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  • shoes on the bench...



    Anybody else play organ without any shoes on, in just a pair of socks? (I can't play in bare feet either, just socks.) I've noticed long ago that all the pro's wear shoes, but I could never get use to them; to me it's equivalent to playing the manuals with a pair of gloves on. I find that I have a much more "stable" sound when playing without shoes, especially in a room with little reverb where you can immediately here when the pedal stop's playing.
    </p>

    </p>

    What are the advantages to wearing shoes?
    </p>

  • #2
    Re: shoes on the bench...



    There have been several lively discussions about this in the past.</P>


    I know folks often say that shoes are like playing themanuals with gloves on, but they are really an important part of good organ technique. There is a reason all of the pros wear shoes! []</P>
    <UL>
    <LI>In brief, shoes protect you. If you are doing some very rapid pedalwork there is always a risk of stubbing your toe on an expression pedal, toe piston, or pedal key. If you are doing a lot of heel and toe work (necessary for playing most music) you riskinjury if you repetitively over-flex the feet.Theheel of a shoe allows the foot to remain nearly level while playing naturals, so there is less flexion of the foot.This approach allows you to execute rapid passages with an economy of motion that promotes effortless playing and accuracy.</LI>
    <LI>If you do stub your toes or otherwise hurt your shoeless feet you may subconsciously encourage some timidity in your pedal playing.</LI>
    <LI>Shoesaremore sanitary than stocking feet, especially if you perspire. You may have to play an instrument after someone has used their street shoes; pedalboards can be very dirty.</LI>
    <LI>Shoes allow more accuracy, especially if you must play pedal chords.</LI>
    <LI>Shoes look better if you are performing. If you have to perform a recital in front of a group of peopleit never looks good to be in stocking feet and a tux/suit. [] If you decide you have to keep shoes on, then you have the problem of trying to play with something to which you are not accustomed. Better to practice with shoes, always.</LI>[/list]

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    • #3
      Re: shoes on the bench...



      One more thought. []</P>


      Have you been to a shoe store lately? There is a whole range of shoes, each appropriate for the task at hand: hiking, walking, tennis, basketball, etc. Why should organ playing be any different?</P>


      The key is to get a good pair of organ shoes. These are typically havethin soles so you canbend your foot easily and feelthe pedalboard. The heel should be at an appropriate height to keep the foot more or less level; the shoe may be narrower than you would use for walking. The sole should be soft enough to glide and I like a heel that sticks a bit. There should be no overhang of the sole; a smooth-sided shoe allows the feet to brush each other without catching.</P>


      The best-known organ shoe is made by OrganMaster, but you might also try a 'jazz' shoe - Capezio makes these.</P>


      When people see me putting on my organ shoes they are fascinated to learn that organists have special shoes - you don't want to miss out on that experience. []</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: shoes on the bench...

        I have to agree with Soubasse32 on this. Fast passages can be painful in stocking feet. The negative feedback (pain) may then prevent you from moving forward with your technique. Choose shoes with thin soles in order to lessen the "gloves on" effect.

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        • #5
          Re: shoes on the bench...



          I began playing the pedals in my socks simply because I couldn't afford a pair of shoes at the time. Finaly, my wife purchased me for my birthday a nice pair of Organ Master shoes. I will admit that the first time I played with the shoes on, it felt just like what you described; playing with gloves on. I decided to continue however, and I have found that wearing my organ shoes is a big plus for playing the pedals. It will take you some time to adjust, but it is well worth the effort.</P>


          I play the organ in the LDS Temple where I have to be completly dressed in white. Organ Master does not make any white organ shoes, so when I play there, I am forced to play in my socks. Fortunately, it's not for performance, just background meditative music. Playing both with my socks and with my organ shoes at Sunday services has given me a good comparison of both, and I deffinantly prefer using my organ shoes to play with.</P>


          Hang in there; it's worth the effort.</P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: shoes on the bench...

            [quote user="David Stemmons"]


            </p>


            I play the organ in the LDS Temple where I have to be completly dressed in white. Organ Master does not make any white organ shoes, so when I play there, I am forced to play in my socks.
            </p>


            [/quote]</p>

            </p>

            Hey I have a great idea for you. How about you get the Organmasters for women! They make white, and bone-white, and navy blue, and black, and gold, and silver. And they're cheaper than the ones for guys! What do you say? </p>

            </p>

            Just kidding. []
            </p>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: shoes on the bench...



