Archive for the ‘Theory’ Category

Live Facebook Church Pianist Session Tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Click Here to Watch Live Session Tomorrow at 8pm EST

Tune in at the link above tomorrow evening at 8pm EST… to be a part of a live facebook session for church pianists all over the world! (even as far as the Cayman Islands) ūüôā

Click below to print free downloads for tomorrow’s session:

Showers-of-Blessing-example-6 8-student-version

I-Will-Sing-of-My-Redeemer-student-version

O How I Love Jesus

Modulating-Up-a-5th-Chord-Structure

Modulating-Up-a-5th

6-8-Timing-Sheet-Fill-in-Blanks

 

Special Note!

Special Note!

 

There may be one more sheet to download by tomorrow morning. Bring notebook paper to jot down the numerous tips you will hear sprinkled throughout this session! You’ll also want a pencil to use on the download sheets.

 

 

Abide With Me (Critiqued Version)

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

The critiqued¬†version of Abide With Me is a result of my critique at the Composer’s Symposium this past summer in Atlanta.

Most of the editing was the result of a private lesson with Marty Parks.  Very thankful for his input! He shared a great pointer on how to better communicate rhythmic interpretation in written music.

(Thanks to Robert Sterling and Brad Nix for pointing out the 9 over the tuplets for clarity). I just honestly had shied away from learning how to input tuplets with Finale and FINALLY learned how! ūüôā Thanks to Joseph Martin for his overall encouragement and teaching spirit ūüôā Also, thanks to John Parker for his written comments on the arrangement!

For example, instead of a breath mark (large looking comma)…just insert a rest…makes a clearer statement. Also, NOT to show key change too early which is what I ALWAYS do! ūüėČ *See key change illustrations below the video.

Due to requests for the critiqued version…there are now two different arrangements of Abide With Me in our music store…the advanced original version & Critiqued¬†version. Those who like a challenge will enjoy playing the critiqued version….which contains minor editing changes…ending with a run up the keyboard.¬† Listen to the critiqued version¬†below…

¬†Now to show you the original and new key change correction ūüôā

Original key change:

Abide-With-Me-resized-2

The new key change:

Abide-With-Me-new-pg-2

Abide-With-Me-new-pg-3

 

Simple Chord Theory Book!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Chord-book

Need to brush up on chord theory?

I have a chord speller book by John Thompson that I use to teach my church pianist students who need to brush up on theory.

This book  provides foundational information needed for the church pianist to effectively improvise.

 Short synopsis of book:

John Thompson’s Chord-Speller

The purpose of this book is to present the Triads (including the Dominant and Diminished Seventh Chords) in a way that will enable the student to read them, write them and recognize them by sight or sound.

Having a working knowledge of  scale and chord structure will help the church pianist with improvising hymns.

If you’re interested in seeing sample pages or purchasing the book…just click on the image of the book above.

I’m always looking for simple-approach type books and this one fits the bill! ¬†(I don’t get paid to sell this book) ¬†ūüôā

This book has been around for awhile so you may find it on Ebay or Amazon.

 

 

Part Two: Modulating up a Fifth

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Modulating between hymns during a prelude or other background music event can create a seamless presentation.

The absence of this art makes for a¬†disjointed sound when going from hymn to hymn. (unless of course the songs are in the same key) ¬†ūüôā

Ah….but just because the songs are in identical keys doesn’t mean the songs¬†will always sound seamless without some type of transition. (another lesson!)

Every church pianist should try and learn the art of modulation to the best of his or her ability…in small bits at at time. For starters, learn to modulate between songs with same time signature as I have provided below. ¬†(The modulations will feel/flow a little different in 3/4 time versus 4/4 time.)

Below is a free pdf showing how to modulate up a fifth using the chord formula: ii7 to V7 of the new key. ¬†I’ve also shared a list of these two chords in the keys found on the free pdf of modulations.

Key of C

ii7 = D-F-A-C

 V7 = G-B-D-F

Key of G  *see visual of these 2 chords HERE

ii7=A-C-E-G

V7= D-F sharp-A-C

Key of D

ii7= E-G-B-D

V7= A-C sharp-E-G

Modulating up a Fifth Free PDF

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!

 

 

Modulation vs. Transpositition

Friday, July 14th, 2017

0-notes

Do modulation and transposition mean the same thing?  They ARE closely related but describe two different actions.

Modulation is the transition process (the key change itself)… that takes the pianist to the new key.

Transposition is playing a song in a different key than what’s written.

Next post will share a modulation chord that is commonly used for modulating from one key to another.

Book Review: Playing Beyond the Notes

Monday, March 27th, 2017

 

Playing-Beyond-the-Notes

Thought I’d share a brief book review on a book I’m currently reading entitled “Playing Beyond the Notes”.

The writer communicates the different musical concepts with ample illustrations.

It’s one of those kind of books you can pick up and randomly choose a chapter of interest without losing the overall flow of the book.

A great reference book for any piano teacher, piano student or church pianist wanting to sharpen their skills in the area of music interpretation!

Click HERE¬†to purchase or preview “Playing Beyond the Notes” by Deborah Rambo Sinn

 

 

Church Pianist Update

Friday, March 17th, 2017

I have two vocal Easter arrangements to publish this week but delayed due to learning new apps along with a new computer.

In the meantime…thought I’d share a picture of my humble music library. (I do have a few more books not pictured below)

I’m reading “Playing Beyond the Notes” right now…a great find! I’ll takes notes and share some of the highlights once I finish the book.

For example: The chapter dealing with the treatment of a ritardando…”If the ritardando is begun too soon, one risks “putting the baby to sleep too early”.

Library-books

Glissando Tip (Then Sings My Soul)

Friday, February 10th, 2017

 

Glissando-pic

Many of you have asked about how to finger the runs and glissando in Then Sings My Soul piano arrangement.

Here’s a demo of the glissando on the last page of Then Sings My Soul.

Tip: I began the glissando with my 2nd finger…then immediately turned 2nd & 3rd finger under… and glazed across the keys…no need to batter your fingers with too much pressure ūüėČ

I will give fingering tips soon for the runs in Then Sings My Soul.

Video Tip: If you pause and drag the timeline on video …you can watch in slow motion for a better look at the glissando.

 

Right Hand Run for Piano!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

The following excerpt was taken from my Easter arrangement “Were You There” (to be published sometime in Feb. 2017)

Run

Many have asked how I play runs so fast and smooth.

My answer: fingering and body movement are important factors in creating a smooth and fast run.

Keep hands close to keys…wrist level with hands. Allow hands to follow shape of the note groups….turning thumb ahead of time to make smooth transition into next group of notes. (The thumb starts each group.) The body…waist up… should also follow the run….bend slightly at the waist to the right… and lean toward keys a little for full body support.

(Watch this video for demonstration of body support movement during similar runs) *Start about 1:10 on this video

Use fingering that follows the natural shape of the run…allowing for ease of movement throughout the run. ( suggested fingering for right hand run at measure 48… 1-2-3-5)

Notice the loose wrist and arm movement as I cross into each group. ( I prefer to play 4 groups of this run instead of 3 but trying to be reasonable ūüėČ

The following video samples begin at measure 47 ¬†(first time…fast….second time…slow)

Fast Run

Slow Run

 

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