Tag Archives: harp

My Favorite Harp Videos

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Sometimes I find myself spending way too much time cruising around on YouTube watching harp videos. I just love seeing and hearing all of the different kinds of harps that people have all around the world, watching how they play, finding new tunes I’d like to learn, and finding videos that are downright awe inspiring!

Here are a few videos that top my list of performances that just defy the imagination in terms of technique, expressiveness, and sheer beauty!

Xavier de Maistre is one of the finest harpists in the world today. I have played the harp for almost 40 years, and it still just boggles my mind that anyone can play The Moldau on the harp, much less do it this beautifully. I just LOVE watching him play. Everything in the world disappears when he starts playing. I love the little finger on his right hand, too!

Xavier de Maistre plays Clair de Lune. What more can I say?

Here is Canadian harpist, Josh Layne, playing his Fantasy on Greensleeves. I’ve always loved theme and variations; it is just fascinating to see what can be done with a simple tune. He is another brilliant young harpist.

Josh also has a great series of instructional videos called Harp Tuesday on YouTube. I believe there are 60 episodes now on a great variety of topics. They are all well worth watching.

Here is one episode on exercises (warmups, arpeggios, etc.).

I will end this post with one more mind boggling video. This is Sylvain Blassel playing Liszt’s Hugarian Rhapsodie–a piece which most sane harpists in the world would not even attempt! I just wish the video would show more of his feet. You know they are just going MAD on those pedals!

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A few essentials

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Every new harp student needs a harp, a teacher, and the following three items to get started with high-quality, easy-to-use products!

You have found my website, so you have already found a teacher. If you don’t already have a harp, I can help you find one to rent, rent-to-own, or purchase. So you have the first two essentials covered!

Now, on to three other things that you will find invaluable as you play the harp.

First of all, harpists spend a lot of time tuning their harps (we hope!), so an accurate tuner that is easier to use is absolutely essential. While there are a lot of chromatic tuners out there, my dear friend, Harper Tasche, recently introduced me to the Snark tuner.

I bought one and was immediately impressed by how easy it is to use. The Snark is easy to read and locks on to pitches quickly for an accurate reading. You can clip it onto your harp somewhere and use the “vib” setting or change it to the “mic” setting and clip it to your music stand. It works well for all kinds of harps and is equally accurate using either setting.  There are other models of Snark tuners also, but this one is fully chromatic for all instruments.

The next thing you need is a comfortable, adjustable bench. Many people just use a standard dining room chair at the harp, and that’s fine if it is comfortable and the right height for you and your harp. However, people come in all shapes and sizes, and so do harps, so I really prefer having a well-padded, adjustable bench that I can use with any of my harps and that is portable. The best bench I’ve found so far is the On-Stage Stands KT7800+ Keyboard Bench.

Adjustable Bench

Another absolutely essential item is a sturdy, portable music stand. My favorite is the Peak Music Stand. It is easy to set up, fully adjustable, very portable, and comes with its own carrying bag. I have used rickety folding aluminum music stands before and had them get knocked over, but I can put a heavy, 3-ring binder full of music on this stand and not have to worry about it.

Peak Music Stand

These are the accessories I use myself, and I recommend them to my students. If you try any or all of them, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

My new blog! My first post!

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I am changing my website over to WordPress for a free blog to save a little money in these tough times!  I hope that you all will enjoy this site just as much as my old website at http://www.thevirtualharp.com.

Please subscribe to my page and check back often for updates on topics of interest to harpists of any age! I will be adding more and more content as time goes on!

This was me performing at the Houston Highland Games a few years back!