Congregational Singing Tip for Church Pianists

I enjoy playing for congregational singing.  It takes alot of energy too!  It’s important for the church pianist to play loud enough to support the singers…giving them a sense of security to sing out even more.

Today’s tip on congregational singing involves “keeping the tempo alive” between the verses.  In general, most songleaders do not slow down too much between the verses of a hymn when leading congregational singing.   It’s the pianist’s responsibility to keep the rhythm alive and steady when transitioning into another verse. 

In many cases, the last word of a hymn requires very little fill-in movement.  For example, the hymn “Redeemed” needs a bare minumum of fill-in music before plowing into the next verse.  Listen….”Redeemed” audio example.

Other hymns, such as “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” may require more fill-in notes because the last word of this hymn is held up to 4 counts.  Here is where I use one of my favorite transition fill-ins.   In the following audio sample…you will hear the last phrase followed by the transition into the next verse.  “What a Friend” audio example  Special note:  You will see this example when you click the link for the free handout for today’s article.

Remember to maintain a steady tempo during the fill-in between the verses to keep the tempo alive.

Free Handout for Piano Accompaniment Fill-ins for Congregational Singing ( Between Verses)

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4 Responses to “Congregational Singing Tip for Church Pianists”

  1. Jung Heard says:

    Thank you very much!
    I love your website.

  2. Kimberly Handley says:

    Thank you so much for offering this website! I love it, and I wish that I had found it sooner. Keep up the great work.

  3. Joyce says:

    Hi Jenifer-
    I found your website today in search of a congregational accompanist’s arrangement for Amazing Grace. It is FANTASTIC!!!!

    In exploring your website, I found other congregational arrangements, especially All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name. I was able to download the “second page” however each time I try to download Page 1, it sends me to another page on your website. Could you please send me an attachment of the first page to All Hail the Power of Jesus’ name?

    Also, I’m sure you receive many requests for hymns. I am searching for an advanced congregational piano arrangement for TO GOD BE THE GLORY. One of the early members of our church, built in 1812 (still standing unmodified) wrote the lyrics to the hymn, and it is our church favorite. I would so appreciate your arrangement of this hymn (in the vein of Amazing Grace) for our congregation.

    Thank you! God Bless you and the work you are doing for Him in spreading your love in this way.

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