Posts Tagged ‘fill-ins’

I Am Resolved: Free Piano Arrangement

Thursday, January 15th, 2015


I lied!¬† ūüėȬ† 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 ūüėČ

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 ūüôā

Click here for free piano arrangement of I Am Resolved



The Church Pianist: Piano Interpretation (Runs and Fill-ins)

Friday, October 30th, 2009

(View of run from the video of “Father’s World” excerpt)

It’s so easy to rush through a busy fill-in passage¬†during a hymn arrangement.

If you’re like me, you think…”That’s alot of notes! I’d better play fast to make them fit in!”¬† So….you rip through the pretty stuff as though it were thrown in all of a sudden and listeners think…”Woah!¬† What was that?”¬†

¬†Fill-ins and runs either enhance the melody (hopefully)…or are used to add movement during a held word.

Runs that intertwine with the melody are meant to move along at a fair pace so as not to break the flow of thought.

Slowing down¬†for a run¬†during¬†a held word is appropriate. Such is the case in today’s excerpt from my arrangement entitled: “This is My Father’s World” published by Soundforth Publications¬†under BJU Press.

The following link from Soundforth may give you a view of the actual music.

Editor notes for video:

Wrong way: I play one speed with little emotion.

Right way:  Taking more time to feel the music in a more conversational style.


The Church Pianist: Improvising Hymns (Right Hand Fill-ins)

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Do you ever have a hard time knowing what to play for fill-ins when improvising hymns? 

This simple, instructional video gives the beginning church pianist some easy-to-use  right hand fill-ins!

The Church Pianist: What A Friend We Have in Jesus (Interpretation)

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Audio of lesson…What_a_Friend_We_Have_in_Jesus_Interpretation¬†

The interpretation of a piano solo is of upmost importance.

In my younger years, my dad always reminded me to play as though I were speaking the song.

He told me to “feel the music” and learn to breathe just as a singer would breathe when singing the same song.

To this day, I always sing the words in my head while playing to focus on the message.

Some words may need to be slower for a special emphasis…while other words can be sped up

to portray a sense of urgency or importance.

To stress the importance of interpretation…I will play an excerpt of my arrangement

“What a FriendWe Have in Jesus”.

The first time through…I will play in strict time with no ebb and flow.

Hear the difference in the second time as I play in a more conversational style.


Notice the treatment of the inner voice movement (notes under the melody) and fill-ins (notes between held words).

Fill-ins are played with a softer touch then the melody.

Fill-ins are always meant to be softer than the melody to avoid distraction of the message.

The next time you play or sing a solo‚Ķ.just remember to interpret the music just as though you were ‚Äėspeaking‚Äô the words.

The message will be so much more affective!

Free Music:  What_ a_ Friend_ We _Have_ in_ Jesus

The Church Pianist: Improvising Hymns (Using the IV/V)

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

My last article dealt with using the IV/V chord fill-in for 4/4 time.

This fill-in can also take place in other time signatures….as long as

there are at least three beats…allowing time for complete development.

Original article on this subject:

I will share several more examples in time signatures other than 4/4.

Remember…this fill-in works great when the I chord lasts for three or more beats.

Click here for pdf:   Improvising_Hymns_Using_the_ IV_and_ V

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