Search:
Submit Search


Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Playing or learning the organ, hints, tips and tricks, registrations, techniques, fingerings, ...

Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby Neumie » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:04 pm

I know this question must get very tiresome to the forum.

My teacher is pounding on me to get organ shoes. I've never had on anything but socks when I play. (Well, I do wear pants and a shirt, but you know what I mean.)

But, he insists I'll never be a competent organist until I learn to play in organ shoes. Okay, I'll take his word for it. I'm sure going to miss the feel of the rounded edges of the pedals pressing into my feet when I play. Makes for such a personal connection to the instrument. (Okay, now that's just getting weird.)

He told me that if I didn't want to spend the money on organ shoes, I should just buy some dress shoes for a couple of bucks at the thrift shop and then have a cobbler put a tall heel on. I got as far as buying the $2 dress shoes at Goodwill, but realized two things. The little lip that sticks out along the edge of the sole makes for a wider footprint than bare feet, so I tend to hit neighboring pedals inadvertently more often.

Also, and more importantly, I'm still at a point where all my organ playing is just at home. I sit around most of the time in sweat pants or boxers when I play. (Okay, dude, seriously. *Way* too much information.)

Point being, I just a serious hobbyist ... not a pro. Me wearing dress shoes at home every day feels ridiculous, even when I'm alone. Not to mention how goofy I look to my poor wife who has to come in and see me sitting there in boxers, a comfortable old threadbare t-shirt, and shiny black dress shoes!

I also hop on and off the instrument every half hour or so to walk through a tiled house, so each time it's off with the shoes and then back on with the shoes and off with the shoes and back on with the shoes.

Someone else on a forum (it might have been a different general organ forum) asked why there are no such thing as organ *slippers*. I thought that to be a GREAT question, but the conversation never went anywhere.

Under a hundred bucks or so, money is no object. I'm googling around for some kind of loafer - something with no laces to fuss with, something that slips off and on without having to reach down to the shoe. (And to the thought of "someday you'll need presentable shoes for church and such" - I'm willing to buy formal looking lace-up organ shoes a second time when that time comes.)

But I don't know what makes an organ shoe, other than a tall heel and soft sole. That describes a lot of dance shoes ... but I don't know if this or that particular dance shoe would also make a fine organ shoe. I know there are many shoes that are considered ideal by organists, but they inevitably always have laces.

Case in point ... this shoe shown below. It's a dance loafer. No laces. Looks like it slides on and off easily. And it doesn't have that lip around the base of the shoe that widens the footprint. If a guy had the heel heightened a bit, is this just as good as an organ shoe? I don't know what a "split sole" is and if that's what an organist wants. I also don't know anything about how flexible an organ shoe needs to be in the arch. I also don't really know if that wrap around construction of the sides (ie, no protruding lip on the side of the sole) actually does or doesn't help an organist.

I'll tell you ... if this had the high heel ready to go ... and if it was advertised as an organ shoe ... I would buy it right now.


Two different dance shoes, same maker ... although I can't see any difference in function.

http://www.capezio.com/split-sole-jazz-ankle-boot

http://www.danzia.com/capezio-adult-slip-on-stretch-jazz-ankle-boot/p871153?cse=gp&cid=895&sid=606&gclid=CJKTp4Ozq9ACFUo9gQodB2kLmQ

http://www.liberts.com/catalog/products/CG05C.jpg

http://www.liberts.com/images/Capezio-Childrens-Slip-On-Jazz-Ankle-Boot-CG05C.jpg
Neumie
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby eajohnson » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:30 pm

Interesting footwear! Might work if they are not too slippery or too sticky on the pedals. For myself, I took the standard Organmaster shoe and took out the laces and replaced them with elastic bands that allows them to be easily slipped on and off. I also had a cobbler cut down the heel a bit, it was just a little too high for me. Have been using them for a number of years now.

I also played in socks for quite a number of years, but finally decided to give shoes a try. Normal street shoes didn't do it for me but the Organmasters are very nice. Once you get used to them pedaling with shoes is much more precise and faster passages much easier. Heel/toe especially is easier, in my experience.

ps I am not a pro either, just an enthusiastic amateur, so take that advice for what it is worth!
Owner of an old Schober homebuilt, midified and Hauptwerkified.
eajohnson
Member
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:01 pm
Location: Richland WA, USA

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby 162_Ranks » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:35 am

I've used Capezio jazz dance shoes as organ shoes since I was 13 (33 years now). I take them to a cobbler (shoe repair) and have a 3/4" leather heel added to make "heel and toe" a bit easier. They work perfectly for me, and give much better feel than dress shoes.

