Sunday, August 31, 2008

Amazing Grace (makeover)

New website:

Please notice: This is geared towards those who at least know their chords by letter names.
I listed the note ingredients of the chords below for those who are not as familiar with chord names.

Amazing Grace, found in the average church hymnal, can come to life by adding several new chords.

I will type the words to the first verse. The newer LH chord will appear after the word it is intended for. These new chords will add warmth to the song's rich message of salvation.

(Assuming the song is in the key of G)
Amazing grace(G7) how sweet the sound.
That saved (e minor) a wretch(A7; play a C sharp under the melody in RH) like me! (D7)
I once was lost(G7) but now am found-
Was blind, but now(A7) I see.

Chord descriptions:
tip: 7th chords always add warmth to hymns
G7 = G + F natural (this is the 2nd G below middle C and the F above this G)
e minor = E, G, B (1st E, G, and B below middle C)
A7 = A + G (2nd A below middle C and the G above this A)
D7 = D + C (1st D below middle C and middle C)
To see music in on the following link

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pianist's tips for the hymnal

1. Delete the repeated alto notes and play (melody only) for a smoother; flowing tone

2. For upbeat notes: start RH only (just melody) to give a more balanced entry.

3. For those of you who know about adding tenor to the right hand for fullness:
Play 3 notes in the RH mainly on the stressed beats of the measure.
Playing 3 notes on every beat tends to produce an overworked; labored tone.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Accompanying Vocalists

Vocalist's role: leader
Pianist's role: follower
Accompanist's tips:
1. Play softer so the vocalist can be heard
2. Avoid playing for every word as this can create an overworked or sluggish mood.
3. Basically, you can chord for every other word and allow the vocalist to carry the tune.
Accompanying singers is an art! A pianist is no longer a slave to the melody when accompanying. You must think in chord frames instead of each note of the melody.