Archive for the ‘free music’ Category

How to Play Fast Arpeggios

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

An arpeggio is a broken chord.  I like to use fast arpeggios in my hymn arrangements.  So…how do I determine where to place a fast broken arpeggio?  Anywhere a word can be stretched (broadened) or held if you were singing the hymn.

One of my free piano hymn arrangements entitled “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” contains a fast arpeggio on the second page. (Shown below)

What-a-Friend-We-Have-in-Jesus-run

This fast arpeggio consists of 12 notes.  If you look closely, you’ll notice that I played 3 groups of one-octave arpeggios within the 12 note passage.  Each group has four notes beginning and ending with note “G”.

I’m basically using a g minor one-octave arpeggio made up of the notes: G-Bflat-D-G

How to finger this? Use right hand thumb (of course) to start each group.  For each group use the following fingering:  1 2 3 5

To properly blend this run into the arrangement…emphasize the right thumb at the beginning of the first group only; allowing the hand to relax and glide across the fast arpeggios in an even rhythmic flow.  How to do this?  Practice s-l-o-w  :)

Careful not to play SO fast that it sounds “thrown in” …causing an interruption in the flow of thought.

Slow Motion Demo

 Now…for the complete arrangement at regular tempo…

Fingering Tip for The Old Rugged Cross (free piano arrangement)

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

One of my church pianist readers recently asked me for some help on measures 29  and 30 of the free piano arrangement for “The Old Rugged Cross”.

In measure #29…The right hand has to reposition on the second beat in order to compensate for the upcoming busy movement.  I created a quickie video demonstrating a suggested fingering to make this area feel more comfortable to the hand.

Feel free to ask for any guidance or tips on this piece or any other arrangements I’ve written.

The Old Rugged Cross: Video of Free Piano Arrangement

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Several months ago, I offered a free piano solo arrangement of “The Old Rugged Cross”; written in loving memory of one of my students who has gone home  to heaven.

This free piano solo arrangement of The Old Rugged Cross can be downloaded at the following link:   More Free Hymn Arrangements!

Here is a video of me playing the arrangement:

Free Accompaniment Tip for Church Pianists

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Church pianists find it an extra challenge when accompanying vocalists singing wordy hymns.  Hymns such as: In the Garden,  Wonderful Peace, Fill My Cup Lord,God Leads Us Along and No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.

These wordy hymns are most effective when sung or played  in a more conversational tone to avoid a mechanical reading style often heard in young ones when they are first learning to read. How to achieve a more conversational sound?

In 4/4 time…beats one and three are naturally stressed.  Emphasizing these particular beats results in a more shapely tone…making the message flow in a more conversational tone.

Listen to the two accompaniment style excerpts in the video below to determine which style sounds more conversational.

“No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus”

*Editor notes:

Accompaniment pattern #1: I basically played every word of the song.

Accompaniment style #2: I used quarter note chords here and there to break up the  repeated eighth note patterns..allowing the singer more ebb and flow of rhythm.

Click here to download FREE PDF excerpt of “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus” for accompaniment style #2.

Special note:  I sang the excerpt(s) in A Major on the video (due to my vocal range but the free pdf is a half step higher in B flat Major.

I would have loved to share the entire song…but this particular hymn is copyrighted.  The “fair use” law allows me to share a small portion of a copyrighted song for educational purposes only.

 

Free Piano Arrangement: I Love to Tell the Story (page two)

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Here is the remainder of the free congregational piano arrangement… “I Love to Tell the Story”.

I enjoy playing for congregational singing because that’s when I can “go outside the box” and play more than just melody.

Having a knowledge of chord theory opens the door for so much creativity!  For example…in measure #12…I knew the chord for the measure was a B Major chord…so I just added moving  3rds in the right hand for a fill-in. I used the same idea again in measure #18.

I’ll point out one more neat idea in measure #22.  Notice the half note octave “A” in the left hand.   An “a” minor chord can replace  a C Major chord because they both have two notes in common….”C and E”.

