Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

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Musicmaker
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Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

Post by Musicmaker » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:34 pm

Hello folks.
Well I have downloaded the " kingsbury Keyes " Zither method, sent off for the Darr Zither method and this morning I received the " Isle Harris " method book 1.
Isle lives out here in Australia like I do but a plane flight away.
I have browsed through the 35 page method complete with CD and although I have not received my Zither yet, i would like to give some feedback.
Okay i am not a Zitherist ....YET ....( watch this space as I am very determined!) But I very much want to bring to the fore a Zither teaching method which is modern, easy to follow and the beginner in mind.
The method describes Positioning the Zither, hand positions, fingering and how to play simple tunes.
Ilse starts with the Fingerboard and then progresses to playing simple chords on the fingerboard.
It is to do with playing the melody in Thirds which i find particularly beautiful in Zither music.
She then teaches how to accompany the melody with single string bass accompaniment.
This then progresses to three note accompaniment using the bass finger no 4 and and finger no 2 to play the other two strings together to produce a Triad or " chord ".
I can see that with practice and determination I will be playing recognised tunes very shortly.
Ilse's book is an Australian publication and produced by herself and sons.
I think this is a wonderful thing.
I must add that by posting this, I have no moneterial gain and no connection whatsoever with the business side of things.
I am merely pointing out another Zither learning method that is available and with which i am quite taken by.
Pete

Rudy Mueller
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Re: Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

Post by Rudy Mueller » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:02 pm

Thanks Pete for your review. Sounds Great!

Watch out for so called "beginners" instruction books that have one playing melody on the open strings and the left hand in the "higher" positions on the grifbrett/fretboard, that is several frets to the right of the usual basic starting position.

One student I know started on his own with this, then had to "unlearn" the techniques, which are more suitable for an advanced player. As a beginner, he understandably had to watch his hands, and could not shake the habit.

The basic scales of Keyes cannot be over-stressed. Even a few minutes spent on them when beginning a session gets the neurons re-connected and ready to go. Keyes stresses the hand-eye coordination and conservation of motion.

Alle Anfang sind schwer....the first steps are the hardest.

Rudi

Musicmaker
Posts: 148
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Re: Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

Post by Musicmaker » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:34 pm

Thanks for your input Rudi.
I have noted what you have written und Ich passe gut auf wegen ihre worten.
Endlich ist mein Zither Tisch fertig und bin Ich ganz stolz darauf.
Na Ja...Eine Richtige Tisch und Sitze ist wenigstens ein enfang.
Jetz!.....wo zum Teufel ist mein Zither los?
Peter

Andy
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Re: Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

Post by Andy » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:16 pm

Pete,
I purchased a copy of Isles book as well a few months back. It definitely has some great insights, proper finger positioning, and I really like that it has the chord charts for the fretboard at the end of the book. Though that may be a bit advanced, I am glad it's spelled out somewhere.

I’ll throw my hat in for Keyes Scales as well. About two weeks ago I started the first lesson and it has completely changed the way I approach the fretboard. My fingers are sore, but the results are worthwhile. It will probably take months to finish lesson one to the requirements for lesson two, but it is a great warmup.

- Andy

NutmegCT
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Re: Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

Post by NutmegCT » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:59 pm

Hi Andy. You caught my interest with the Keyes Scales comments.

Maybe I've got a counterfeit copy of the Keyes Scales book, but I can't find any lesson numbers at all.

When you say you'll concentrate on Lesson 1 before attacking Lesson 2, what page does Lesson 2 start on?

Thanks.

Tom M.

Andy
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Re: Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

Post by Andy » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:17 pm

Hey Tom,

My mistake, it is actually labeled 'First Stage'. It spells out exactly how your fingers should walk the frets, and the ascending / descending C-Major scale. I downloaded the PDF from the learning section of this site, it is pages 4 and 5 in there.

- Andy

Rudy Mueller
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Re: Ilse Harris Zither Teaching Method

Post by Rudy Mueller » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:04 pm

I just spent the better part of the afternoon with the student who had the misfortune of purchasing (domestically, U.S.) the "beginning" zither book, which had him starting to play melody on the open strings, and left hand in the higher positions.

When beginning you journey, select an instruction book which has some reputation (Darr, Kabatek, and the more contemporary Harris).

After you've read the introductions to your method of choice, but even before you begin "hands on" work,

MASTER THE FIRST FEW EXERCISES IN KEYES' SCALES....this cannot be over stressed.

start at a very slow tempo.....a metronome is helpful...the object is hand/eye coordination
keep your eyes on the notes, not your hands (basketball players watch the hoop, not the ball)

and gradually continue to integrate further Keyes exercises into your practice routine.

playing melody on open strings is for the masters; your day will come

rudi

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