Happenings at Hymnprovisation.com and A Free Arrangement!

I know it has been a long time since you have received anything from Hymnprovisation.com, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been hard at work! If you will give me a moment of your valuable time, I’ll fill you in on how we are working to serve you better.

Update

Since publishing the book, Hymnprovisation-The Art of Effective Improvisational Accompanimentas well as publishing our first piano solo arrangement, Hymn of Grateful Praise, I have had opportunities to serve the churches in the capital city of Belize, C.A., teaching music for two weeks along with 7 others from my home church; assist in conducting Powerful Praise!- a one day Mini-Conference on Sight-singing in March; and man a booth for Hymnprovisation at the Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference in Redmond, WA in April, where I got to meet some of you!
In the meantime, I have begun to offer online piano improvisation lessons and have been compiling a number of other useful resources, including recordings, which I have plans to share with you in the near future.

A New Site

Additionally, we have been hard at work rebuilding this site from the ground up in order to better serve you, making this website more cost effective, easier to navigate, more up-to-date and altogether better with even more useful content for you!

I know, I know, last year I said the same thing. Unfortunately, the New Jersey based company I had hired to do it outsourced it to some folks in another country, which barely spoke English and certainly had never even heard of a “Hymn” before. How could I know that the nearly $2000 I spent was going to be a complete waste of my (and their) time? It was frustrating to say the least, and I was unable to salvage what they had done so I finally gave up on them and went with an old acquaintance who lives and works locally (in my home state). Had I known then that he did web design, I could’ve saved a lot of money. Hey, maybe Linked In is good for something after all!

The short of it is, by the first week of October, we should be rolling out the brand new Hymnprovisation.com website. I hope you will find it easier to navigate and more up to date. Though it won’t all be ready right away, the following things are in the works:

  • Interviews with other musicians we can all learn from
  • A complete online store with CDs and other music books
  • Online lessons in subjects beside piano improv.
  • More new music published by Hymnprovisation.com

And that brings me to the free arrangement…

Something Else That is New…And FREE!

If you read this far, you deserve a medal, but what can you do with a medal? Not much really, so let me offer you this instead. How about a piano solo arrangement of ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus, which a good friend of mine, Laurie MacDonald, of the MacDonald Family Singers arranged and Hymnprovisation published. Mrs. MacDonald specifically asked that it be given out for free even though it is every bit as good as arrangements you might pay $2-3 for! In fact, it is a challenging and beautiful arrangement which you could use as an offertory or special, or even just for your own enjoyment of her unique style which I think you will like!

Download Now!

 

We would love to hear your thoughts on this arrangement so once you download it and learn it, why don’t you mosey on over to this page and leave a comment?

Hymn of Grateful Praise New Piano Arrangement

Just in time for Thanksgiving- Introducing Hymn of Grateful Praise! (For The Beauty Of The Earth) piano solo arrangement! Accessible Intermediate level piano solo arranged by Chris Dortignac. Performance Time: 3min. 44 seconds. Seven pages total. Digital download delivered right to your inbox

$2.99 Now only $1.99


Buy Now


For The Beauty Cover

Hymn of Grateful Praise-Sample

Pre-Order HYMNPROVISATION BOOK

Finally, at long last, you can now pre-order your very own spiral-bound Hymnprovisation book! Pre-order your copy today and save 40%!

Estimated ship date is October 12, 2017.

For less than the price of two piano lessons, you will get the equivalent of at least 80 piano improvisation lessons in a single spiral-bound handbook chock full of illustrations!

-592Days -19Hours -17Minutes -11Seconds

$49.99 Order yours today for only $29.99!!

ORDER NOW

This book will make you a better pianist by helping you harness your own creativity and imagination to effectively improvise and accompany hymns and gospel songs so that you can quickly become a more confident and proficient pianist!

Hymprovisation will challenge you with fresh ideas and new ways of approaching time-tested techniques. This is not a step-by-step manual, but an innovative approach which will help you develop and create your own library of techniques which you can pull from.

Learn how you can effectively play the words by using the techniques in this book to make your accompaniment dynamic!

Learn how to handle emergencies like a pro!

Master the ability to easily transpose any song!

Discover who your audience is, as well as many other valuable insights the author has learned the hard way over 20 years of accompanying soloists, congregations, choirs and ensembles.

Learn how to develop your ear.

Uncover the secrets of chords and much, much more!

Written in plain English and geared toward all levels of pianists with something for everyone, from elementary, to intermediate and advanced. Includes more than 200 pages with over 150 examples for your convenience.

