[Harp-L] Problem when playing harps not in C

I've bought my first harp in a key other than C (I've got one in D), and a new problem has arisen when trying to play it. It seems I've learnt so well that, except for the highest octave, a C is a blow, a D a draw, an E a blow and so on, that I'm unable to play even the simplest tune using the harp in D, because I do it all the wrong way. I suppose I should be thinking of positions, or of intervals, or something like that, but I don't seem to be able to find a way to forget which note I am playing and its relationship with the harp in C.

What I really mean to say is, if I try to play, say, 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' with the harp in D and I start by blowing in hole 4 I get a D, and no matter how hard I try to think of it only as the root note and forget about its actual name, I am hearing a D and I know it cannot be anything else, so I know I should play an A afterwards, and then I go and draw in hole 6... And, of course, I get the wrong note. You see what I mean? I cannot call that first note a C and carry on, because I am hearing a D and I won't be cheated even if I try.

Every time I play a melody it is as if it had lyrics. If you ask me to play 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' starting with a C, I'll play it while mentally saying 'do-do-sol-sol-la-la-sol...', and that comes automatically. If you tell me to start it with a D, I have no trouble saying 're-re-la-la-si-si-la...' without having to think about it. But when it comes to playing actually the harp, it's all a disaster because I cannot find the notes automatically, as with a harp in C. It is as if each harp were a different instrument and I had to learn the whereabouts of each note each time. To the point of being blocked when I must play an F sharp in the key of D (something very common), thinking 'I cannot play this note yet'. Which is true with a harp in C, but not with a harp in D!

Can you help me with some idea about how to overcome this problem? It would be really great (although I don't need to play harps in keys other than C yet). Thanks a lot in advance.

Eliza Doolittle

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.