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Are Dance Tap Shoes (without the taps) Suitable as Organ Shoes?

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  • Are Dance Tap Shoes (without the taps) Suitable as Organ Shoes?

    This is what this instructor claims:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYLSD1EVVuM

    And since I couldn't find a local organ shoe outlet here in Arizona, I figured
    I could just get tap dance shoes, without the taps. At least I would be able to try them
    on first, before buying them, because as you know, a men's size 8.5 is NOT the same
    size from brand to brand! :-P

  • #2
    My teacher suggested it as an option, he wears lace-up jazz shoes.
    Home Organ: VPO Home-Brewed from a former Klann pipe organ console

    Comment


    • #3
      Define "suitable" - the choice of shoes not only depends on your budget and the size of your feet, but also a little bit on what kind of repertoire you play.
      I have a pair of simple shoes with leather sole and a very small heel. Plus a pair of very soft shoes with leather sole but no heel which I use for baroque and pre-baroque organ music or if it's sooo cold in church that I want to wear really thick socks which don't fit in the other shoes. O:-)

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      • #4
        Organmaster shoes are the usual recommendation for organ shoes, and considering their reasonable prices, might be a better value than the tap dance shoes. See: https://www.organmastershoes.com/default.asp

        They allow returns and replacement for a different size, though you pay for return shipping. My feet are difficult to fit, and I find their sizes accurate. The finish on the sole is good for organ playing--it's thin so it's easy to feel through the sole and has the right amount of friction; heel is good for pedaling.

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        • #5
          I had Organmasters for many years until they finally gave out. I found an almost identical dance shoe on Amazon that I've been using since. I'd post a link, but that particular shoe is no longer available.

          Here's what you want in an organ shoe:
          • Supple leather upper
          • Thin leather or felt or suede sole
          • Leather or felt or suede heel.
          • Narrow toe

          This shoe looks to be the equivalent to the ones I'm currently using.
          https://amzn.to/2FN1dZW
          Last edited by Admin; 09-16-2020, 12:21 PM.
          -Admin

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

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          • #6
            Note that the Organmaster shoes offer different widths. If you have medium width feet, then those amazon shoes looks similar at about half the price.

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            • #7
              I have two pairs of OrganMaster Shoes, and use one for practice/performance, and the other set for church. Even though they are both the same size and width, one definitely fits tighter than the other.

              Dance shoes tend to run at least 1/2 size smaller than other shoes, so take that into account. At least with OrganMaster Shoes, you don't need to worry that they're for the organ-as that's their stated use. With other shoes (even dance shoes) you will need to pay closer attention to the height and width of the heels, the soles, and other parameters already mentioned.

              Michael
              Last edited by myorgan; 10-12-2020, 05:38 PM.
              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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              • #8
                I use shoes from the same company as Admin mentioned, from Amazon, and they seem to be quite suitable. If there is any significant difference between those and the organmasters shoes, I don't know what it is.

                Of course, I'd love to find out that the reason I'm not a better organist is that I didn't buy quite the right shoes. :)
                Last edited by farnsy; 09-16-2020, 08:21 PM.
                Rodgers 905

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                • #9
                  Ok, so how many of you know an organist who plays with their bare feet, or just socks? And not
                  just at home while practicing, but during actual public performances?

                  Whoever they are, they probably have longer legs, because if you have shorter legs like me, that extra
                  1.2" in the heels of organ shoes, certainly helps when playing with your heels!

                  ;-)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul789 View Post
                    Ok, so how many of you know an organist who plays with their bare feet, or just socks? ...Whoever they are, they probably have longer legs, because if you have shorter legs like me, that extra 1.2" in the heels of organ shoes, certainly helps when playing with your heels!
                    Unless you are playing early music where you don't use your heels. :-)
                    Bill

                    My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by voet View Post
                      Unless you are playing early music where you don't use your heels. :-)
                      Bill,

                      So you're a no-heel purist! Hmmmm.;-) I guess Bach wouldn't have used heels, even if he had them.:'(

                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, others say Bach would've used heels (and it's actually possible to play toe and heels in socks, at least with older music. It doesn't work properly for any French stuff that requires you to hold down two notes with one foot. But that's another story).

                        I sometimes used heel-less soft leather shoes when practising, but during performance, I always wear shoes (with a small heel).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                          So you're a no-heel purist! Hmmmm.;-) I guess Bach wouldn't have used heels, even if he had them.:'(
                          When I first began studying the organ, the "toes only" approach was not that prevalent, so I learned many Bach pieces using my heels. However, when learning things today, I use mainly toes. However, even on those pieces that I learned using toes, I use articulated technique.

                          As to whether Bach had heels on his shoes, this portrait from 1725 shows that there were heels on his shoes, although I can't tell if they are the 1.5 inch height of Organ Master. :-)

                          https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/sit...e/bachmain.jpg

                          I found this video of Federico Bigi playing "Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott" (BWV 721) on an 1850 Alessio Verati organ. If you look at the pedalboard you can see that it is not possible to use your heels playing that instrument.

                          Bill

                          My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

                          Comment


                          • myorgan
                            myorgan commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Bill,

                            Hopefully, you realize I'm just "yanking your chain." I'm OK with however a person chooses to play a particular composer, as long as their technique is consistent rather than mixed up. I, too, began learning Bach before the "toes only" approach was encouraged.

                            Michael

                        • #14
                          Originally posted by voet View Post
                          1850 Alessio Verati organ
                          It's amazing to see such a young organ in such an old-fashioned design. Or was it maybe re-built using parts of an older instrument, do you happen to know?

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by andijah View Post

                            It's amazing to see such a young organ in such an old-fashioned design. Or was it maybe re-built using parts of an older instrument, do you happen to know?
                            There are later Italian organsthat have similar pedal boards. Here is an instrument built by Giovanni Batta de Lorenzi in 1875, it was restored by Giorgio Carli in 2010.

                            https://www.carliorgani.it/cerea.asp

                            Bill

                            My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

                            Comment


                            • andijah
                              andijah commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Thank you!
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