Posts Tagged ‘accompanying the vocalist’

Freestyle Piano Accompaniment for Vocal Solo

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Freestyle is my favorite way to accompany vocalists.  To me, freestyle is playing by ear what I feel at the time without written music.  It takes years of practice… of course… to get to this point of playing 😉   Dad was the first person I ever accompanied in my early years of being church pianist.  He taught me accompaniment tips along the way such as “Follow the soloist”…a MUST for the church pianist.

I do play for soloists that prefer to follow me but I’m trying to help them feel more comfortable being the leader. After all…the church pianist is just the background support for the soloist.

Below, is a recent recording of me playing for my dad. Our parents were visiting with us this past week and Dad sang this solo in our church.

I love to accompany my dad!


The Church Pianist: Accompanying the Vocalist

Friday, November 19th, 2010

 Hmmm…accompaning vocalists…what a responsiblilty we have as church pianists to support the singer; allowing them to take the lead. 

Our job as a pianist is to provide a nice backdrop of sound to enhance the singer’s message. This is an area I would like to expound upon…at a later time:)

Until then….the following tips for accompanying the vocalist makes a nice start.

I came across this practical, informative article today on Sheryl Welles’ Notable Music Studio blog. The article addresses the importance of learning to accompany the vocalist.  Laura Lowe of  The Piano Studio, authored this practical advice on accompanying.

Article: Teaching Well-Rounded Musicians

The Church Pianist: Accompanying the Vocalist

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Accompanying the vocalist is so different from playing for congregational singing.  For the most part, a steady rhythm is maintained for congregational singing.

Not so for accompanying the vocalist. I would encourage all church pianists to sing along mentally as you play.  Doing so will prevent the pianist from rushing the vocalist.  So many vocalists over the years have expressed their concern over pianists that rush their singing…not allowing them time to breathe and freely interpret the hymn.  It’s so easy to do!  Think about it…the pianist doesn’t have to physically breathe at the end of a sentence…so he or she just moves right along…forgetting that the poor vocalist would like to breathe!  I know…I’ve been guilty many times of this very thing 🙂

Just focus on the message of the hymn and allow the singer to lead you.  I understand some vocalists feel more comfortable following the pianist.  Please encourage them to take the lead once they have learned the song; allowing them more freedom of interpretation.

In the future, I hope to provide a video with helpful tips for accompanying the vocalist.

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