Continuing my left hand work

Yes, it’s still hard, but it’s improving — slowly. Painfully slowly, and I’m trying to focus on making sure that the word “painful” remains a metaphor. I’m still settling on a good left hand position, and it will probably be a continuing process.

I’ve realized that my pinky position has a huge impact as well on how well my fourth finger can manage things, which should come as no surprise. It’s extremely hard to make my pinky not do things it shouldn’t, though. It’s much easier in my right hand, probably because of the hand position; I don’t have to reach across myself or the instrument to use my right hand, so it can stay more relaxed.

At any rate, relaxation is extremely important in both hands, but particularly my left. I should probably be sure to do more of my Inaudible Insomniac Practice Sessions at 2am focusing on the left hand exercises. Sitting at the harp while one is somewhat bleary and trying to be very quiet in the dead of night is a surprisingly good way to force relaxation.

In other news, I’ve semi-finished up a piece with a nice Alberti bass pattern, which has put one nice tool in my toolchest, and have begun a waltz with a typical bass/chord/chord thing in the left hand, which is a giant pain in the gluteal area on the harp. It’s much, much harder to manage precise, confident jumps in position on the harp than on the piano, at least for me thus far, and it’s also hard to repeat a chord in the bass without buzzing.

So anyway, things are progressing, and I’m enjoying myself. I think I’m like one of those dogs that needs to have a rawhide toy to gnaw on or else I’ll end up chewing the table legs to splinters and otherwise destroying the house.


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