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Lyre playing technic

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  • nzgaita
    An interesting video showing the Ethiopian Krar lyre being played.The Krar is about halfway through the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pn-wd1xx4I Greg
    Message 1 of 17 , Aug 2, 2009
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      An interesting video showing the Ethiopian Krar lyre being played.The Krar is about halfway through the video.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pn-wd1xx4I

      Greg
    • michael king
      thanks Greg!, here is another video for Krar fans...(this video is one from my youtube favorites:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7r_368suG0 Its interesting
      Message 2 of 17 , Aug 3, 2009
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        thanks Greg!,

        here is another video for Krar fans...(this video is one from my youtube favorites:)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7r_368suG0

        Its interesting that he is plucking with what we would expect to be the blocking hand.

        Michael

        --- On Mon, 3/8/09, nzgaita <nzgaita@...> wrote:

        From: nzgaita <nzgaita@...>
        Subject: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Lyre playing technic
        To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Monday, 3 August, 2009, 7:35 AM

         

        An interesting video showing the Ethiopian Krar lyre being played.The Krar is about halfway through the video.

        http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=8pn-wd1xx4I

        Greg


      • Tim Caldwell
        ... Hi Michael and Greg, I m afraid I have limited megs to use on my computer so I could only watch the videos at my local library, but not listen to them :-(
        Message 3 of 17 , Aug 4, 2009
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          --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, michael king <michaeljking2007@...> wrote:



          Hi Michael and Greg,

          I'm afraid I have limited megs to use on my computer so I could only watch the videos at my local library, but not listen to them :-(

          The plucking technique in Michael's video actually seems very similar to what I do, except that I strum and pluck at the same time, using my left hand to both block and pluck, and my right hand to strum. As far as I know krar players never do that, but I'm not sure why, because it seems like a very obvious thing to do.

          I think Ethiopia was about the first country in the world to become comprehensively christianised (and NOT via the Roman empire) so it's not surprising that the video is christian-based (the Ethiopians have a copy of the Ark of the Covenant in every church, and believe that one of their churches holds the real thing!).

          I noticed that at one point in Greg's video the player's hand slides down the strings, and it's worth noting that the sound you get from a lyre definitely does change depending on whereabouts on the strings you pluck or strum – but unfortunately, as I said – I can't hear the clip.

          By the way, in Greg's video there were several people playing a bowed instrument. This instrument is called a 'Masenqo', a very important instrument in Ethiopian culture:

          Traditionally, the masenqo and the krar were played by `Azmari', the Ethiopian equivalent of the 'bards' and 'scops' of northern Europe. Some used one, some used the other.

          But hey, nice one guys! In my opinion our instrument – the `Hearpe' - is useless without some kind of context, and even an unusual and foreign context can give us enormous insights into how the instrument was actually played and used.

          Our instrument is not a "dead" instrument per se – just a regional variant of a widespread instrument that's still used in some places even to the present day.

          Cheers,
          Tim




          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7r_368suG0

          > http://www.youtube com/watch? v=8pn-wd1xx4I
        • vikingtimbo
          ... Hi Michael, I finally got a chance to watch the krar video properly. It s very nice. I think all us budding lyre players should learn as much as possible
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 4, 2009
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            --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, michael king <michaeljking2007@...> wrote:



            Hi Michael,


            I finally got a chance to watch the krar video properly. It's very nice.

            I think all us budding lyre players should learn as much as possible from lyre players from traditional cultures. It's interesting that the player is using the same finger for each string, something which you wouldn't usually do on modern plucked instruments. So he can easily and instantly pluck or damp any string.

            I live in one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and there's actually a shop about ten minutes drive from where I live that sells East African handicrafts - including krars!! A couple of years ago I had a chat with the Ethiopian woman who owns it. The krars she had in stock were a bit old (although she was happy to order in a new one for me if I had wanted), so she wasn't able to demonstrate playing one. But as a child she had been taught to play a few tunes on the krar, and explained that when you strum a five stringed krar you always use one finger to damp each respective string, except that you use your thumb for both of the first two strings, and leave your little finger out completely. It was reassuring to hear, because I've always done basically the same thing on my lyre, except that with six strings I have to use my little finger as well.

            The other point of my "story" was that for anyone out there who actually wants a krar, there's a real chance that there's a shop out there somewhere near you that sells them.

