Each of these seven early solos will build skills within the context of performable music. If you've worked through the exercises found on our Free Tutorials page, then you should be able to master the songs in this collection, adding to your repertoire. The entire set (six original compositions, one Scottish tune, and one Renaissance dance) is suitable for 22 strings or more, no pedal changes, no lever changes, everything is in key of C.
Skills taught: note reading, the ability to place up to four fingers in a row, thirds, sixths, with some (optional) replacing and some glissandi.
Felicitation- Focuses on finding the F and C strings to give a solid base in note reading. Some adult students have used this for family weddings when they've been asked to perform as beginners.
Irish Love Song (Eibhlin a Ruin or Eileen Aroon)- begins with LH and RH playing the same thing in octaves, then focuses on placing step wise groups, thirds. This is one of the traditional tunes that was performed (and collected by Edward Bunting) at the first Belfast Harp Festival in July of 1792. The melody is attributed to Carol O'Daly and has been recorded by the Clancy Brothers (1961) and Bob Dylan (1988). Shakespeare alludes to it in some of his plays. The words to the Scottish song "Robin Adair" have been set to this tune. Read a bit of its history and find the lyrics here and here. Get the tutor to help you get started here (PDF).
Meditation - Focuses on finding white strings on the staff, to furthur note reading skills while adding to repertoire with music appropriate for worship settings, therapeutic settings, recitals or just for fun.
Spring Song (includes tutorial) focus is on F & C strings, thirds, glissandi. This was composed for an adult student with MS who struggled with note reading, hence the focus on the colored strings.
Still Waters - this can be played with only 2nd finger if needed and is calm and meditative. It's great for therapeutic playing as well as appropriate for worship settings.
Kelvingrove - This pleasant Scottish tune is used in the Gather book of worship as the tune for The Summons. There's plenty of practice in thirds and stepwise placing. This version is in the less common but easier to manage meter of 3/4 instead of the traditional version with lots of dotted rhythms. Both versions are included in the lead sheet collection of hymns. See image for suggested fingerings, click for larger image. midi generated sample mp3
Sweetheart Waltz - thirds, sixths and playing scales without watching hands: perfect for weddings or anniversary celebrations. midi generated sample
Pavane d'Espagne - This stately Renaissance dance would have been used as a processional. No intervals larger than a third, good practice placing stepwise patterns. A more advanced version of this pavane is included on my CD, Pleasantries & Diversions. The lead sheet is included in the Harpsichore collection of lead sheets. listen here