What others are saying:

“Written by a “practitioner” for the people of the pew.” –Faye Lopez (SC)

“Excellent resource! I feel like there is something in this handbook that every pianist at every level could learn from.” –Annie Danae, (CA)

“…an invaluable resource.” –Becca Lee Shove (ID) 


Learn how to use creative techniques to effectively improvise and accompany hymns and gospel songs. Some of the topics addressed are how to:

  • Play the Words
  • Use Octaves
  • Runs (right and left hand, chromatic, diatonic, and patterns)
  • Chords and their inversions
  • Chord substitutions
  • Chord uses
  • Harmonies
  • Playing by ear
  • Melodic left-hand intervals (tenths, fifths, sixths, sevenths)
  • Left hand stride (Down beats and after beats)
  • Arpeggios (ascending, descending, left, right, and crossover)
  • Patterns and forms (break up chords in different ways [root, fifth, tenth, etc])
  • Simple or complex improvisations
  • Trills, mordents, glissando, octave rolls
  • Major/minor
  • Key changes
  • Segues, Bridges, Transitions, Interludes, Cadences.
  • Styles-Classical, Baroque, Romantic, Classic, Black Gospel, Southern Gospel, “Romantic Gospel”, Praise and Worship and CCM.
  • Timing nuances within (and without) the posted signature
  • Dynamics
  • Endings
  • And much more!

In over 20 years of accompanying congregations, soloists choirs and ensembles at churches, camps, and other events all over the U.S. and in Central America, this book is a partial representation of the many things I have had to learn the hard way. Now you won’t have to make the same mistakes I did! Hymnprovisation is geared toward all levels of pianists, with elementary, intermediate and some advanced techniques as well. 200+ pages with more than 150 examples.

Scheduled release: October 12th 2017

$49.99 . Pre-order for only $29.99!

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY

(You will be redirected to our secure SamCart checkout page)

Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing!

Why do we sing?  It seems like a funny question – in our churches, it’s just what we do, every Sunday morning.  But really, why do we sing?  Furthermore, what does our singing say about our view of God? How does it reflect our relationship with the Lord and with each other as believers? What is the importance of congregational singing?

Keith and Kristyn Getty, modern-day hymn-writers, have teamed up with an amazing list of speakers and musicians to answer these questions and more.  If you’ve heard any of the Getty’s music, you probably know the wonderful depth it has both theologically and musically.  This coming week in Nashville, more than 4,000 believers from over 16 countries will be gathering for the very first Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing!  Now, however, you can join them through the free, live simulcast they are offering, September 18-20!  RSVP now and receive a free songbook download with 25 of Keith and Kristyn’s songs.

I know this is a late notice, but I didn’t find out about it until yesterday and was unable to post anything until now. However, you can still get the entire conference on demand because they are also making available all 70 hours available by purchasing a LifeWay Digital Pass as an individual or with a group rate here.

So, what are you waiting for? While you’re there, check out the Getty’s new book titled “Sing!” (If you order through the link, you get a really great discount.)

Learn more here.

 

Free Master Class This Saturday with Faye Lopez and Greg Howlett

Free Master Class This Saturday, February 4th from 1-3pm Eastern Standard Time (10am-12pm Pacific Standard Time).

Faye Lopez will be joining Greg Howlett for an online group Master Class. The class is free to observers, and participants are $25. I would highly recommend this class! I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take some classes from Faye, and learned a bunch! Plus, she’s the nicest teacher ever! She won’t let you get away with poor quality music, but she will guide you in the sweetest way so you can make it better.

This class includes the added benefit of having pianist, teacher, arranger and producer, Greg Howlett, as well! He is excellent at teaching, and super nice! Greg brings a wealth of experience to the table you will be blessed by!

This is a great opportunity I don’t intend to miss, and you won’t want to either!

To learn more, go here and grab a spot before it fills up: Greghowlett.com/MasterClass

Even if you are not an advanced player you will still learn a ton from these two and the participants, and how can you beat the price? I’ve already signed up…what are YOU waiting for?

“Essentials for the Worship Team Pianist” Webinar

88 Creative Keys is putting on the Essentials For The Worship Team Pianist Webinar on Monday, January 16th from 11am-1pm Eastern Standard Time.

The cost is $49 for this two-part, three hour online class taught by Leila Viss, Drew Collins and Bradley Sowash.

I have not taken their classes, but heard of this through James Koerts. 88 Creative Keys offer several webinars throughout the year on all sort of musical subjects such as chords, rhythm, teaching, improvising, etc.

  • In the first portion of the webinar, Drew and Leila will discuss:
    Leila Viss
    Leila Viss
    • The three roles of a worship team pianist.
    • The latest tech tools used by most worship teams.
    • Tips on how to build required skills.
    • What worship leaders expect of a pianist.
    • Common mistakes pianists make when playing with a band.
    • Five characteristics of a strong worship team pianist.
    • Some tricks of the trade.

