How to play the lyre

The Fool's Guide to playing the Germanic Lyre

How to play the lyre

how to play the lyre

Music Books and Journals

Hold and tune the lyre. Play with the right hand. Play with the left hand. Find your inner rhythm on the lyre. Play with the plectrum (the ancient pick). Play with both hands at the same time. Learn to play two original ancient greek tunes! Learn to play the 'Stairway To Heaven' melody by the great Led Zeppelin! The second lesson focuses on the Ancient Greek Modes, how you can tune your lyre and how you can use them while playing the lyre. “The musical system of ancient Greece evolved over a period of more than years from simple scales of tetrachords, or divisions of the perfect fourth, to The Perfect Immutable System, encompassing a span of fifteen pitch keys (see tonoi below) (Chalmers

When I was building my Sutton-Hoo based lyre, there was tons of information on the internet about the building process. But when I had finally finished my lyre, there was little to find about how to tune and play this wonderful instrument. This guide attempts to teach the beginning lyrist with no hhe knowledge all the basics, from tuning to chords, and gives some lyre tabs you can practice with.

The Germanic lyre is a great and fun instrument to play. It plays much easier and, in my personal opinion, "natural" than the guitar, for example.

It is however severely limited by it having only six strings. That means you can only play six tones, and about four or five chords. In this lyrd I try to provide an answer to the following questions I asked what to wear to funeral viewing when I started to play the lyre:. We of course know little about how the actual Germanic peoples tuned their lyres. I choose to tune my lyre in a major tuning, as that gives a relatively high number of possible chords, all easy hpw play, and because there are actually quite a lot of songs using a major tuning.

There are, however, many other possible tunings for your lyre, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In this document I will use the major tuning.

There are actually two ways to tune the lyre: you can start with either the highest thinnest or lowest thickest string closest to you. Like with tuning, this is a matter of preference as we do not know how the Germanic peoples did it. Tune your lyre by tightening the lower thickest string as tight as you're comfortable with.

Next, you can lyrre tune the other strings by ear or by using a tuner e. If you've found a song in a major tuning that you'd like to play, for example from the lyre tabs on this pagebut it happens to be in another plau tuning let's say, C-major while your th is in G-majorthere's two things you can do. Ot can, of course, retune your lyre to the new tuning, but that's how to play the lyre quite a hassle. Alternatively, you can just play the tabs as they are, pretending your lyre has the same tuning.

Of course, the tone will be different, but you'll find that the melody hasn't changed! So, now you know how to tune the lyre. But what good is that, if you cannot play it? In the following section I will try to teach you the two main ways to play the lyre: plucking and strumming. Plucking is the easiest way, and probably where you should start, at least tge you've developed a general feel of the instrument. Gently pluck the strings one-by-one with your right hand or your left hand, if you're left-handedusing your fingers or a plectrum.

By plucking other strings, you can create a melody. See the tabs section for good melodies to start with. If you want to make chords, you can of course just pluck a few strings at a time. But it's faster and easier, after a bit of practice, to strum. Strumming is done quite differently from instruments like a guitar: you use the fingers of your left hand to dampen unwanted strings.

Let's say you want to play a Dm chord, which consists of a D, F and A tone. On a lyre tuned to C-major these are respectively the 2nd, 4th and 6th string. How to play the lyre instead of plucking llay strings, you put the fingers of your left hand on the other strings, so that's the 1st, 3rd and 5th.

Don't push too hard, you just want to touch them, not press them. Now strum all strings using either a plectrum or your hand. I prefer to use the top of my nails however, as I find a plectrum produces some high-pitched noise. These are the only chords you can fully play. By leaving out one string, you can create a so-called power chord, denoted by the 5 behind the tone name.

As power chords lack a "gender", meaning they're not major or minor, they can fill in for either of them. This notably makes available the G5. Leaving strings out doesn't how often to bathe a rabbit in the case of the Em chord, whose 5th is missing from the tuning: if you just play the E and G tones, you're left with the upper two strings of a C chord with no way to hear the difference.

Adding the 7th string is useful here: tp creates a combination of tones that only really makes sense in the case of an Em7. This is not ideal however, so only use the Em7 if there's no way to circumvent an Em chord.

These are some tabs I transcribed for the lyre, that I find fun to play. They're approximately ordered from easy to hard. Note: although these tabs are shown in a C major-tuning, you can play them in any other major tuning. It will only transpose the melody, not change it. Show Tabs. The oldest known secular Scandinavian how to play the lyre c. It's not too hard to imagine a viking playing this song on the lyre.

The intro of the debut album of the folk metal band Irminsul. Easy to play and sounds good. The intro of the debut album of the folk metal band Ensiferum. Very easy yet it sounds very good. A great song for two lyres, one rhythm and one lead. A how to draw the cast of phineas and ferb more difficult than the Kalevala melody, but simply beautiful! Sounds great on a lyre though. A song by the folk-metal band Heidevolk, like how to play the lyre of their songs it sounds great on the lyre.

