Helpful Hints for Amateur Idiots

Write down your pedal markings. Yes, you wrote it. No, that doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically remember the pedaling when you go back to it several months later.



I learn.

So pretty much everything my teacher has ever said to do has been a really good idea (with the exception of getting my 4th finger online, which has had to be a sort of slow creep without making eye contact with it to avoid startling it).

The thing about silently listening to the piece in your head while pedaling? Gold.

Him and his diminished chords

That guy couldn’t go ten seconds without popping in a series of diminished chords. I always call that the Joplin trick, but Chopin loved it, too. The chord progression on the B theme is:

Ab7 – Eb7 – dim – dim – Bbm – Ebm/Bbm – Ebm/Enat – FM/Ab7

That’s steeplechase territory. I’ve never had to work out pedaling like that before. I’ve barely had to work out pedaling at all. I could only do this on a lever harp by ignoring the second dim and pre-setting a lever or two. I can’t imagine how this is going to work out on a pedal harp.