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  • Shoes (again)

    As someone always trying to improve my pedal playing, I can't help but notice that, when I don't look at my feet (which is most of the time), I make fewer mistakes when I'm wearing socks and not my Organmaster shoes. Does someone make something with more feel? It sometimes feels like playing the piano with gloves on when I'm wearing shoes.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    -S-

  • #2
    I think you’re unlikely to find anything with a thinner sole. With time, you make less mistakes with shoes, just give it time. Try to avoid practicing with socks, it will mess up your muscle memory with shoes.

    -Current Instruments: Allen Mos-2 225 RTC,1870's W. Bell Reed organ, 1890's Singer Chicago upright grand piano Former Instruments: Yamaha Electone E3R
    -Website: https://www.exercisesincatholicmythology.com

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    • #3
      The question that comes to my mind is if playing in socks is easier for you, then why do you want to play in shoes? If you believe that using shoes is the "correct way", then stop playing and practicing in socks and you'll find your ability to play in shoes becomes easier.
      -Admin

      Allen 965
      Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
      Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
      Hauptwerk 4.2

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Admin View Post
        The question that comes to my mind is if playing in socks is easier for you, then why do you want to play in shoes? If you believe that using shoes is the "correct way", then stop playing and practicing in socks and you'll find your ability to play in shoes becomes easier.
        There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. I do better at hitting only one pedal at a time with the pointy toe of the shoes. I just do better at finding the right key without the shoes. Maybe what I need are pointy socks. :)

        Try to avoid practicing with socks, it will mess up your muscle memory with shoes.
        - yes, I think this what I should do.

        -S-

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        • #5
          I'm tempted to glue some heels to a pair of socks, or maybe cut off the front half of my Organmaster shoes!

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          • #6
            If you don't have a teacher who will be able to tell you what you're doing differently when wearing shoes as opposed to playing in socks, there's one thing you could do:
            Play a piece you know well, first in shoes, then in socks, then in shoes again, and record this with a video camera / smartphone.
            You need to choose an angle that shows your feet and the pedalboard.
            It might well be that you move your feet in a different way, and if that's the case, you need to train yourself to use the same technique whether shoes or no shoes.
            In the end, it shouldn't matter too much what you're wearing.
            It's a matter of awareness and training.

            Hope that makes sense. If not, please ask and I will try to be clearer.

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            • #7
              I like the idea of putting some high heels on your socks ;-)
              John
              ----------
              *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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              • #8
                I have seen people who have (what I would call) dance slippers. They are form fitting like socks or slippers, but are puckered where there is some sort of thin sole attached. I hope I've given a good enough description for you to find what I'm talking about. They may be called Jazz Shoes: https://www.dancesupplies.com/jazz-shoes-all.html

                Michael
                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)
                • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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                • #9
                  Although these are not AGO pedalboards, here is one vote for what appears to be heavy duty socks with a slightly stronger sole. Well known YouTube artist Florian Hutter
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTXX0-tqw9A

                  But on the other hand, this well known YouTube artist Mike Reed uses these totally clunky Crocs.
                  Skip through to the middle of this video of him playing Alley Cat with some serious bass work going on
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jCfhJUQvjU

                  Whatever you decide, keep it consistent.
                  Last edited by beyerjf; 10-19-2021, 06:22 AM.
                  Current inventory. Yamaha HX-1 and FX-20, Hammond Colonnade w/ Leslie 720, Kawai XR9000, (2) Technics FN3, FA1, Yamaha Tyros 5, psr 910.
                  Is that enough?

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                  • #10
                    Joking aside, I only play in socks, and probably always will, given that I'm retiring from my church in a few weeks, and it's unlikely that I'll take on another position in the future. So all my playing will be simply for my own amusement -- or amazement, as the case may be.

                    Like Steve, I "think" wearing only socks helps me play more accurately because I can feel the pedal keys, and indeed, I almost never need to look at my feet. But the soles of my feet are not as flat and rigid as leather shoe soles would be, and it's too easy for the sides of my feet to "spill over" onto the adjacent key when I depress a pedal, which now and then may cause an unwanted note to play. I assume this problem would go away if I were to adopt some suitable shoes.

                    BUT, this small drawback to playing in socks can be almost totally mitigated if I make just a small effort to keep my feet from "curling" while playing. Sort of like a pianist has to develop the correct "curve" of the fingers, as if gripping an apple. I've had to "train" the soles of my feet to flatten out when playing. As long as I remind myself of this necessity now and then, and take note when my feet do happen to get on two pedals at once, I can play an entire service without playing a bad pedal note.

                    I suppose it comes down to this -- choose your footwear, then train your feet to play accurately in that footwear, whatever it takes.
                    John
                    ----------
                    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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                    • myorgan
                      myorgan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Never say "never" John! You'd be surprised how deficient some of our largest cities are when it comes to obtaining organists!

                      Michael

                  • #11
                    I used to wear Organmasters all the time. Later in life, about 16 years ago, I became diabetic. About 5 years ago the diabetes hit the feet and I have severe foot neuropathy and can no longer wear any kind of organ shoe as I can't 'feel' the pedals through any thickness of shoes.

                    I also have the same issue as John, where the edge of the one foot gets on two pedals ... I was trained to not look at my feet, I rarely do nowadays ... my concert days are over and I only play in church and a few other programs on organ - still can play pedal runs in socks. The light for the pedalboard can't be unscrewed or turned off - it's okay as the choir likes to watch the feet in action.

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                    • #12
                      I usually wear dance shoes when playing, but I also have a pair of handmade light shoes with leather sole but no heel, very soft material. It's almost like playing in socks, but not quite. I sometimes use them when working on music written before 1750, or whenever I feel like wearing them.
                      Here's a picture of this type of shoe, the toddler version - you'll get the idea. Click image for larger version

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                      • #13
                        Then there's the redneck organist, whom we've met before. He has a couple of new videos, playing with steel toe work boots, as always:

                        My instrument: Allen MDS-65 with a New Century Zimbelstern
                        Former instruments (RIP): Allen ADC 420; Conn Minuet

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                        • #14
                          An update - I decided I want to be able to play both ways, but I play with shoes at church, so I'm dividing my time, playing in socks some of the time and then putting the shoes on for most of my practice. So far, so good!

                          -S-

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