And another morning practice session

Still doing arpeggios, trying to focus on getting good tone, proper hand position, and taking the whole chord’s worth of strings at once before playing them. I want my fingers to “know” what strings they are on before they play them.

I can feel my fingertips wanting to toughen up, although they aren’t what you’d call sore.

It’s very pleasant to be able to sneak in some practice in the mornings before work. Yesterday it was about 20 minutes, and today only about 15. Still very nice, though. I have a set time when I leave for work, and if I’m ready early, then I plan to spend that time at the harp. I’m really looking forward to that in the future. I like the idea of setting aside some quiet, pleasant, focused time in the mornings before the deluge. It’s a great way to start the morning, just playing pretty arpeggios. I’m also surprised at the fact that there exists an instrument without headphones that I like to hear and feel okay playing in the mornings. I tend not to like early morning noise at all, and am always hyper-sensitive to not disturbing my neighbors. (If it weren’t for the fact that digital pianos nowadays come with headphones, I wouldn’t even have one of those. I really do like total privacy when I play.)

The next step is to pick up the pace on the arpeggios, and then to do first inversions, so I know how they “feel” under the hand as well.

It continues to be surprising to me how much there is to learn on every new instrument, and how much I absorbed without realizing it as a child on the piano. I’m not a virtuoso by any means whatsoever, and was never conservatory-bound, but I am to the point where I mostly don’t have to even think about fingering unless there is a particularly sticky part I need to deal with. On the harp though … wow. That’s part of why I’m sticking with arpeggios for now and just getting my hands used to hanging in the right way and my fingers used to hinging at the proper place (base knuckles). Picking out a melody is hunt-and-peck at the moment, and I have a lot of basic skill to develop before I can even go near that. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had to worry about exactly where my fingers go on an instrument.

Also, the harp is distinct from the piano in the timing. On the piano, you press a key when you need a note. On the harp, you effectively “press” a string before you need a note. You release it to get the note, but you have to have depressed it first. A subtle but very disorienting distinction.

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