    In the next portion, Bradley will cover:

    Bradley Sowash
    Bradley Sowash
    • What to play when unrehearsed background music is needed.
    • Heighten your awareness of thinking and playing in musical layers.
    • More tips for pianists on feeling a groove.
    • Improvising and/or arranging a traditional hymn for contemporary worship.

     

    For more details, and to sign up for this class go here.

Will I see you there?

Online classes with Faye Lopez, and Greg Howlett

Take advantage of online classes with Greg Howlett and Faye Lopez!

greg-howlett-picture
Click on photo to learn about Greg Howlett
faye-lopez-picture
Click on picture to learn about Faye Lopez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning in 2017, you will be able to take online classes with Greg Howlett, or Faye Lopez, one of Conservative Christian Music’s most prolific composers.

Through Greg’s website, you’ll be able to take private lessons, master classes, and college prep theory classes.

If at all possible for you, I would highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity from some amazing composers and arrangers!

I personally have had some opportunity to take some classes from Faye, and she is a wonderful person, and excellent teacher, coach and mentor in my pursuit of excellence in sacred music

I met Mr. Howlett at the Pine Lake Music, Composer’s Symposium in Atlanta this year. Greg is a brilliant man, and an excellent teacher, arranger, pianist, and producer, as well. Though I have not taken lessons directly from him yet, I would highly recommend him as well!

Either of these individuals would be able to take your musical knowledge and skill to a higher level. As musicians in the house of the LORD, we ought to always strive for excellence. Both Greg and Faye have a heart to see excellent music in church settings and are launching this opportunity so you too can become a more excellent musician.

To learn more now, go to greghowlett.com

 

Free Album until Sunday night!

Solace album coverSorry for the late notice, but until Sunday night, you can get a FREE ALBUM!

Greg Howlett is generously giving away his brand new album, Solace, for FREE until Sunday night. As the name implies, it is an album of quiet, background like music that is peaceful and refreshing. Get it for free while you can by clicking the link or the picture!

Songs include:

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Day by Day

Hiding in Thee

Holy, Holy, Holy!

Near The Cross

Christ Arose

The Old Rugged Cross

He Leadeth Me

Search Me, O God

Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners

Also, he is offering his complete set of 11 courses for 25% off right now! These are 10, no, 11 great reasons to jump over to www.greghowlett.com and check out his website right now!

If you are reading this after the Sunday, August 28th at Midnight, don’t worry, you can still get the album at Greg’s website by clicking here.

20% off from Sheet Music Plus!

Hi folks! Just a quick note to let you know that Sheet Music Plus is offering a 20% off discount on choral, piano method, and concert band music until August 23rd so hurry on over and take advantage of this fantastic offer from Sheet Music Plus!

Choral Sale

Piano Methods on sale until Tuesday, September 13th
Sacred Piano Solo Sale


Concert Band Music on sale until Tuesday, September 20th

Oxford University Press

Note: Any purchases made through these links will benefit this website and continue the work we have started.

Self-Centered Worship

I have found a helpful bit of advice on modern Self Centered Worship, from Australian worship leader, Darin Browne, at PraiseandWorshipLeader.com

This podcast explores self centered worship, and whether or not “I” songs have become the focus of modern worship music. They make the excellent points:

  • If we are going to worship, it must be centered on God. When modern songs fail to mention even one of His many names, it is hard to say if it is focused on the LORD, or a human fancy.
  • The “Formulas” vs. the Holy Spirit.
  • Choosing the right kind of songs for worship and choosing songs with purpose and looking at the meaning. Not using “throw away” songs. Time for music in worship is limited already. Every song should either point to God, or your response to God.
  • The call to worship.
  • Seeking God on every song you do. This is something that has been important to me, and I have personally seen this have a big impact in my worship.

Top five take aways:

  1. Choose lyrics and songs carefully. Choose the right key. Check out the lyrics and melodies to be sure you are not singing “junk” music that is not accurate, or is difficult to sing. Just because they are doctrinally or scripturally correct, doesn’t mean they are great corporate worship songs! Don’t introduce more than one new song in a week. Learning new songs isn’t usually the focus of worship in song.

  2. Ask why do you do the song you are doing. You need to have a valid reason for each song.
  3. Avoid formulas. Three fast, two slow…two fast, three slow, or whatever it be, God will not fall off His throne if you do it different.
  4. Middle songs should be about proclaiming God- i.e., He is Lord, Man of Sorrows, When I Survey
  5. Finish on song that directly glorifies God. i.e. How Great Thou Art, Agnus Dei, How Great Is Our God.

While these folks are discussing this subject in terms of a modern worship music setting, the same can be said for much of so called traditional music in worship. If this is your form of worship, take a hard look at the music you choose as well. This phenomenon is not exclusive to CCM.