Another song by Heidevolk, and also happens to be the anthem of my home province. Fun to play.

Tuning the lyre

Cooper, Anna - How To Play the Lyre: A beginner's guide. sold out. Cooper, Anna - How To Play the Lyre: A beginner's guide. Celtic Lyre Project - Booklet with instructional text, photos and a few pages of music. 27 pages. Add To Cart. Home / The Lyre / Overview; The Lyre in America; About Us / Brand: Lyre Association of North America. Feb 29,  · Don't think too much just play it with your is not very hard and you don't have to feel insecure or if you play it as a hobby li. Playing the lyre. So, now you know how to tune the lyre. But what good is that, if you cannot play it? In the following section I will try to teach you the two main ways to play the lyre: plucking and strumming. Plucking. Plucking is the easiest way, and probably where you should start, at least until you've developed a general feel of the.

Last Updated: February 24, References. To create this article, 19 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 57, times.

Learn more Lyres are a category of stringed instruments known since the earliest civilizations. The Ancient Greeks and Romans played lyres, and after the fall of Rome the instrument became popular with Celtic and Germanic tribes in Europe. A lyre is technically different from a harp in that the strings run parallel to the soundboard rather than perpendicular.

Tuning a lyre, though basically simple, can seem overwhelming for beginners, both in technique and in choice of tuning. These instructions apply primarily to the 6-string Anglo Saxon or "Germanic" lyre, but can also be applied to other six-string lyres, the 5-string Finnish kantele or Russian gusle, and other similar instruments.

The following tunings are used on the Anglo-Saxon or Germanic lyre, but are also possible on other 6-string instruments. The key of C is used in these examples, but for your particular lyre you should tune your strings to whatever pitch is appropriate, and tune to the same intervals as shown.

Many of these scales are variants on the above popular scales. Many are not commonly used on the Anglo Saxon lyre, but present theoretical useful tunings. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue. No account yet? Create an account. Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy.

Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article Steps. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Establish the basic key of your lyre. Now, pick a tuning appropriate to your needs, but transposed if necessary to the key of your lyre. If you have a modern metal zither pegs, simply turn them with a peg-key to tighten. If you have friction pegs traditional wooden or bone tapered pegs , push carefully but firmly towards the crosspiece while turning, otherwise the peg will slip after you let it go.

If you have trouble turning the peg and getting it to stay, google up "peg dope" for ideas of what materials to use to change the grip of your peg. To hit the notes of the tuning you've selected, a beginner will probably want to use an online tuner, or a store-bought chromatic tuner or tuner app on a smartphone. If you have a good ear for intervals, you may also be able to tune by ear. Understand that most tuners are set up to tune by "Equal Temperament", the modern way of tuning where an instrument will sound good in any key, but not quite perfect in any of them.

Since a lyre often plays in only one key at a time, consider tuning to "Just Intonation" based around the key note of your lyre. Several of the better smartphone tuners have an option to tune by JI make sure to designate the keynote of your instrument around which all the tuning will be based. Yes No. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 9. George Malen. The note on the fourth string is a G in the key of F. Not Helpful 7 Helpful How often do you need to restring a lyre, more specifically a soprano lyre?

It usually has a lot more strings than the authentic one strings. It depends. If your instrument is in good shape and the neck is not bent out of shape, you don't need to replace them very often.

Depending on how much you play, it can be anything from one week to a couple months. A good rule of thumb is to replace them whenever it gets hard to keep them in tune. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 4. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

A 6-string lyre does not have enough strings to do a full diatonic scale 7 tones , so will skip one note. Generally those labeled "diatonic" skip the 7th, the final note of the scale. On a 6-string lyre, a pentatonic scale will have an octave between the lowest and highest strings, since the scale is completed prior to the 6th string. A 6-string lyre has just enough strings to do a full hexatonic scale, but no high octave. The opposite of this is anhemitonic , a scale where all notes have at least a full-step between them.

Anhemitonic is considered "standard" in pentatonic scales and generally implied vice specified. Depending on the string gauge and length on your instrument, these exact tunings may not be feasible. However you can transpose the tunings and achieve similar results.

Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0. If your harp has a moveable bridge the length of the strings will also affect the tone. Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1. Submit a Tip All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. As you're tuning up to hit a note, keep checking the tension on your string and see if it's cooked-spaghetti-floppy or cheese-cutter-wire-tight. If so, you probably need to transpose, as above, or consider changing gauges of strings.

Playing with all your strings at the breaking point, especially on a steel-strung instrument, can cave in your soundboard. Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1. If you're a little high, instead of tuning down to your note, tune below it and come back up. It's easy for a string to slip and go of tune as it's sliding down, and you might find your tuning sour 10 seconds later as it adjusts. But if you go below and tune up, it'll stay nice and tight.

Related wikiHows How to. How to. Co-authors: Updated: February 24, Categories: String Instruments. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 57, times. Did this article help you?

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