            Cheers,
            Tim











            > thanks Greg!,
            >
            > here is another video for Krar fans...(this video is one from my youtube favorites:)
            >
            > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7r_368suG0
            >
            > Its interesting that he is plucking with what we would expect to be the blocking hand.
            >
            > Michael

            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- On Mon, 3/8/09, nzgaita <nzgaita@...> wrote:

            >
            > An interesting video showing the Ethiopian Krar lyre being played.The Krar is about halfway through the video.
            >
            >
            >
            > http://www.youtube com/watch? v=8pn-wd1xx4I
            >
            >
            >
            > Greg
            >
          • sca_bard@yahoo.com
            ... It s interesting that the player is using the same finger for each string, something which you wouldn t usually do on modern plucked instruments. So he can
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 4, 2009
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              --- On Fri, 9/4/09, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:
              It's interesting that the player is using the same finger for each string, something which you wouldn't usually do on modern plucked instruments. So he can easily and instantly pluck or damp any string.

              There is one drawback to such a "fixed finger" technique. If you want to play rapid repetitions of the same note, you can be much faster and have more control if you use two or more fingers. (Same reason why you don't generally do a drum roll with one hand!)

              I learned this playing folk and wire harp, where many arrangements have you use the same finger to pluck the same string repeatedly. My teacher shook her head, redid the fingering and lo! Performance improvement.

              YMMV. If rapid repeated notes are not important to your style, this is clearly not a big deal. Or, if the benefits of fixed finger outweigh this drawback, it makes sense to use it.

              - Jamie
            • vikingtimbo
              ... Hi Jamie, ... The other obvious drawback is that if your instrument has six strings, as do many of our European-style instruments, you need to use your
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 4, 2009
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                --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "sca_bard@..." <sca_bard@...> wrote:



                Hi Jamie,



                > --- On Fri, 9/4/09, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:
                > It's interesting that the player is using the same finger for each string, something which you wouldn't usually do on modern plucked instruments. So he can easily and instantly pluck or damp any string.
                >
                > There is one drawback to such a "fixed finger" technique. If you want to play rapid repetitions of the same note, you can be much faster and have more control if you use two or more fingers. (Same reason why you don't generally do a drum roll with one hand!)




                The other obvious drawback is that if your instrument has six strings, as do many of our European-style instruments, you need to use your thumb for both of the first two strings, and when it comes to plucking there's a real limit to how fast you can pluck the second string followed by the first, because it requires two movements of your thumb. Plucking these two strings in the opposite order is much easier because your thumb is travelling in the same direction. Occasionally I use my index finger for the second string, which sometimes can solve the problem.

                But I absolutely recommend this "fixed" fingering system for damping/strumming. It means that you never have to worry about fingering, except for your thumb, and it's a surprisingly easy technique to master. And once you've mastered it you can easily switch from damping one string to damping the other, or damping both at the same time.

                I play my lyre with a funny technique that mixes strumming and plucking together, which creates its own problem as far as the thumb thing. For example, plucking the second string between two strums that require the first string to be damped. It means your thumb has to very quickly go from damping the first string to plucking the second, and then back again. It's a bit tricky, but it's not impossible. Also, it's not really possible to pluck the second string at the same time as you strum if you want the first string to be damped, because your thumb can only be in once place at a time - but even this problem can mostly be overcome with deftness that comes with practice.

                Cheers,
                Tim










                > I learned this playing folk and wire harp, where many arrangements have you use the same finger to pluck the same string repeatedly. My teacher shook her head, redid the fingering and lo! Performance improvement.
                >
                > YMMV. If rapid repeated notes are not important to your style, this is clearly not a big deal. Or, if the benefits of fixed finger outweigh this drawback, it makes sense to use it.
                >
                > - Jamie
                >
              • sca_bard@yahoo.com
                ... But I absolutely recommend this fixed fingering system for damping/strumming. It means that you never have to worry about fingering, except for your
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 4, 2009
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                  --- On Fri, 9/4/09, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:

                  But I absolutely recommend this "fixed" fingering system for damping/strumming. It means that you never have to worry about fingering, except for your thumb, and it's a surprisingly easy technique to master. And once you've mastered it you can easily switch from damping one string to damping the other, or damping both at the same time.
                  ---------

                  Oh, seconded! It's exactly what I do for strumming, also, although I haven't been able to get the trick of blocking two strings with one thumb. Either my thumb is too small, the string spacing is too wide, or I'm not bending my thumb the right way. :)

                  Probably because of my harp background, when I pluck, I use my strumming hand! I keep my nails long for wire harp, so I use my thumbnail as a plectrum, so there's nothing to drop. Then, I'm not apt to do what you're describing - really mixing strumming and plucking. I'll switch from one mode of playing to the other, then back again, so I can move my "sounding hand" from low, where I strum, to up high, where I pluck.

