Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous tips’ Category

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.

 

Playing Without the Pedal is Important???

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Just came across this video on “The Importance of Playing Without the Pedal” when practicing.

I wholeheartedly agree with Robert at livingpianos.com and virtualsheetmusic.com.

My piano teachers always stressed…not using the pedal as a crutch but to demand more out of my fingers by using a smoother touch as though crawling through the keys like a spider; creating a smooth touch even before adding the pedal.

Now to Robert’s clear presentation on playing the piano without the pedal…

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Most Awkward Hymns to Play

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Just curious…what seems to be one of the most awkward hymns for you as a church pianist to play for congregational singing?

As soon as I collect a sizable list (at least 10)…I will number them and draw a number out of the hat and write a free congregational piano arrangement of that particular hymn. *Please: One hymn suggestion per person

Special note: Please only choose hymns that are in the public domain.

Here’s how a public domain hymn may appear

Public domain hymn

*Sometimes a public domain hymn will have no credits at the bottom like this:

Public domain hymn

Just avoid choosing a hymn with this symbol © at the bottom of the page such as the following:

Copyrighted Hymn

 

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.

 

Just Published! Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements: Booklet Two

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

So glad to have finally finished this collection of Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements! I always enjoy writing in an accompaniment fashion…much more can be played than the melody 🙂

I may have strayed more from melody in this second collection but not enough to lose your congregation 😉

Hope you enjoy this collection!  A special thanks to the John W. Peterson company for working with me to include “Heaven Came Down” which I REALLY had fun writing!

 

Congregational Piano Hymn Arrangements (Booklet Two)
10 Late intermediate to early advanced piano congregational arrangements. 37 pages Songs include: And Can it Be, At the Cross, Come Thou Fount, Heaven Came Down, Higher Ground, I Shall Know Him (My Saviour First of All), It's Just Like His Great Love, My Faith Has Found a Resting Place, Near the Cross, What a Friend We Have in Jesus)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

*Special note: The arrangements in this booklet do not support the four-part singing found in most hymnals. *Other suggested uses: vocal solos, violin specials, unison choir specials. **Another special note: These arrangements can not stand alone as piano solos since some of the melody is absent during the piano accompaniment.
Price: $14.00

Free Piano/Vocal Solo Arrangement: I Shall Know Him

Monday, October 12th, 2015

music manuscript icon

Just started revival meetings with Alton Beal this week to last through Wednesday.

My daughter-in-law will be helping me with accompanying this week so I wrote this arrangement (I Shall Know Him)… for her to accompany the vocal solo for tonight.

The vocal soloist happens to take a lot of freedom with the text …lots of ebb and flow. So I freed the pianist from the melody to allow more freedom for the pianist and soloist.

Wanted to share this free piano/vocal solo arrangement  for “I Shall Know Him” before running errands!

Click on title to download free arrangement: I Shall Know Him

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

 

Update on Congregational Hymn Arrangements: Booklet Two

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Getting excited!  Finishing up my 9th out of 10 congregational accompaniments for Congregational Hymn Accompaniments Booklet Two!

The 10th arrangement is almost done too!

Heaven-Came-Down-computer-view-cropped

Accompanying Made Simple by Shelly Hamilton

Monday, August 31st, 2015

pen laying on staff paper

I recently attended a couple piano workshops by Shelly Hamilton.

“Accompanying Made Simple” was a very practical workshop providing the church pianists with simple yet practical ideas for accompanying special music.

Shelly brought her accompaniment suggestions to life by offering a free arrangement of Day by Day which includes three different accompaniment styles.  Thanks Shelly!

I attended Shelly’s workshops so that I could share accompaniment ideas with my church pianist readers.  Click on the following links to download the handouts for this workshop.

Accompanying Made Simple (outline)

Day by Day page one

Day by Day page two

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