Archive for the ‘Improvising hymns’ Category

Free Piano Excerpt of Isn’t the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Isnt-the-love-CROPPED

Sorry for the delay in posting…our household has been down with the stomach bug.

Here is the excerpt of Isn’t the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful which I shared with my hymn playing student last week.  The left hand ideas resemble the improvisation I shared in the free piano prelude arrangement of “I Am Resolved”.

It’s always helpful to see the same ideas in several different keys and songs of like nature for ample reinforcement.

(Due to the copyright still active on this hymn…I could only share a portion as stated in the “fair use” copyright law.)

Having said that…if I could have shared more…I would have branched out the right hand an octave higher during the chorus to stretch my student’s playing ground.

Special note: When trying to apply the above left hand ideas… choose hymns of like nature (same time signature; similar rhythmic structure; peppy mood).

I Am Resolved: Free Piano Arrangement

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I-Am-Resolved

I lied!  😉  I said I would publish at least the verse of I Am Resolved tonight…wound up finishing the chorus too…but don’t think you’ll mind 😉

I’ve been working on fill-ins with my most advanced hymn playing student. She plays for chapel at school and has also begun to play for church when the main pianist (her mom) is out of town or sick.  She’s doing a great job but has such a zeal to advance her hymn playing.  Well….LOVE helping her with that!

Below is a result of her lesson this week 🙂

Click here for free piano arrangement of I Am Resolved

 

 

Free Piano Prelude Arrangement Coming Soon!

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

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Working on “I Am Resolved” prelude arrangement for one of my hymnprovising students.  She was asking about different left hand fill-ins because of all the repeated bass notes so…I was just going to jot down a few ideas for her and wound up writing the whole verse!  Guess that means I need to write out the chorus too.

I’ll share the verse hopefully by this evening (once I enter it into Finale).

This particular student is needing to expand her right hand playground area. She has always played right hand in the middle area of the keyboard.  I’m gradually conditioning her to broaden the right hand playing area… as you’ll notice towards the end of the verse.

My student and I laughed as I observed her trying to improvise on her own…playing the right hand an octave higher.  The funny part was she had no idea what to do with her left hand at that point since she had all that extra space!  😉

She WILL improve as she broadens her horizon!  I look forward to working with her at this stage of her hymn playing and plan to share with you all… what we do each week.

Look forward to sharing the first part of a  free piano prelude arrangement soon!

 

Revive Us Again (FREE) piano arrangement

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

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Downloadable Link Below

I was going to share a free sampling of left hand improvising ideas for Revive Us Again but I wound up writing a full verse and chorus of this challenging hymn.  It’s not a hard hymn to play but difficult to dress up for congregational singing.

The first line of the hymn is basically the same chord!  Most church pianists realize that they have to adhere to the chord structure in the hymnal when playing for congregational singing IF their congregation sings parts…to prevent chord clashes.  I can’t help but add chord substitutions on this hymn!  Our congregation doesn’t sing parts so I can have fun!  🙂

I’m sharing several improvising ideas for Revive Us Again (congregational style).  I tried to liven up the 1st line of music by creating broken chord tones and alternating bass notes within the same chord. A broken chord tone pattern already exists in the hymnal version but offered a little different one and added a little more variety than the hymnal version.

Revive-Us-Again-congregational-or-prelude

Saved, Saved! Free Congregational Accompaniment Excerpt

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

I’m trying to decide whether or not to  periodically stray from the melody in the congregational accompaniments I’m working on for publication.   I can’t help myself!  It’s more fun to stray from the melody as in the following free congregational accompaniment (excerpt) of Saved, Saved!

This is more of how I would play for congregational singing for Saved, Saved.  (The written music below is the same as the recording)  🙂

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Saved-Saved-verse-excerpt

Click here to download your free copy of “Saved, Saved!” congregational accompaniment verse excerpt!

 

The Love of God (alternative fill-ins)

Monday, August 18th, 2014

I know…not all church pianists have big hands like Rachmaninoff!  With that in mind…I created alternative fill-ins for the runs in The Love of God advanced piano solo that I just published a couple days ago.

I hope these alternative fill-ins will be more user-friendly for those with small hands.  The whole piece is really written for a pianist with large hands but maybe those of you with smaller hands can adapt this arrangement with these alternative fill-ins.

Click here to download alternative fill-ins

 

The-Love-of-God-alternative-runs

 

Augmented Examples for I to IV Chord Progression

Friday, August 8th, 2014

*Click here to read introduction of diminished and augmented chords to understand the following free handout on augmented examples in hymns.

 

Explanation of the following visual:

When progressing from a I to IV chord…raise the 5th note of the I chord (G) to (G#) making it an augmented I chord which strongly leads into a IV chord.

 

Click here to download a free pdf of the Augmented  Chord Substitution Sheet

 

Augmented-examples-I-IV

The Augmented & Diminished Chord: Introduction

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

  “Diminish” (verb) to make smaller vs. “Augment” (verb) to make larger

A diminished chord is a minor chord with a lowered 5th

Example:  C Eb Gb   Or expressed as: C°

Suggested role of the diminished chord: creates suspense

An augmented chord is a major chord with a raised 5th

Example:  C E G#    Or expressed as:  C+

Suggested role of the augmented chord: generates amazement; surprise; anticipation

The diminished or augmented chord is not found within the scale. The pianist must alter the notes of a chord to create either one of these chords.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Visual examples of the d diminished in the key of C Major

d diminished = D F A flat

*diminished 7ths are more common; create fuller sound

d diminished 7th = D F A flat C

The symbol ° after the chord letter name… represents diminished chord

The / separates the diminished chord from the bass note (the slash is used when the bass note is NOT the root note of the diminished chord.)

Click here to download visual example for application of the d diminished 7th chord.

Application-of-D-dminished-7th-in-C-Major

Special note:  Yes, I should have included a “slash” indicating the “C” as the bass note for the last example on the word “leads”.  Hope you caught it!  🙂

 I will share augmented examples in the next article asap!

These diminished chord examples are just a tip of the iceberg! 

This lesson does not contain a thorough list of diminished chord possibilities  within a key/scale.

 

Free Prelude Transitions for Church Pianists!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Just wanted to share a couple of spontaneous prelude transitions that I created today for one of my hymn playing students during their lesson.

She’s wanting more help in the area of prelude transitions…and needed to see examples for transition ideas.

Hope they’re a help to other church pianists too!

Prelude Transition tips:

When creating a prelude transition consider the following:

1.  The time signature you’re coming from and going to

2.  The key signature you’re coming from and going to

3.  Mood of approaching song

4.  Add a ritard toward end of first song before the transition to allow breathing space for the player and listeners.

Prelude-Transitions-NEW

What I’m Working On…

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

coming_soon

What are diminished and augmented chords?  Where can I use them? The first article on diminished and augmented chords will answer these questions.

The other post I’m creating deals with tips for choosing vocal solos for the male voice.  I enjoy the challenge of looking for solos that fit a certain person’s vocal range/ability.  Singing a song that fits the singer’s range allows for a more positive experience for the soloist as well as the listeners 😉

It’s our responsibility as Christians to be as effective as we can to carry God’s message through whatever means possible and that includes singing.

Looking forward to sharing more soon!

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