A “G” from a “C” chord also fits in an “a” minor 7th chord. Now if you know your theory….that will make sense.  Note members for the “a” minor 7th = ACEG

I challenge all church pianists to brush up on their scales and chord theory.  I found an excellent, practical music theory book that has been so helpful to me.  Stay tuned…for my next article on this VERY easy-to-understand book!

I Love to Tell the Story page two

I Love to Tell the Story page one

Free Piano Arrangement: I Love to Tell the Story (page one)

Friday, June 8th, 2012

“I Love to Tell the Story” has always been a favorite of mine.  The story to this wonderful hymn can be found at cyberhymnal.org. This particular hymn came from a rather long poem.  The first part of the poem contained at least fifty stanzas!

I’m sharing a free congregational piano arrangement of “I Love to Tell the Story” for the advanced church pianist.  This free arrangement contains a lot of full chords which is necessary for supporting congregational singing.

I apologize for not posting as often but circumstances haven’t allowed me to do so.  I always hearing from my readers. Thanks so much for your encouragement!  I love to hear how the site has been a help to you.  That’s what keeps me going :)

Click here to download free piano arrangement of “I Love to Tell the Story” page one

I will post the remainder of this arrangement as soon as possible.

I Love to Tell the Story page two

Resource for Church Pianists

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Just discovered another website for church pianists from other online friends. Introducing…Glorious Assurance Music…a fairly new online resource for church pianists.

Two sisters, Laurie Iskat and Christie Funchess, began this website in the fall of 2010.  Their desire was to provide a resource for God-honoring  Christian music.

The arrangements range from beginner to advanced. At this time, they are offering three free arrangements (listed below). The rest of the arrangements are available for sale at a very reasonable price.

I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord” peppy piano duet (late intermediate to early adv)

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”  piano solo (late intermediate to early adv)

How Sweet it Is”  uplifting chorus (for church use, ladies’ meetings or children’s choir)

I look forward to shopping at this resourceful site for church pianists.

 

Come Thou Fount: Free Ladies’ Two Part Arrangement

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The words to “Come Thou Fount” were penned by a preacher named Robert Robinson in 1758.  He wrote this song several years after coming to know Christ.

Robert was prone to wander like all of us as revealed in the words “…prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;” But then his request of  renewed devotion “Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”

For those that have wondered about the meaning of “Ebenezer” in verse two….”Here I raise mine Ebenezer…”   Ebenezer means “stone of help”.

Click on song title below to download a free ladies’ two part acapella arrangement. I’ve offered the arrangement in two different keys.

Come Thou Fount (ladies’ two part) *acapella arrangement in B flat (lower key)

Come Thou Fount (ladies’ two part) *acapella arrangement  in C Major

Free Piano Arrangement of The Old Rugged Cross

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

As promised….here’s a free piano arrangement of “The Old Rugged Cross”.  I wrote it in memory of Letha Snodgrass, my piano student and friend. Sorry I didn’t post this sooner for those who would have used it for Easter. I just haven’t been in the writing mood lately until now.

Click on this link to download: The Old Rugged Cross

Audio of The Old Rugged Cross:

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.

Heaven Came Down (free accompaniment idea)

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

This has been a very difficult week.  One of my piano students I’ve been mentoring to be a church pianist passed away this week…very unexpectedly.  Please pray for the family.

I’ve managed to prepare a “free accompaniment” idea for Heaven Came Down.  This particular hymn contains a mundane bass line..making it a challenge for the average church pianist to create an interesting accompaniment.  What to do?  You have to play what’s not there :)  Easy said…but a challenge to do right?  For that reason, I’m sharing a free accompaniment idea that can be used for the verse of this hymn.

I”m limited on what I can share because this hymn is still under copyright. Therefore, I can only share a small portion for educational purposes only…(called the “fair use” law). Just use the same accompaniment idea to finish out the verse.  I would tend to use this accompaniment idea ONLY if the congregation is secure with their voice parts…whatever that may be.  Most of our congregation sings melody.

Click here to download Heaven-Came-Down-congregational-idea

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