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  • Pedal Resistance

  • Candace C.

    22 September, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Does anyone notice some resistance in their pedals? I’m still new to pedal harp and only recently getting into music utilizing more pedal changes. For example when I go from C flat to C natural, there is some resistance just before I tuck the pedal into position. This tends to cause a sound when the pedal touches the wood no matter how slowly I go. It’s worse going from natural to sharp. I had the harp regulated recently but I think it’s always been like this. Is this normal? How do you keep from making a thudding noise when you engage the pedal?

  • Victoria Johnson

    23 September, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    I started learning on a pedal harp a few months ago and I had a similar experience. I chatted with my teacher about it. A few things could contribute to pedal resistance:

    1) it is pretty common for people new to pedal changes and should improve over time with technique;

    2) the pedal mechanism needs maintenance such as new pedal felt or oiling;

    3) some harps (older ones potentially?) have loud pedals according to a friend of mine who have played on two pedal harps.

    My teacher advised me to keep working the pedal for a little while and see if the sound would decrease / get better, and it did!

    • Candace C.

      23 September, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      Thank you for this wonderful information! So glad to hear it’s not just me.

      I am new to pedal harp and my harp is 2 years old. I wonder if it’s kind of stiff because I don’t use the pedals much? Besides setting them to natural before playing most songs.

      Have you heard if old Camac harps have noisy pedals? Their pedal system uses cables and can be regulated by anyone. I’ve always wondered if they don’t suffer from the all the same effects of old age as other brands.

      • Victoria Johnson

        24 September, 2021 at 3:53 am

        I would think the pedal mechanisms are pretty decent if it is only 2 years old. I brought a 15 year old harp and by now I am convinced that whatever sound I am making while changing pedal is due to my lack of skill. My teacher wasted no time and got me changing pedals from day 1. 😂 My pedal changes were quite loud and difficult at times, but it had definitely improved over the last couple of months. The previous owner of the harp did not play the harp much so I suspect that contributed to the initial stiffness I experienced with the pedals. I have been playing pieces with plenty of pedal changes quite regularly since I got the harp and the pedals are way less stiff (at least I am experiencing less resistance when changing pedals).

        I am not familiar or experienced with the pedal mechanisms unfortunately. While my friend found that her pedal changes are way louder and more noticeable on an older harp, it could be the particular harp she was playing on needed maintenance instead of all harps from that brand made around the same time shared the same problem. My teacher has a L&H pedal harp that is almost 30 years old and he does not have problem with noisy pedals. That’s why he suggested that I work the pedal for a while because he was not convinced that old harps would necessarily have noisy pedals.

  • Anita Kueng

    29 September, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    @once_upon_a_string and @victoria.johnson

    I am new to pedal harp, too. My teacher did say it as similar as the one of Victoria. The pedal has to be moved precisley quick and certainly. Then it will “fix” well in position you like to have it, without any noise. My teacher explained it even further, means, what happens when you move pedals.

    It doesn’t have to be the harp (old or new). Mostly it’ll be you.

    At the beginning she told me to use always the same shoes. Because of the muscle memories, you’ll get the feeling and how much distance (feet, harp, pedal) and the postiion of the foot ON THE PEDAL. Best practice with the piece with pedal changes and do what your teacher tells you, BUT IN SLOWMOTION first, then in rhythm as told above.

    The “niose” will vanish as soon you get precisley and and – That I have experienced.

    Wish you luck and FUN FUN FUN❤

    • Candace C.

      30 September, 2021 at 4:20 pm

      Wonderful! Thank you for your insight 🙂

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