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Big Feet - Is Pedalling Possible?


ick1508
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I know we all have feet bigger than the spacing of the pedals, but we somehow manage to hit only one note at once, most of the time.

 

But my son has size 12 feet already, and he's still growing. Notwithstanding OrganMaster shoes, or whatever, (and I've read that thread - and voted - modified Clarks are my favourite too) are there any techniques for pedalling that would help him?

 

He just looks at the pedalboard, then his feet, and thinks it's impossible! Even when I show him it's not! Shame, because he's a good natural musician.

 

(First attempt at starting a thread)

 

Ian

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Guest Lee Blick

I have a lot of sympathy for your son. I have extra-wide feet and playing pedals with extra-wide shoes used to be frustrating until I bought a pair slippers from Shoes-r-Us or somewhere. The material stretched wide enough to accomodate my feet but with a slender enough footprint to allow me to play one note at a time rather than two.

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I have a lot of sympathy for your son.  I have extra-wide feet and playing pedals with extra-wide shoes used to be frustrating until I bought a pair slippers from Shoes-r-Us or somewhere.  The material stretched wide enough to accomodate my feet but with a slender enough footprint to allow me to play one note at a time rather than two.

 

I seem to remember Dr Arthur Wills did not have the smallest feet.

 

FF

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I know we all have feet bigger than the spacing of the pedals, but we somehow manage to hit only one note at once, most of the time.

 

But my son has size 12 feet already, and he's still growing. Notwithstanding OrganMaster shoes, or whatever, (and I've read that thread - and voted - modified Clarks are my favourite too) are there any techniques for pedalling that would help him?

 

He just looks at the pedalboard, then his feet, and thinks it's impossible! Even when I show him it's not! Shame, because he's a good natural musician.

 

(First attempt at starting a thread)

 

Ian

I have size 13...it has never stopped me, though I do find that on some 3 or 4 manual consoles, the distance between ped and choir manual prevent normal use of the swell ped. I have even played in a pair of those very wide fitting clarks shoes...though only a couple of times.

Going to the other extreme, I do remember Dame Gillian giving a master class at the old RCO and impeccably demonstrating some pedalling in stillettos!

So...if he is keen enough to play, then he'll overcome any little size issues.

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I know we all have feet bigger than the spacing of the pedals, but we somehow manage to hit only one note at once, most of the time.

 

But my son has size 12 feet already, and he's still growing. Notwithstanding OrganMaster shoes, or whatever, (and I've read that thread - and voted - modified Clarks are my favourite too) are there any techniques for pedalling that would help him?

 

He just looks at the pedalboard, then his feet, and thinks it's impossible! Even when I show him it's not! Shame, because he's a good natural musician.

 

(First attempt at starting a thread)

 

Ian

Ian,

 

Encourage you son to play with the side (inside edge) of the sole rather than with a flat foot, the two feet being angled inward with the outer edges approx 2 cm off the ground. This will work for any pedalboard and any size of foot. I've even done this in hiking boots!!!

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Guest Roffensis
Ian,

 

Encourage you son to play with the side (inside edge) of the sole rather than with a flat foot, the two feet being angled inward with the outer edges approx 2 cm off the ground. This will work for any pedalboard and any size of foot.  I've even done this in hiking boots!!!

 

 

What about an adjustable bench if required for extra height? , and having some custom made shoes with narrow heels and perhaps toes? Certainly true about the edge of the foot though,

 

R

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But my son has size 12 feet already, and he's still growing. Notwithstanding OrganMaster shoes, or whatever, (and I've read that thread - and voted - modified Clarks are my favourite too) are there any techniques for pedalling that would help him?

 

Ian

 

 

===============

 

Carlo Curley wears either size 11 or size 12 shoes; I forget which.

 

He learned from Virgil Fox, so it can't have been much of a handicap.

 

MM

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
===============

 

Carlo Curley wears either size 11 or size 12 shoes; I forget which.

