. I really hope I keep growing. I'm up to about 100bpm on both directions of scales with reasonably good form (I can push it, but my form suffers.) I still have a weak 4th finger going up, however and I know that's because of bad positioning. When I have a bit more money and time I might buy a few lessons just to correct some of the most glaring errors I'm making.

As a side note, I'm now very curious about Venezuelan and Peruvian harp. It's a different beast entirely but I love how dancable the music is. I really do hope to get a handle on the gigs and reels, though right now I can't even feel them right.

I hope to learn this piece in a few months. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeijqJoWvrE I've started to play with it, and while it's going to take a while before my left hand can find all the notes quickly, I can already hear the basics of it.

Ok! enough! I've babbled enough!

EDIT: oh, just wanted to mention that the company, harpsicle harps was very nice and sent me feet for my harp even though I bought it used from another vendor. They also sent me a proper tuning wrench which is much nicer than that one I've been using. My harp keeps good tune in general too! I can usually go two days because it becomes unbearable.
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on March 5th, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
yay new instrument! it sounds awesome.
what FX pedal are you looking at?
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 5th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Pod HD500. I've watched a lot of comparisons videos on multi-effects pedals and I like the sound, I think. I'm still kind of guessing though. It's a bit expensive, but I can hear the differences in the videos.

You use a pedal, right? What do you use?
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on March 5th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
i haven't really used one in years -- i've still got the BOSS GT5 i had in mazer :)
which i liked fine but never really did THAT much with.
I look forward to hearing what you end up doing with the FX and the harp -- i don't know much about what that sounds like!

Edited at 2014-03-05 06:31 pm (UTC)