If you want to Learn to play gospel Piano, you should first of all understand the attributes of this genre that make it quite different than other similar genres out there, like hip hop, rock and jazz.
In the following article you will be let in on what you need to do in order to perfect your skills as a gospel music player and also be made aware of some of the more aesthetic attributes of this genre of music.
1. First of all you will need to understand the use of percussion in gospel music. Some of the instruments you will hear in such music number the piano, tambourine and drum kits and in their rhythm, they make use of highly active accented off beats.
That is why they are most of the times associated with the early fundamentals of syncopation, which is usually observed in jazz music.
In gospel music, you will most of eth times hear a certain use of the left hand of the piano part (falling on the offbeat of a certain piece), of the high hat, the bass drum pedal and the tambourine.
2. The second lesson you need to learn is about using the piano harmonically. The “amen cadence” which is also known as the “plagal cadence”, is probably the most well known figure of this genre of music.
Though you will find other harmonies presenting themselves in this style of music, like the cadencial six/four and deceptive resolutions. Yet out of all of them, the “plagal cadence” is the most important.
The Easy to Learn to Play Gospel Piano
3. After you will have mastered the harmonic use of the piano in this music genre, you will need to learn about the gospel organ. This is an instrument which is used most of the times in long and multiple bar chord vamps, because it can hold notes for very long periods of time. This will in the end create the Pentecostal gospel style which most of the times gets to be associated with the “rural” gospel.
4. The genre’s most defining qualities are the vocal qualities which can be categorized in 2 different points of interest: rhythmic styling and melodic styling. Melodically, the gospel’s vocal style is described by virtuosic, high vocal lines which displays the full range of just one vocalist, most of the times being a woman.
Most of the times this style is also backed up by a “call & response” where the singer will present the choir a melodic idea, upon which the choir will answer with a similar or identical theme.
5. On a rhythmical level the gospel genre’s vocal style has 2 major points of interest. Yet you should not assume they are the only ones. One of them is employing melismas, where a changing melodic line will get to be stretched over a one syllable, in a very well known technique of the genre.
Second of all, using complex rhythms oftentimes means compacting a great number of beats into an even numbered bar (which is actually called 3 against 2), which has the effect of facilitating the usage of melismas.
If you want to Learn to play gospel Piano you need to be dedicated, always practice the piano with the new songs you’ve learned and read books on how to improve your skills. Learning new songs will also help out a lot!