Forum . Zither . US

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:46 pm
Posts: 35
I got my start with the Zither by inheriting a very handsome Alto Zither (Key of F) that was played by my paternal grandmother's cousin; he played in a zither band in Astoria (NY). Through an internet search, I found the Long Island Zither Ensemble in Oyster Bay, NY and they warmly welcomed me to join them and to learn some basic techniques of zither playing in a group setting. From reading this forum, I have picked up some very nice Methods books that are resourceful. Reading music, sight-reading in a variety of clefs and performance are no problem for me as I've been playing piano for many years, and am also a horn player in a brass quintet. So the zither has presented intriguing and unique challenges; it is the first stringed instrument I've played. I also learn by watching a lot of YouTube videos of several zither players I think are really good, to glean tips on their playing styles. I have picked up a second zither, a handsome Schwarzer (Key of C), from eBay. I have had both zithers refurbished by Sasha Radicic and despite their respective ages of 100+ years, they each look like new and sound great! They are a pleasure to play. I have a lot of things going on, and I am one of those players who gets inspired periodically and play/practice consistently and then let them languish for several weeks. And yes, I do make some progress with this routine despite what others may say. If at all possible, one should try and look for a group to play with, or seek another person to play with. You may need to travel a distance. When I played with the Long Island group, it was a 120 mile round trip once a week, in the thick of New York City/Connecticut traffic. But it was fun playing.


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
Posts: 152
Don - thanks for the details.

Are you able to play new music without watching your fingers? In other words, a piece you've never played before, can you look at the printed music and "just by feel" find the RH and LH strings?

LH melody notes aren't a problem for me. But finding RH accompaniment strings - that's almost overwhelming unless the chord stays the same.

That's where I think I'm hitting a roadblock. If I'm supposed to be able to play something without checking where my fingers are, then I'm really stuck in a rut. Whenever the accompaniment changes, for example from C chord to D chord, I have to look to be sure the fingers are on the correct strings. The RH doesn't move as a "unit". Fingers on the C chord are fine as long as repeated; chord changes to D, and I can't find the D strings without looking. I can "guess" - but usually don't hit the right string combination.

Thanks.
Tom M.


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