Technique

Building and refining technique is a constant part of playing any instrument, including the harp. Below are several videos that I've put together about a few different harp-specific techniques. Each video covers a separate technical aspect and explores it quite thoroughly, generally beginning with the technique in question at its simplest level and moving forward to a fairly complex level. Hopefully you'll find some tips for wherever you are on this spectrum. You'll also see some ways to review and solidify easier techniques, and have a glimpse of where the technique is headed in its most refined state.

Visit the Exercises page of this website to see various harp technique exercise books and booklets that are available to purchase.

Harmonics on the Harp

Harmonics are a beautiful effect on the harp, but can be difficult to play well. This video starts with what a harmonic is, demonstrates how to play one with each hand, and moves on to more complex scenarios involving harmonics.

Learning to Play Two-Handed Trills

Trills are a highly-specific skill on the harp that many people find intimidating. In this video, trills are taken apart and put back together step by step.

Harp Technique through Repertoire:
Scales

As with any instrument, scales are a basic technique on the harp. However, they can get surprisingly complex and sometimes present a challenge to a harpist's technique. Using repertoire at a variety of different levels, this video starts with simple scales and builds to more complex instances of scales within pieces, offering some practice tips along the way.

Introduction to Pedals

This video, intended for students who are brand new to the pedal harp, explains basics about the pedals and moving them, going over the fundamentals step by step.

Harp Technique Through Repertoire:
Rolled Chords

Rolled or arpeggiated chords are a classic technique on the harp. This video covers various approaches for practicing rolled chords through repertoire, using pieces at a variety of levels as examples and starting points.

More on Changing Pedals

A continuation of Introduction to Pedals, this video covers more complex pedal situations and movements, working through a variety of scenarios.

Harp Technique Through Repertoire:

Descending Arpeggios

Arpeggios are strongly associated with the harp and many idiomatic pieces use this technique. Throughout this video repertoire at a variety of levels is used as a jumping off point for building descending arpeggio technique. Practice tips and approaches are discussed along the way.

Harp Technique Through Repertoire:
Ascending Arpeggios

Ascending arpeggios are a staple part of any harpist's technique. Here repertoire at various levels is used to explore ascending arpeggios.

Scales in Canon

Playing scales in canon on the harp is a classic exercise or warm-up. This video begins with the first steps towards playing scales in canon and slowly builds up, step by step, to the complete exercise. 

Harp Technique Through Repertoire:

Two-Handed Trills

Trills are not found in the majority of harp repertoire, but when they do come up, they frequently are a highlight of a piece. This video begins with intermediate repertoire that includes trills and moves forward through increasing advanced repertoire with trills. 

Harp Technique Through Repertoire:

Pedal Changes

Some pieces of harp repertoire are known for being difficult when it comes to pedal changes. Here easier repertoire with pedal changes is presented, followed by repertoire of increasing difficulty, all focused on changing pedals.

Page Turns

Turning pages is not an actual technical skill in playing the harp, but having a good plan for doing so makes everything go more smoothly. This video shows how to arrange pages for optimal turning in a variety of situations.

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© 2018-2020 by Jacqueline Pollauf. All rights reserved.