The Church Pianist: Runs in Hymns (example three)


*(You may want to print the “Runs in Hymns example three” page below to have on hand as you read the following information)

I enjoy using what I call “cluster runs” in hymnplaying. It’s just a cluster of notes (close together) played in a rapid broken-chord pattern. I just repeat the same four notes up the piano.  Runs can be added almost anywhere as long as they fit the flow of the hymn.  The run needs to sound like it belongs in the arrangement…not just thrown in as an afterthought.

The following example illustrates  the use of the “cluster run” in the hymn “Throw Out the Lifeline”.  The cluster run begins on the word “someone”.  Just use your right thumb to start each set of four notes.  For each group of 4 notes…I use the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th finger.

Emphasize (stress) the first note of each 4 notes to create a more shapely tone…making the run blend into the piece. 

Runs- in- Hymns- example -three

Audio of Runs in Hymns (example three)

One of my latest arrangements uses this cluster run in most of the chorus of The Light of the World is Jesus”.  The sample audio on this link contains the chorus with the cluster runs.

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One Response to “The Church Pianist: Runs in Hymns (example three)”

  1. Jung Heard says:

    Thank you Soooooo much for this!!!
    I’ve been serching for how to add and play runs in hymn.

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