EDIT: I use these:

http://www.danzia.com/capezio-adult-lac ... oe/p871157

with the added heel, and replace the laces with lock laces so they slip on:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007D ... UTF8&psc=1
User avatar
162_Ranks
Member
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:47 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby Neumie » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:34 pm

162_Ranks wrote:I've used Capezio jazz dance shoes as organ shoes since I was 13 (33 years now). I take them to a cobbler (shoe repair) and have a 3/4" leather heel added to make "heel and toe" a bit easier. They work perfectly for me, and give much better feel than dress shoes.

EDIT: I use these:

http://www.danzia.com/capezio-adult-lac ... oe/p871157

with the added heel, and replace the laces with lock laces so they slip on:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007D ... UTF8&psc=1



Thank you for sharing this, 162_Ranks. Can I please ask two questions? 1) When you have the lock laces on these jazz shoes, do you still have to bend down to hold up the tongue to slip your feet in? Shoes like these usually don't have the shoelace loop on the tongue, like sneakers do. I'm wondering if you can still slip these on from a standing position.

And 2) What is the sole made of? I understand organ shoes have thin soft leather for the sole, so that you can both slide across pedals without traction as well as feel the pedal on the bottom of your foot. Someone once described the ideal organ shoe as being like a "leather sock with a heel on it". Is that what your shoes feel like? Do they slide across the pedals, unlike a rubber sole, and can you feel the pedals bulging through the bottom of the shoe?


So far, just about any shoe I've found that I like, I would still have to take to a cobbler to get the either hard or rubber sole removed and replaced by thin suede to make it "sock-like".

ps. When I googled your shoes, I found these similar ones ... which look about perfect. Just add the heal. I think I want to call a Capezio store and ask them how similar the soles on these things are to the chrome suede on organ shoes.

http://www.capezio.com/women/shoes/jazz-shoes/show-stopper-jazz-shoe
Neumie
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby sonar11 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:19 pm

As a "serious amateur", I'm just going to say it: You don't need shoes at all. You can play pretty much anything without shoes. I find shoes to be a serious hindrance, like playing with gloves on your fingers. Just ignore the teacher, he can't help it but that's how he was trained and that's the only way to do things :shock: :)

Just my 2 cents.
sonar11
Member
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:03 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby 162_Ranks » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:15 am

Nuemie: the soles are a soft unfinished leather. They slide very nicely. However, you do need to pull the tongue up with you hand, you can't just slip them on.

sonar11: I think it might depend on your calf flexibility. I've never been able to "heel" properly in stocking feet -- I need that additional 3/4" to confidently pedal.
User avatar
162_Ranks
Member
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:47 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby telemanr » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:20 am

I can play in socks but I'm better and more comfortable in Organmasters.
Rob Enns
User avatar
telemanr
Member
 
Posts: 1503
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:18 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby Neumie » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:38 pm

162_Ranks wrote:I think it might depend on your calf flexibility. I've never been able to "heel" properly in stocking feet -- I need that additional 3/4" to confidently pedal.


That's the only advantage I can think of to organ shoes. Otherwise I would prefer to pedal in my socks as it's just more fun to have that direct connection with the pedals.

Dang. It looks like 162_Ranks is not checking the thread anymore. I really wanted to know if the underside of the sole of those shoes allowed the feel of the pedal to come through. I might have to make a trek to a Capezio store to see those things myself.

They call this a "women's" shoe. I don't see anything particularly feminine about it. Are women's feet shaped differently than men's? I still think that, with a heel added, this would make a fine organ slipper.

http://www.capezio.com/women/shoes/jazz-shoes/show-stopper-jazz-shoe

And this video scientifically proves that in no way are women's feet any smaller than men's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in1eK3x1PBI
Neumie
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby RichardW » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:47 pm

I agree with many of the the "shoes are better" comments here.

Many years ago, for the brief period when I played a "real" organ, I used shoes - but, without a teacher, I was not entirely sure what type of shoes were best and I never did really find out how to play the pedals.

When I started with my Hauptwerk set up, I initially played in socks. They were convenient and I could really feel my way about. However, my heel does not depress, it is more of a pivot. Heeling and toeing was not really an option. Playing in my ordinary shoes was not possible because I hit multiple notes. So I invested in some OrganMasters. Heeling and toeing then started to make sense.

