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Is organ shoes necessary?

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  • Is organ shoes necessary?


    May I ask if an organ shoes is necessary? What kind of shoes do you wear when you practice organ at home?

    its strange for me to wear leather shoes indoor, especially in hot summer days. I will prefer soft cloth shoes although it's a bit difficult for me to use toe and heel technique.


    Last edited by wyzwinszh; 06-30-2013, 12:03 AM.

  • #2
    Depends on what you play and feel comfortable in. Being comfortable is important I think. When not playing heel-toe I use whatever closed, well fitting, non-slip soled shoes that are narrow enough I have around. When playing heel-toe (god forbid) the same but then they have to have a small heel.


    • #3
      A good heel for organ playing is 3/4" to 1". I don't teach people who won't use organ shoes. Good organ shoes have a sole that will slide on the pedals. I prefer chrome suede to plain leather, but either will work. In any event, don't walk around in the shoes you play in. the grit that they pick up will damage the pedals and make it harder to play well.


      • #4
        I use the most common unisex shoe made by organmasters. When I started my first time lessons I took them in Europe on a 200 year old organ. But when it came to heel toe exercises. As a newbie organist, I really suggest organ shoes. Especially on pedal solos.


        • #5
          I've never used them, and almost certainly never will. But when playing someone else's instrument, I do make sure that the shoes I'm wearing (always smooth soled so I can slide around) are absolutely clean and free from grit.
          It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

          New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

          Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
          Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
          Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
          Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1


          • #6
            In my opinion it is necessary for more advanced repertoire. I have two-inch heels and they are very useful. For example, look at the finale of the first Guilmant organ sonata in D Minor


            The triple pedalling would be extremely difficult if not impossible without organ shoes.

            A lot of repertoire doesn't need shoes however, like Bach.


            • #7
              In my experience, you can get by without, but once you get them, you never go back. If you are like me, and after church every week when I go to a church with an organ (mine doesn't), having these makes you seem more professional, and you know what you are doing. also, if you play theatre organ, these make playing melody on the pedals a whole lot easier. on the other hand, if all you do is play at home, or don't play other organs much, you will be fine without.

              but really, get them.
              the head of music at mellophoneman100 (you tube)

              baldwin studio II
              hammond N300
              and a nice pair of holton french horns


              • #8
                And one more thing, typical ballroom dancing shoes are for all intents and purposes ideal as organ shoes, as they are virtually identical. My brother is a ballroom dancer and I bought my organ shoes from the studio where he danced. I don't really even see my organ shoes as anything other than organ shoes.

                This gives you a chance to choose between differences in height and width of the heel, and the cost is reasonable (mine cost about AUD$125).


                • #9
                  I use ballroom dance shoes, with suede soles. There is a dance supply store in my city that has an annual clearance sale. One can buy shoes for very good prices at such sales.

                  Personally, I prefer to play with shoes, even when casually playing at home. However, I keep a separate pair of shoes for home and church to avoid bringing any outside grit onto my home instrument.


                  • #10
                    I've got a pair of $5 dress shoes from Goodwill. I bought them a half size too small so that they'd be a bit narrower. They're snug, but they work great.
                    Fishers, IN

                    At School Church: Wicks III/40
                    At Church Where I Am Director: Hammond BV with Leslie 122
                    Summer Practice Organ: Rodgers III/47