Archive for the ‘Accompaniment tips’ Category

Free PDF Hymn! Just When I Need Him Most

Monday, August 14th, 2017

large baby-grand-piano

I never really noticed the time signature change in “Just When I Need Him Most” until today.

We sang this at our church last night for a congregational and the people REALLY enjoyed singing it.  The words are so comforting!

It’s just one of those seasons at our church where there’s a lot of physical needs and such a song reminds us of Jesus’ ever-present help 🙂

We sang this song in a prayerful mood with  a slow walking speed so I had time to add left hand flowing patterns similar to the following free pdf of “Just When I Need Him Most”.

Most importantly, notice the key change at the chorus….but the flow will still be pretty much the same 🙂  I actually changed to 6/8 timing one measure earlier than the hymnal shows… because it felt more natural to not hold as long before entering the chorus.

Maybe this will help a beginning church pianist to see what fill-ins could be used for a slow to medium hymn in 6/8 or 9/8 timing… such as my arrangement of “I Must Tell Jesus”.

Warning: This arrangement is NOT intended for piano solo use… due to missing melody notes at the beginning of the chorus…unless of course you know how to add them in 😉

Click on song title for free download: Just When I Need Him Most

 

 

 

Easy to Play Congregational Collection One is Ready!

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

 

treble-clef-on-red-staff

 

Just published the Easy to Play Congregational Collection One today!  I will be out of town this upcoming week but will supply video or audio samples for this collection when I return.

Easy-to-Play Congregational Collection-One
Easy-to-Play Congregational Collection-One
Early intermediate to intermediate piano congregational arrangements, 16 pgs. Jenifer wrote these arrangements in an easy-to-learn fashion for the beginning church pianist. You'll find these arrangements to be fairly structured making for minimal practice. Song list: Amazing Grace, Day by Day, Grace Greater Than Our Sin, I Need Thee Every Hour, It is Well, Nothing but the Blood, Only a Sinner, O Worship the King, Satisfied, Trust and Obey. *Amazing Grace contains optional key change into Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Price: $12.00

Here’s a visual sampling of the Collection

MUSIC

 

 

 

 

Part One: Modulation Formula for Most Any Key Change!

Monday, July 17th, 2017

treble-clef-on-red-staff

Introduction 

Modulating during any type of prelude (church, funeral, wedding or other occasion)…creates a smooth transition between songs. Without a smooth transition between different keys, the music will sound interrupted or very abrupt.  The articles associated with this lesson and future lessons will deal with modulating to a higher key.  Modulating to a lower key can also be effective but such a topic belongs in a different set of lessons.

The modulation chord formula that works for most any key change uses the  ii7 to V7 chords of the new key.

(I personally like to use the V7 sus instead of a plain V7…but will will illustrate  at the appropriate time).

*Part two will provide a FREE pdf with several examples of modulating up a fifth. (C Major to G Major)

Keyboard visuals of the ii7 & V7 chords in the key of G Major are shown below. (The upcoming examples will cover C to G, G to D and F to C using this chord formula)

ii7 of G Major

ii7 of G Major

V7 of G Major

V7 of G Major

Working on the examples now and hope to share this week!

 

 

Ready-Made Hymn Arrangements!

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

For the past couple of months…I’ve been creating “ready-made’ hymn arrangements for some of my church pianist students who are need of improvised hymns for congregational singing. (Can also be used as piano solo)

These hymn arrangements are nothing more than a copy of a hymn from the hymnal with my added improvised notes in red.

Just curious, would this meet the need for others as well? I’m considering adding them to our online music store if there’s enough interest.

The cost would be less than my regular “printed arrangements”.

Here’s a FREE copy of one of these ready-made hymn arrangements. (Also trying to decide what to call them….any suggestions?)

*Also…are you all ok with it being handwritten just as it appears in free arrangement below?  

*Special note: THANKS for the feedback! After reading the comments here and on facebook….I will be putting these type of easy-to-play congregationals into print instead of by hand. I will do away with the original notes from the hymnbook and ONLY type in my (hopefully) easy-to-play congregational/piano solo arrangement. Thanks again for your helpful comments!  I do have (more involved ) congregational piano arrangements for sale HERE.

Ready-Made Hymns for the Church Pianist

Ready-Made Hymns for the Church Pianist

Exciting Congregational Playing

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

large baby-grand-piano

Congregational playing if done properly, takes ALOT of energy!

Ever feel totally wiped out after congregational playing? If so, you’re doing something right!  🙂

I’ve heard a couple of approaches to teaching exciting congregational playing…first is to play VERY loud the whole time with no room for emotion vs. play with a big sound but leave room for emotion.  Shelly Hamilton refers to this second method as “kneading” into the keys for music quality…you can “dig” into the keys for a big sound-just not banging…to allow room for emotion.  Shelly mentions playing with “back” weight.  After trying the above methods…I prefer the latter way….much more enjoyable; adds warmth…more meaningful way of playing and the congregation responds well to this method!