 

He learned from Virgil Fox, so it can't have been much of a handicap.

 

MM

 

 

If he's sufficiently keen, a little thing like large feet won't stop him.

That's always the main thing, frankly. You have to be pretty keen to take all the lonely practice, cold nights, dodgy vicars, wretched 'modern' hymns, music bills, travel costs, suit bills, stroppy brides, stroppy photographers, sudden appearance of vital but indecipherable illegal photocopies before a big service......

 

If he's really caught the bug, nothing will stop him.

 

Good luck!

P.

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Guest Lee Blick
If he's sufficiently keen, a little thing like large feet won't stop him.

That's always the main thing, frankly. You have to be pretty keen to take all the lonely practice, cold nights, dodgy vicars, wretched 'modern' hymns, music bills, travel costs, suit bills, stroppy brides, stroppy photographers, sudden appearance of vital but indecipherable illegal photocopies before a big service......

 

If he's really caught the bug, nothing will stop him.

 

Good luck!

P.

 

But you can bypass all that, like I did, buy an organ for him at home and if he is keen he will practice an awful lot more than if he has to dodge gravestones, vergers, frostbite, wailing and gnashing of teeth by unsociable clergy and pee scented elderly congregational members.

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I have ludicrous size feet (12 1/2 H) and I cope with the problem by playing without shoes. To keep the choir from moaning, it is best to change your socks immediately before playing. An extra pair of thick wooly socks from a hiking shop is handy for the winter.

 

Otherwise I get my shoes from Harland and Wolf...

 

People with enormous feet have usually got them on the end of very long legs, and getting rid of the shoe heels makes your legs an inch or so shorter which helps to get them under the lowest manual.

 

My organ playing kit includes pieces of wood for putting under the legs of organ stools. With a judicious selection of thicknesses ( 10mm, 20mm & 40mm) I usually manage to get the bench height about right.

 

The other problem with big feet is crossing over, but if you practice obsessively until you can manage it you learn eventually. Try using alternate feet for alternate notes even when it is not really necessary. You soon stop tangling up.

 

The bonus of big feet is that you can heel to toe intervals other organists can only dream about...

 

My teenage soon has more or less identical feet, and plays the same way. He learned very quickly, much faster than I did, but I left it until my mid forties to start.

 

Please give your son my encouagement.

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The bonus of big feet is that you can heel to toe intervals other organists can only dream about...

 

 

=====================

 

 

Ha! Back to Virgil Fox again!

 

Size is obviously important.

 

He said, "If you have big feet, move them around less".

 

 

I'm not quite sure what he meant, but as it came from him, it must be important.

 

I once tried to learn the Middelschulte "Perpetuem Mobile," and found it especially difficult to bridge notes, having small feet, so I guess size 8 is the minimum requirement, and the poor wee 6.5-ers like me, just don't get a look-in. (That's my foot-size, by the way!!!!!!!)

 

<_<

 

MM

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=====================

Virgil Fox... I'm not quite sure what he meant, but as it came from him, it must be important.

 

 

Reminds me of the story of a Czech shoe factory where for some days Communist workers had been nailing the heels onto the front of shoes, cos that's what it said in the instruction book.

 

I take 11's and have very wide feet and as yet have found nothing better than the narrowest M&S slip ons I can get into, the soles worked down to smooth (and seam width reduced) on a sander. But as it came from me, it can't be important!

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I would agree with the sentiment to which I believe David is inferring.

 

Just because Virgil Fox said a particular thing does not necessarily mean that it was either correct - or important.

 

I do not doubt that he had much valuable advice to give those of us with a less-prodigious technique. However to imply that every word which he uttered was important is not necessarily accurate.

 

My pupils occasionally express surprise when I tell them that I, too, still receive lessons. I respond by telling them that we can all learn from someone - there will always be a player who is better than we ourselves are.

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