Posts Tagged ‘fill-in’

Congregational Singing Tip for Church Pianists

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

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)

The Church Pianist: Improvising hymns (Part One)

Monday, August 10th, 2009

This improvisational idea works well at the end of a verse…..leading into the chorus.

The following two ingredients are necessary in order to use this fill-in idea.

1.The final chord of the verse must be a I chord and last for at least three beats.

2. The first chord of the chorus must also be a I chord.

For example: In G Major….the I (one) chord is GBD.

 On Beat #3…

1. Play a IV chord in the right hand

2. Play the V note of G Major in the left hand for the bass note ( note: D )

This creates the chord notation: IV/V

Editor notes for today’s example:

After the word…”Thee” the right hand plays a “climb the ladder”

fill-in to make an easy transition to the upper register of the piano.


*Description of the Fill-In Idea: (occurs in final measure of verse)

Click here for pdf image: Improvising_Hymns_Draw_Me_Nearer

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