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

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  • #16
    Well, I sincerely doubt I will ever practice on an instrument that old, with that short of bass pedals,
    although it is true that many organ spinets will have pedals attached to the console, that are too
    short to use heels on. But that's one reason I didn't buy a spinet in the first place (besides the fact
    that most of them have only one octave in their bass pedals).

    Comment


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Often on spinet organs, only one pedal can be played at a time.

      Michael

  • #17
    Here's an organist who actually says she prefers playing in socks only.
    (Link starts at 3 minutes and 53 seconds when she starts talking about it.)
     

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    • #18
      In her book Pedal Mastery, Joyce Jones says that when someone once asked Marcel Dupré what shoes he played the organ with, his somewhat puzzled reply was "With my own!"
      Bill

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

      Comment


      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Bill,

        That reminds me of the time my mother fell out of bed at the nursing home just before she passed away. The doctor came in and asked her if she knew where she was. Her response: "I'm on the floor, silly, now help me up!"

        Michael

    • #19
      Regarding the video with the organist who plays in socks only: She was clearly able to use her heel
      wearing only socks, with no problems, and it doesn't look like she is sitting on the edge of the bench.

      Either she has pretty long legs, or her bench is not the standard AGO height of 20.5" from the top
      of the middle D key?

      And something else I noticed: She used her left foot for ALL the pedal notes! If you read my other
      thread on bass pedal technique, people unanimously recommend you alternate the feet for the pedal
      notes, even if they are mostly on the lower first octave. Maybe this song is slow enough for her to get
      away with it, but......
      Last edited by Paul789; 10-19-2020, 12:05 AM.

      Comment


      • Admin
        Admin commented
        Editing a comment
        The pedal part in the video is very simple, like one or two notes per measure, all in the same octave. The style of the music she's playing requires use of the expression pedal, so she has her right foot there throughout as there is no need for two feet on the pedal board.

        You need to be careful not to generalize advice offered and turn it into a requirement. All music isn't the same, nor do all performers have the same approach to playing. There may be fingerings and pedalings that work for others and not for you. So while one can say that one approach is more recommended than another, or that one approach is more suited to a particular style of music, one cannot say with any authority that there is only one correct approach.

        I would not recommend learning to play the organ in stocking feet, but certainly for the type of music she's playing, it doesn't make much difference.

      • Chad Davis
        Chad Davis commented
        Editing a comment
        Admin, that's also a very good point. There are best practices which should be taught and recommended, but in the end, organists need to do what works best for them regarding the type of music they're playing, the organ they're playing on, and the overall situation they're in. My general motto is, to each their own

      • regeron
        regeron commented
        Editing a comment
        It's also worth noting that a lot of repertoire in that style is written so that anyone with a spinet organ can play it. On a spinet, they assume: left foot on the 13 pedal keys / right foot on the expression pedal. It is possible to use both feet on the one-octave pedalboard, but most people just use the left foot.

        A second assumption is that anyone playing a spinet has limited training and that they are coming from having already learned to play piano, where your right foot was always on the damper pedal. Putting your right foot on the swell shoe (volume control) seemed a reasonable transfer.

        So, anything written in that style basically assumes that you only use one foot for the pedal notes and that the pedal part is not that difficult.

    • #20
      Originally posted by Paul789 View Post
      Regarding the video with the organist who plays in socks only: She was clearly able to use her heel
      wearing only socks, with no problems, and it doesn't look like she is sitting on the edge of the bench.

      Either she has pretty long legs, or her bench is not the standard AGO height of 20.5" from the top
      of the middle D key?

      And something else I noticed: She used her left foot for ALL the pedal notes! If you read my other
      thread on bass pedal technique, people unanimously recommend you alternate the feet for the pedal
      notes, even if they are mostly on the lower first octave. Maybe this song is slow enough for her to get
      away with it, but......
      Those are really good points. She's obviously tall, but I'm curious about the bench height now too.

      Can you post a link to your thread on the bass pedal technique? I'd be interested to read it.

      Here's the other video where she talked about this topic and you can see she's using both feet, so it must have just been that other song where she was only using her left foot.
       

      Comment


      • #21
        Originally posted by Chad Davis View Post

        Those are really good points. She's obviously tall, but I'm curious about the bench height now too.

        Can you post a link to your thread on the bass pedal technique? I'd be interested to read it.

        Here's the other video where she talked about this topic and you can see she's using both feet, so it must have just been that other song where she was only using her left foot.
        Here is my newbie thread on bass pedal technique:

        https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...que#post744886

        Interesting thing about this second video: Her head almost touches the ceiling! And again, she is able to use her heels comfortably,
        without sitting on the edge of the bench, and without using organ shoes (which is at least a 1 inch advantage).

        So she looks like she could be taller than the average woman, for sure.

        Again, I wish I had longer legs!

        Comment


        • #22
          Originally posted by Paul789 View Post

          Here is my newbie thread on bass pedal technique:

          https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...que#post744886
          [...]
          Again, I wish I had longer legs!
          Paul789 lol you mention you wish you had longer legs in that thread too. It made me chuckle
          Also, I'll have to look into that book: Johann Sebastian Bach, 49 Organ Worksby Hans Fagius that voet and Dutchy mentioned.


          Originally posted by Paul789 View Post

          Interesting thing about this second video: Her head almost touches the ceiling! And again, she is able to use her heels comfortably,
          without sitting on the edge of the bench, and without using organ shoes (which is at least a 1 inch advantage).

          So she looks like she could be taller than the average woman, for sure.
          Yes, her head does nearly touch the ceiling, although you can tell from the background of the video that it's a vaulted ceiling and she's located against the side wall in the balcony of the church. It's not uncommon for churches to try and squeeze the organ into a corner to allow for more seating, but of course, that rarely accommodates the organist.

          Comment


          • #23
            Originally posted by Paul789 View Post
            And something else I noticed: She used her left foot for ALL the pedal notes! If you read my other thread on bass pedal technique, people unanimously recommend you alternate the feet for the pedal notes, even if they are mostly on the lower first octave.
            Paul,

            Just a quick correction–in your other thread people recommended alternate feel in the pedals for that piece ONLY (Prelude & Fugue in F Major from the 8 LIttle Preludes and Fugues). The recommendation for alternate feet will NOT hold true for all pieces–each piece has different pedal technique. I'm sure you realize that already, but I just wanted to clarify so no one gets the wrong idea about pedal technique.

            Hope that helps clarify.

            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)
            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

            Comment


            • #24
              Ok, I just got my tango/foxtrot dance shoes from Amazon, as some of you have suggested
              earlier in this thread, and they do indeed work well as organ shoes.

              Do I like playing with organ shoes? Yes, they make playing with the heel far easier, and
              I may decide NOT to lower my bench by 1/2-1 inch, which is what I am considering, but
              time will tell.

              Comment

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