                  I think I've tried plucking with my blocking hand a few times and had poor luck - I should probably keep at it. :)

                  - Jamie
                • LM
                  In a presentation I did a weekend ago of Hialmar s Death Song, I finally broke down and put a strap on the lyre, from the end pin to the upper neck. It worked
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 4, 2009
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                    In a presentation I did a weekend ago of Hialmar's Death Song, I finally broke down and put a strap on the lyre, from the end pin to the upper neck.  It worked great- I started by plucking then switched to pluck N' strum.  It worked just fine!

                    ( I also used the DraugR String band- a surround-sound set of 5 backing tracks played through a Samsung Dolby 5.1 Home Theater system....)

                    Larry the M

                    On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 10:06 AM, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:
                     

                    --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, michael king <michaeljking2007@...> wrote:

                    Hi Michael,

                    I finally got a chance to watch the krar video properly. It's very nice.

                    I think all us budding lyre players should learn as much as possible from lyre players from traditional cultures. It's interesting that the player is using the same finger for each string, something which you wouldn't usually do on modern plucked instruments. So he can easily and instantly pluck or damp any string.

                    I live in one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and there's actually a shop about ten minutes drive from where I live that sells East African handicrafts - including krars!! A couple of years ago I had a chat with the Ethiopian woman who owns it. The krars she had in stock were a bit old (although she was happy to order in a new one for me if I had wanted), so she wasn't able to demonstrate playing one. But as a child she had been taught to play a few tunes on the krar, and explained that when you strum a five stringed krar you always use one finger to damp each respective string, except that you use your thumb for both of the first two strings, and leave your little finger out completely. It was reassuring to hear, because I've always done basically the same thing on my lyre, except that with six strings I have to use my little finger as well.

                    The other point of my "story" was that for anyone out there who actually wants a krar, there's a real chance that there's a shop out there somewhere near you that sells them.

                    Cheers,
                    Tim

                    > thanks Greg!,
                    >
                    > here is another video for Krar fans...(this video is one from my youtube favorites:)
                    >
                    > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7r_368suG0
                    >
                    > Its interesting that he is plucking with what we would expect to be the blocking hand.
                    >
                    > Michael

                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- On Mon, 3/8/09, nzgaita <nzgaita@...> wrote:

                    >
                    > An interesting video showing the Ethiopian Krar lyre being played.The Krar is about halfway through the video.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=8pn-wd1xx4I
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Greg
                    >


                  • vikingtimbo
                    ... Hi Jamie, ... Firstly, I m a pretty small bloke, and my fingers- I mean my stubby little paws - probably aren t much bigger than yours. I used to block
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 5, 2009
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                      --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "sca_bard@..." <sca_bard@...> wrote:



                      Hi Jamie,



                      >I haven't been able to get the trick of blocking two strings with one thumb. Either my thumb is too small, the string spacing is too wide, or I'm not bending my thumb the right way. :)


                      Firstly, I'm a pretty small bloke, and my fingers- I mean my stubby little paws - probably aren't much bigger than yours. I used to block both strings simultaneously by arching my thumb back, which actually worked fine with gut strings. But with nylon ones I found that my thumbnail caused a buzzing sound. So for a long time now I've been bending my thumb forwards a little bit to block both strings. But I _PROMISE_ you that damping both of the first two stings simultaneously with your thumb is very possible! It might be that your wrist strap is too short and positions your hand too high or something. But just experiment with everything and you'll find a way - it was never a serious problem for me, and I see no reason why it should be for you.



                      > Probably because of my harp background, when I pluck, I use my strumming hand! I keep my nails long for wire harp, so I use my thumbnail as a plectrum, so there's nothing to drop. Then, I'm not apt to do what you're describing - really mixing strumming and plucking. I'll switch from one mode of playing to the other, then back again, so I can move my "sounding hand" from low, where I strum, to up high, where I pluck.



                      I've never been taught to play any stringed instrument - even a guitar - so bear that in mind!! But when I got my lyre four or five years ago, I just aproached it with a very open mind, and just tried ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to see what worked, and what didn't. It mostly turned out that what worked for me best has also worked for Ethiopians for centuries. So COOL!!