Also, as I started to find my feet (!), I found that I could play in almost anything including really wide, open-toed sandals! As long as it is not too difficult, that is. OrganMasters are a great help but I do resent having to put them on and take them off so I do know where you are coming from.
Richard
User avatar
RichardW
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:16 am
Location: UK

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby telemanr » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:57 pm

I do wish OrganMaster made a slip-on loafer type. That would be perfect. I too find tongue and laces are a bit of a pain.
Rob Enns
User avatar
telemanr
Member
 
Posts: 1503
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:18 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby sonar11 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:14 pm

It's possible that if your ankle is not flexible then you might run into trouble; I've been playing organ since a kid and always had and maintained flexibility in that area. I have organ master shoes which I purchased "because I would never be a serious organist otherwise" and they just sit in a cupboard. Nothing but a pain when wearing them, you can't feel the pedal nearly as well, and the heal is always striking the pedal inadvertently, especially when moving a large distance quickly. As a taller person, there is not much room for my legs to move freely, sacrificing another inch or more on a heel is very wasteful and requires me to lift my legs higher just to clear the pedals when moving around. (This is all on an AGO spec organ).

If you need to exercise the heal/calf, just put your front toes/front half of your feet on a 2x4 (piece of lumber) or on the end of a stairs, then stand up on your tippy-toes and drop back down; repeat 20 times in a day, you're calf will become more muscular and ankle more flexible.
sonar11
Member
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:03 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby Neumie » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:33 pm

Someone please tell me if I'm nuts here. Remember the conversation is about a shoe that's comfortable and slips on and off easily ... and doesn't make a guy feel dorky if he's sitting at his organ at home in boxes and a t-shirt.

I just found these things online. Stretch canvas dance shoes with a suede bottom.

I think a person could add a heel to this and have bona-fide organ slippers for at-home. (But I don't know anything about shoes. That's why I'm asking.)

The shoe is easier to see if you click on the caramel colored version.

https://dancewearcorner.com/products/capezio-pp17eos-canvas-slip-on-jazz-shoe-adult
Neumie
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby 162_Ranks » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:46 pm

Neumie wrote:Dang. It looks like 162_Ranks is not checking the thread anymore. I really wanted to know if the underside of the sole of those shoes allowed the feel of the pedal to come through. I might have to make a trek to a Capezio store to see those things myself.


I'm here!!! The underside is soft leather but nothing like socks. You can feel that the pedal is there but you can't caress its exact shape :-)

What I've always wanted is these with a soft leather sole and a heel:
http://us.vibram.com/shop/fivefingers/m ... ki#start=1
How weird would that look!
User avatar
162_Ranks
Member
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:47 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby Neumie » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:50 pm

162_Ranks wrote:
Neumie wrote:How weird would that look!


About as weird as these. Although with these, you would have to play all toes, no heels - unless your aim is really good.

https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/enhanced/webdr06/2013/5/14/8/enhanced-buzz-26716-1368536254-7.jpg

162_Ranks wrote:
Neumie wrote:The underside is soft leather but nothing like socks. You can feel that the pedal is there but you can't caress its exact shape.


Thanks for posting this. That's what I wanted to know. I'm at a disadvantage never actually having tried on a pair of organ shoes ... so all I've ever known is socks. (I can't find them for sale anywhere except online.)

It might be hard to switch after two years now of an hour a day of direct contact with the pedals. But I'm still off to the dance-shoe store today to try on some of their shoes, knowing I'll have to add a heel.

I'm really not completely sure I would be doing this if my teacher wasn't making such a fuss about it. I don't have any problem playing in socks ... but then too, I've not played in church yet, where it might be awkward to walk around in socks.

Still, probably no more awkward than feet or hoof shaped shoes. :roll:
Neumie
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Slip on jazz shoes. Do these work as organ shoes?

Postby amun » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:40 pm

Why not put on your special organ shoes and slip for walking around into these: :roll:
https://www.clogs4all.de/?gclid=CLzT9Im ... Gwod_nULVA

Since I know an organist who plays with a sock on the feft and a slipper on his right foot I am convinced that the best footwear is a matter of habbit: (trerrible sound, but fine foot work with shoes which seem to be impossible to play with)
https://youtu.be/yQaaaJ6cEcg
amun :wink:
amun
Member
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:20 am

Next

Return to Performance practice

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests