Archive for the ‘Improvising hymns’ 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.

 

 

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

 

Going Live on Facebook!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

I’ve provided the recent “broadcast” from facebook.¬† *See written article below for essential information that goes with the video.

On a lighter note….”Don’t you just LOVE my piano?!¬† It’s one of a kind…..treble is at the bottom…bass at the top!¬† (Just kidding)¬† *The dilemma was a front facing camera.

Jenifer Cook is going live on Facebook this Thursday at 8 pm EST. (November 10, 2016)

Ever notice how a lot of Christmas hymns have frequent
accidentals…the makings for awkward hand movements…

Hear Jenifer’s suggestions in dealing with accidental passages. She’ll be showing her note changes on the handouts listed below…feel free to either print them or have them on a screen for viewing purposes for tonight’s session. So much to share in a short time span!!

Copy and paste this link in the URL field at the top of your browser page: https://www.facebook.com/Jenifer-Cook-602815303135832/?fref=ts

Print the following FREE music example pages for tonight’s “going live on facebook” session with Jenifer

O Little Town of Bethlehem (verse only)

O Little Town of Bethlehem (verse only w/ application)

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

There’s a Song in the Air

Have a pencil handy too!  writing_pen

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!¬† ūüôā

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)

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 ūüėČ

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.

 

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.

 

 

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