The church pianist is to provide support to the congregational singing. Play with gusto!  Give solid sounding introductions. Make it sound like you know what you’re doing! 🙂  *It may help to bracket off the section(s) you play for intros in your hymnal or other songbook… so you won’t get lost.

Energetic playing is contagious!  Your congregation will catch on real quick!

Video Example:

 

 

 

 

The Old Rugged Cross (fill-in ideas with hymnal version)

Monday, April 4th, 2016

I recently published fill-in ideas for The Old Rugged Cross.

One of my readers asked me today if I could include the fill-ins on the printed hymnal version for ease of use.

I had to cut and paste and resize the fill-ins to fit the printed copy of the hymnal version so it’s kind of rough looking but it’s the best I could do with time allowed in my schedule.

Thanks for the suggestion Becky!  🙂

Click on following titles to download your free copies of the following:

The Old Rugged Cross (verse fill-ins)

The Old Rugged Cross (chorus fill-ins)

Quickie! Fill-in Ideas for The Old Rugged Cross

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

cross

Family coming into town any minute and just finished a quickie for church pianists to use for Easter…fill-in ideas for The Old Rugged Cross when playing for congregational singing.

Sorry I didn’t have time to share more!

Happy Easter!

Click on title to download your free copy of fill-in ideas for:  THE OLD RUGGED CROSS

Click here to download fill-ins included on sheet music of the hymnal version for this hymn.

 

Saved! Saved! Saved! Free Piano Congregational Arrangement

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Saved-Saved-Saved

Sorry for the delay in publishing this free piano congregational arrangement of Saved, Saved, Saved!

The words of this hymn carry the message of  joy a Christian has in having Christ as their personal Saviour 🙂

For that reason, the music should sound happy and upbeat to support the text.

Generally…the faster or more wordy a hymn goes, the lighter the note texture (in my opinion).  😉

Why a lighter texture?  Playing  frequent big; heavy  right hand chords (chords with 3 to 4 notes)  throughout… wouldn’t allow for easy mobility; thus causing the pianist to “drag” the tempo.

The occasional full chords can still occur with a fast tempo…especially on long held words such as in measure #8 (see dotted half note for right hand). Full chords also sound nice and feel comfortable toward the end as tempo gets slower (see measures #19 & 20…right hand).

I also use occasional rests to provide more ease of hand movement as in measure #8…allows right hand time to ease into the fill-in. Same idea applies in measures 10, 15 and 17-19.

The rests just seem to create a more balanced “feel” when entering busy fill-in passages.

You’ll notice I use a lot of eighth notes in groups of 3’s to drive the majority of the first verse and chorus.  I would change fill-in rhythms on the remaining verses to give my hands a break!  😉  Well…actually it also sounds nicer to use a variety of fill-ins for a  fresher sound.

I’m thinking of a couple interpretation tips to share as well.

Hmmm….sounds like another post in the works for Saved, Saved, Saved!

Click on song title below to download your FREE copy of Saved! Saved! Saved! (one verse and chorus)

Saved! Saved! Saved!Saved-Saved

 

 

 

 

 

But Until Then (chorus) fill-in ideas

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

But-Until-Then-chorus-fill-ins-

One of my readers requested fill-in ideas for the song But Until Then.  I already shared fill-in ideas for the verse in a previous article HERE.

The chorus of But Until Then may be a challenge for church pianists who don’t feel comfortable improvising.  The fill-in notes are what give the music a forward motion; adding life to the hymn…IF the fill-in notes are rhythmically correct 😉

Since this particular hymn is under copyright…I’m limited on what I can share according to the US Copyright Office.

For a simple explanation, I will paste and copy a portion of the description for the Fair Use Act from US Copyright Office website:

Fair Use Copyright Act

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

The amount being considered “fair use” is up for debate but I try to stay on the conservative side of usage which explains why I presented a “cut and paste” layout of only the long held words.

Click below to download your free copy of:

But Until Then (chorus) fill-in ideas

But Until Then verse fill-in ideas

But Until Then (fill-in ideas)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

notes on staff clipar

One of my readers recently asked if I could share fill-in ideas for the hymn… But Until Then.

Wow! Lots of held words in this hymn….making it a challenge for the church pianist to maintain a steady flow while wondering what to add!

This particular hymn is still under copyright….thus limiting what I can share but will do my best!

Here are several fill-in ideas for the verse of But Until Then.

I will share a few fill-in ideas for the chorus in the next post.

Click on following song title to download free fill-in ideas for this hymn.

But Until Then

Sorry I couldn’t share the chorus now but working on other arrangements.

 

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