                      > I think I've tried plucking with my blocking hand a few times and had poor luck - I should probably keep at it. :)



                      In order to do it, you have to have your blocking hand positioned correctly. This is VERY important, and makes all the difference - but there isn't just one way of doing it. Some time ago, you and I experimented with twisting our hands different ways in the wrist strap to see which way worked best, and I've actually kept using your way - not because it's necessarily better, but because I got used to it, and it's certainly no worse! The point though, is that there's no single "correct" way to use the strap; but how you position your hand in the strap is still _VERY_ important, and makes a huge difference to how easily you can combine the two techniques of plucking and strumming. If you get it wrong, either your task will be much harder, or else you'll cut off your circulation and find your little finger getting numb!

                      In the video we're disussing, the player's plucking hand is roughly diagonal to the strings. But when I play, my left (damping/plucking) hand is actually almost perpendicular to the strings.

                      With an instrument that only has six pitches, the variety that we need and expect in our modern music culture has to be provided by other means. The technique of mixing plucking and strumming together greatly increases our repertoir.

                      Cheers,
                      Tim







                      > - Jamie
                      >
                    • John Schucker
                      Could it be the wrist-strap itself that s the problem? I mean I guess not since you re using one and it works. But IIRC Ethiopian players hold one of the
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 5, 2009
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                        Could it be the wrist-strap itself that's the problem? I mean I guess
                        not since you're using one and it works. But IIRC Ethiopian players
                        hold one of the arms with the right hand. So you wouldn't really need a
                        wrist strap in that case. I'm not sure if they use one for the
                        strumming technique, I'd have to get my fiance to check some videos. I
                        do know they have all sorts of variations in the strumming techniques,
                        single notes at a time, drones with notes, I even heard something that
                        sounded pretty much like chords in a video the other day. I'll see if
                        my fiance can find it again.
                      • vikingtimbo
                        ... Hi John, When krar players strum, they rest the edge of the instrument along their left leg with the soundbox tucked between their elbow and the side of
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 6, 2009
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                          --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, John Schucker <gwynn@...> wrote:



                          Hi John,


                          When krar players strum, they rest the edge of the instrument along their left leg with the soundbox tucked between their elbow and the side of their body. I don't know under what circumstances they use the strap, but some krars certainly do have wrist straps.

                          I've seen an Egyptian lyre player on TV, as well as one from Zanzibar, and both men were strumming, and holding their lyres the way I just described. The Egyptian was sitting in a chair, whereas the Zanzibarian sat cross-legged on the floor.

                          For me the wrist strap is essential, because to pluck the strings the lyre needs to be kept very steady, and since my right hand is strumming I don't have a free hand to hold the lyre. The wrist strap lets me brace the base of the lyre on my right leg so that it's kept nice and steady. So I hold the lyre diagonally across my body with the soundboard facing outwards.

                          Cheers,
                          Tim









                          > Could it be the wrist-strap itself that's the problem? I mean I guess
                          > not since you're using one and it works. But IIRC Ethiopian players
                          > hold one of the arms with the right hand. So you wouldn't really need a
                          > wrist strap in that case. I'm not sure if they use one for the
                          > strumming technique, I'd have to get my fiance to check some videos. I
                          > do know they have all sorts of variations in the strumming techniques,
                          > single notes at a time, drones with notes, I even heard something that
                          > sounded pretty much like chords in a video the other day. I'll see if
                          > my fiance can find it again.
                          >
                        • LM
                          At the risk of overstating the obvious, I have never been clear on the wrist-strap business; when I recently thought to try a strap, I rigged it up the same as
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 6, 2009
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                            At the risk of overstating the obvious, I have never been clear on the wrist-strap business; when I recently thought to try a strap, I rigged it up the same as I would a guitar strap.  I attached one end to the end pin, and the other at the joint of the neck and cross piece.  I held it as I do the guitar, more less horizontally, but at a slight angle, just as I would a guitar.  The result was that I had both hands free to pluck ala Bagby, and/or block and strum ala everyody else.

                            This also meant that I could play standing up, rather than seated  ala Bagby, giving me more mobility, etc.  Add the Elvis hip-swivel, and I killed 'em!

                            Larry (Lavrans) the M



                            On Sun, Sep 6, 2009 at 9:10 AM, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:
                             

                            --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, John Schucker <gwynn@...> wrote:

                            Hi John,

                            When krar players strum, they rest the edge of the instrument along their left leg with the soundbox tucked between their elbow and the side of their body. I don't know under what circumstances they use the strap, but some krars certainly do have wrist straps.

