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Shoes or No Shoes?

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  • #16
    Get yourself some genuine organmaster organ shoes, they should fit snug but not cutting circulation off! you don't walk in these shoes you only play organ with them.
    My teacher told me from day one- get the shoes because if you play in socks as I did initially, it "works" your foot muscles and the arch and you start getting foot pain and cramping.
    These shoes are designed for the prgan pedalboard, all the professional organists I've seen use them with but few exceptions like maybe Dianne Bish.
    As an aside, around 1996 when I was still learning the organ, I took a cross-country trip and stopped at the Mormon Tabernacle where I had an appointment with one of the staff organists who invited me to come for a visit and see the organ.
    I had to park the rental truck in 2 metered spaces and locked my dog in I think with the A/C running and rushed to the temple, it had to be a quick tour as I didn't have time.

    Naturally, in the rush I forgot my organ shoes in the truck, just figures... I met my contact and he took me up to the console and showed me around, and then asked if I would like to play something, so there I was, with a lot people down behind the cordon ropes and I had the VIP treatment being up at the console looking over at all these tourists looking back at me wondering why they couldn't come up too I bet!
    Anyway, I definitely don't "do" crowds and I was still very new with the organ, and there I was staring at five manuals and rows and rows of stops and I was completely lost so I asked my contact to select a few stops for me, I played the well known trumpet tune with but a couple of mistakes, and there I was on "stage" with the organist dressed to the nines in an imaculate suit and tie and I had to play the pedals in my stupid socks after driving a rental truck for two days (with my pipe organ in the back), talk about embarassing!
    It was very cool though, but the accoustics in the room were really bizarre and the mistakes I made were probably from hearing the notes in one ear and then hearing them again clearly bounced back from the other end of the room about five seconds later, it was very confusing and I had to slow way down!


    • #17
      For myself, I learned to play with organ shoes (organmaster I believe). Occasionally I would be asked to impromptu play a piece for someone just so they could hear the organ, and I refused unless I had my shoes! I was terrified to play without them as it seemed very un-natural and different. Lo and behold a few months ago I hurt some random muscle in my left foot making low cut shoes impossible to wear without intense pain (ala the organ shoes) and thus I had to learn to play in socks. After no more then two days, I so much more prefer playing in socks - even though it is probably a crutch. Mainly I have large feet, and I don't hid adjacent notes as often, and it is just easier to play pedal parts on the fly with socks it seems to me... My only issue now is after trying the organ shoes on again, my playing has beomce much sloppier.... Oh dear
      Andover Organ Co. Opus 67
      Memorial Chapel
      37 Ranks, 2 Manual Tracker
      16' Pousane best stop there is