              [quote user="David Stemmons"] I play the organ in the LDS Temple where I have to be completly dressed in white. [/quote]</P>


              What is an LDS Temple? Where the Tabernacle Choir sings? Forgive my ignorance, but I thought they wore normal suits there.</P>


              On the subject of the thread, my organ professor was bemused the first time we met and I took off my shoes to audition for him as an Organ Performance major who had received no prior training. He kindly informed me I would be required to wear shoes. I haven't gone back! Great big dittos to everything stated here so far.</P>


              Michael</P>
              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
              • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: shoes on the bench...



                LDS=Latter Day Saint(s)=Mormons.</p>

                Philip.</p>

                -IFB=Independent Fundamental Baptist
                </p>

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                • #9
                  Re: shoes on the bench...



                  I can't play inshoe-less as it really hurts my feet (particularly my arches, or what little I have since I'm flat footed) and like Soubasse said when you stub your little toe its really painful!</P>


                  I play in Organmaster shoes, I bought a pair about three years ago and they're still in tip-top condition. You might also want to consider visiting a dancing shop, as dancing shoes are often designed in a similar way to the Organmasters and suit playing the organ rather well.</P>


                  Anyone played in trainers (sneekers)? It makes for a bit of fun as the extra width makes them very clumsy the rubber soles grip the keys to much such that it is difficult to slide the foot. I actually play rather well in trainers, but I'm sure the traditionalists would have me hung drawn and quatered for doing so! It not my shoe of choice (the Organmasters are), but handy skill if you are called to play in an emergency and don't have organ shoes with you. </P>
                  <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                  1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
                  Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: shoes on the bench...



                    "How about you get the Organmasters for women! They make white, and
                    bone-white, and navy blue, and black, and gold, and silver. And
                    they're cheaper than the ones for guys! What do you say? "</p>

                    Where did Cam Carpenter get his white shoes?</p>

                    </p>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: shoes on the bench...

                      I believe that CC had those shoes (although I'm not sure "shoe" is exactly the right term, since they're almost dance slippers with a 2" heel) custom made.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: shoes on the bench...

                        Yep, I play in my Organmasters (which I just got for my birthday). They're so much nicer than nasty dress shoes with no heel (the ones that my dog had eaten). I kept stubbing my toes when I played in socks, and when I was playing from a E to an F or a B to a C, my foot would slide through. Not very fun when I had to keep pulling my feet out of the cracks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: shoes on the bench...

                          [quote user="nullogik"]


                          I can't play inshoe-less as it really hurts my feet (particularly my arches, or what little I have since I'm flat footed) and like Soubasse said when you stub your little toe its really painful!</P>


                          I play in Organmaster shoes, I bought a pair about three years ago and they're still in tip-top condition. You might also want to consider visiting a dancing shop, as dancing shoes are often designed in a similar way to the Organmasters and suit playing the organ rather well.</P>


                          Anyone played in trainers (sneekers)? It makes for a bit of fun as the extra width makes them very clumsy the rubber soles grip the keys to much such that it is difficult to slide the foot. I actually play rather well in trainers, but I'm sure the traditionalists would have me hung drawn and quatered for doing so! It not my shoe of choice (the Organmasters are), but handy skill if you are called to play in an emergency and don't have organ shoes with you. </P>
                          <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                          [/quote]</P>
                          <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                          I did have, during my highschool years, a set of $10 knock-off tennis sneakers that had always had a very rigid, smooth, and nearly tread-less sole that worked quite well after waxing them with auto polish. Otherwise i've always had just a regular leather sole dress shoe; maybe someday i'll pony up for a set of Organmasters, but i've gone without for 20 years now, so i'm in no hurry.</P>

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                          • #14
                            Re: shoes on the bench...



                            Sorry about that; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormons) have both churchs for regular meetings and Temples for more sacred ordances (Such as Weddings). Only in the Temples are members dressed in white and only members in good standing may enter the Temples. </P>
                            <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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                            • #15
                              Re: shoes on the bench...



                              Anyone played in trainers (sneekers)?
                              </P>

                              I haven't, but I have seen people play in about everyting: bare-foot, socks, sandals, baskets, combat shoes etc.</P>

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