                            I've seen an Egyptian lyre player on TV, as well as one from Zanzibar, and both men were strumming, and holding their lyres the way I just described. The Egyptian was sitting in a chair, whereas the Zanzibarian sat cross-legged on the floor.

                            For me the wrist strap is essential, because to pluck the strings the lyre needs to be kept very steady, and since my right hand is strumming I don't have a free hand to hold the lyre. The wrist strap lets me brace the base of the lyre on my right leg so that it's kept nice and steady. So I hold the lyre diagonally across my body with the soundboard facing outwards.

                            Cheers,
                            Tim



                            > Could it be the wrist-strap itself that's the problem? I mean I guess
                            > not since you're using one and it works. But IIRC Ethiopian players
                            > hold one of the arms with the right hand. So you wouldn't really need a
                            > wrist strap in that case. I'm not sure if they use one for the
                            > strumming technique, I'd have to get my fiance to check some videos. I
                            > do know they have all sorts of variations in the strumming techniques,
                            > single notes at a time, drones with notes, I even heard something that
                            > sounded pretty much like chords in a video the other day. I'll see if
                            > my fiance can find it again.
                            >


                          • vikingtimbo
                            ... Hi Larry, Yes, there seem to be different kinds of straps. I saw a variation on a krar where a strap was just looped around one of the arms so that the
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 6, 2009
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                              --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, LM <lavransrm@...> wrote:


                              Hi Larry,

                              Yes, there seem to be different kinds of straps. I saw a variation on a krar where a strap was just looped around one of the arms so that the player's wrist took the weight of the lyre. The Anglo-Saxon lyre from Bergh Apton had what are presumed to be metal strap fittings, one on the outer edge of each arm, so most likely the strap was the kind that Jamie and I use, to connect your hand to the instrument and keep it steady.

                              You should chuck a video on Youtube so we can all injoy your Elvis hip-swivel :-)

                              Cheers,
                              Tim





                              > At the risk of overstating the obvious, I have never been clear on the
                              > wrist-strap business; when I recently thought to try a strap, I rigged it up
                              > the same as I would a guitar strap. I attached one end to the end pin, and
                              > the other at the joint of the neck and cross piece. I held it as I do the
                              > guitar, more less horizontally, but at a slight angle, just as I would a
                              > guitar. The result was that I had both hands free to pluck ala Bagby,
                              > and/or block and strum ala everyody else.
                              >
                              > This also meant that I could play standing up, rather than seated ala
                              > Bagby, giving me more mobility, etc. Add the Elvis hip-swivel, and I killed
                              > 'em!
                              >
                              > Larry (Lavrans) the M
                            • LM
                              Having checked out the krar videos, I think that their method is well-suited to that size and shape of instrument- fascinating stuff, btw! My technique is
                              Message 14 of 17 , Sep 6, 2009
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                                Having checked out the krar videos, I think that their method is well-suited to that size and shape of instrument- fascinating stuff, btw!

                                My technique is intended for the A-S lyre.

                                (I was exaggerating, these days,  the hip swivel is more of a very small lateral knee movement... )

                                Larry the Elder

                                On Sun, Sep 6, 2009 at 10:50 AM, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:
                                 

                                --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, LM <lavransrm@...> wrote:

                                Hi Larry,

                                Yes, there seem to be different kinds of straps. I saw a variation on a krar where a strap was just looped around one of the arms so that the player's wrist took the weight of the lyre. The Anglo-Saxon lyre from Bergh Apton had what are presumed to be metal strap fittings, one on the outer edge of each arm, so most likely the strap was the kind that Jamie and I use, to connect your hand to the instrument and keep it steady.

                                You should chuck a video on Youtube so we can all injoy your Elvis hip-swivel :-)

                                Cheers,
                                Tim



                                > At the risk of overstating the obvious, I have never been clear on the
                                > wrist-strap business; when I recently thought to try a strap, I rigged it up
                                > the same as I would a guitar strap. I attached one end to the end pin, and
                                > the other at the joint of the neck and cross piece. I held it as I do the
                                > guitar, more less horizontally, but at a slight angle, just as I would a
                                > guitar. The result was that I had both hands free to pluck ala Bagby,
                                > and/or block and strum ala everyody else.
                                >
                                > This also meant that I could play standing up, rather than seated ala
                                > Bagby, giving me more mobility, etc. Add the Elvis hip-swivel, and I killed
                                > 'em!
                                >
                                > Larry (Lavrans) the M


