Tag Archives: crossing under

Quick Fixes for Harp Technique Issues

This post covers three fixes for harp technique issues.  These are three of the most common issues that harp students have, once they’ve started to master the very basics of hand position.

Trouble crossing over/under: Make sure your fingers are low and your thumb is high–usually its the REplacing that’s the problem and we gradually creep away from the ideal location. Another tip: when you get to the cross, squeeze apart the strings to give yourself more leverage.

Trouble making lever changes smoothly: Practice flipping the lever in one exact spot every time, counting it just as you do a note. Follow the string up to the correct lever with your eyes or finger. If it’s still hard to flip in time, look for another spot to make the change (earlier, later, or not at all).

Trouble with buzzing: Buzzing is caused by imprecise timing and/or hand position issues. Make sure that you are not replacing early, but just in time. Check that there is no extra motion in your replacing; your fingers should place from below (not sideways or from above). Likewise, your thumb should place from above.

Often, buzzing happens because we’re opening and placing out of order–getting to the strings before our hand is in the correct position. Use these hints to diagnose the problem and correct it on the spot–never keep ignoring buzzes, or you will train your hands in the habits that cause the buzzing in the first place.

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This post is adapted from material that I originally published in the ezine, Notes from the Harp.