                              • vikingtimbo
                                ... Hi Jamie, ... Check out this video of a six-stringed krar being played. The way this guy s blocking (and unblocking) both the first two strings might work
                                Message 15 of 17 , Sep 10, 2009
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                                  --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "sca_bard@..." <sca_bard@...> wrote:


                                  Hi Jamie,


                                  > Oh, seconded! It's exactly what I do for strumming, also, although I haven't been able to get the trick of blocking two strings with one thumb. Either my thumb is too small, the string spacing is too wide, or I'm not bending my thumb the right way. :)


                                  Check out this video of a six-stringed krar being played. The way this guy's blocking (and unblocking) both the first two strings might work for you, and allow you to damp all the strings at once. It's pretty similar to what I do.

                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIufHJQnUxA

                                  Cheers,
                                  Tim
                                • sca_bard@yahoo.com
                                  Hey Tim, I got a question for you! I had my lyre out the other weekend, and tried your damping hand perpendicular to strings. And I have to ask: Do you have
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Sep 22, 2009
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                                    Hey Tim, I got a question for you!

                                    I had my lyre out the other weekend, and tried your "damping hand perpendicular to strings." And I have to ask: Do you have short fingernails?

                                    I keep mine longish (~1/4", not acrylic talon territory but definite nail) for playing wire harp. There was enough difference in the string orientation and spacing, as well as the amount of damping, that I was having a devil of a time getting my fingerpads to damp the strings without the nails getting in the way.

                                    Are you using fingertips (the bit just under the nail) or fingerpads (the part they fingerprint) to damp?

                                    - Jamie

                                    --- On Sat, 9/5/09, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:

                                    From: vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...>
                                    Subject: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Re: Lyre playing technic
                                    To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
                                    Date: Saturday, September 5, 2009, 11:06 AM

                                    In the video we're disussing, the player's plucking hand is roughly diagonal to the strings. But when I play, my left (damping/plucking) hand is actually almost perpendicular to the strings.
                                  • vikingtimbo
                                    ... Hey Jamie, I keep my fingernails very short. But then I _AM_ a bloke!. Seriously though, I do find that my nails interfere with my playing if they get too
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Sep 22, 2009
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                                      --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, "sca_bard@..." <sca_bard@...> wrote:


                                      Hey Jamie,


                                      I keep my fingernails very short. But then I _AM_ a bloke!. Seriously though, I do find that my nails interfere with my playing if they get too long. But I don't want to put myself in the position of telling anyone else how to play - I don't think we're there yet as a community to tell one another "how things should be done".

                                      I think by your definition I'm probably more or less using 'fingerpads' to pluck and damp the strings: with 'fingertips' I think even short nails would get in the way. For me, the key is to have each fingerpad/tip against the SIDE of each string rather than the back of it. That way I can not only damp a string, but pluck it instantly with a single movement of the finger.

                                      I find it very important to secure my wrist in the strap a particular way. I kind of rotate my hand as far as it possibly goes clockwise (looking down from above), before securing it in the strap. And then my main tip would be to actually go for plucking with the fingerTIPS as much as possible, rather than fingerpads. And when plucking in this way, to aim is to "pop" each string as cleanly as possible when plucking it.

                                      I'm still hoping to put a sample of my playing on Youtube sometime soonish, but I have to overcome some technical difficulties first. Unfortunately I'm not a technically minded person.

                                      Cheers,
                                      Tim











                                      > Hey Tim, I got a question for you!
                                      >
                                      > I had my lyre out the other weekend, and tried your "damping hand perpendicular to strings." And I have to ask: Do you have short fingernails?
                                      >
                                      > I keep mine longish (~1/4", not acrylic talon territory but definite nail) for playing wire harp. There was enough difference in the string orientation and spacing, as well as the amount of damping, that I was having a devil of a time getting my fingerpads to damp the strings without the nails getting in the way.
                                      >
                                      > Are you using fingertips (the bit just under the nail) or fingerpads (the part they fingerprint) to damp?
                                      >
                                      > - Jamie
                                      >
                                      > --- On Sat, 9/5/09, vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > From: vikingtimbo <vikingtimbo650@...>
                                      > Subject: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Re: Lyre playing technic
                                      > To: Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Date: Saturday, September 5, 2009, 11:06 AM
                                      >
                                      > In the video we're disussing, the player's plucking hand is roughly diagonal to the strings. But when I play, my left (damping/plucking) hand is actually almost perpendicular to the strings.
                                      >
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