DVD 1 - the basics - for those with a knowledge of music who are new to the instrument

1 Introduction

How to sit at the organ - particularly if you have a 25 note (or more) pedal board.

Demonstration of the general use of each of the two manuals.

Basic pedal technique -

Introduction to the interaction between the left foot and the lower manual.

2 Structure of chords in the left hand

The trick is to play all the chords within a small area of the manual and this is done by inverting the chords to fit the available space. This chapter will look at the chords of F and C ... I would hope that your knowledge of music  will mean that you can figure out the rest of them yourself -- if not I can produce a bespoke DVD at a price to be agreed .... or perhaps a bespoke video file that I can send by email .... this would be available for any problem if I think I can help .....

Assuming we refer to the notes of the scale as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 ........

Major chord - 1,3,5   .......... this will be shown on the music simply as the root note of the key e.g. C, F, E

The explanation of the following chords assume you are playing the major chord ....

Major 6 - add the sixth note 1,3,5,6    ......... this will be shown on the music as C6, F6, E♭6

Minor - flatten the third - 1,3♭, 5      .......     this will be shown on the music as Cm, Fm, E♭m

Augmented - sharpen the fifth - 1, 3, 5♯  ......  this will be shown on the music as C+, F+, E♭+

Diminished - flatten both the third and the fifth - include the 6th - 1, 3♭,5♭,6 ...  this will be shown on the music either as Cdim, Fdim. E♭dim or as Co, Fo, E♭o.

Dominant 7th - add the flattened 7th - 1,3,5,7

3 Circle of Chords

There is no exception to this - you must learn the circle of chords off by heart ..... as follows -- see below for hint  .....

                                                               

 

 

I assume you have heard of the Bee Gees - think of BeadG and you are almost there as the sequence is C, F, then BEADG (all flats) then BEADG then back to C.

To see where this is useful see modulation (Lesson 17 DVD 2)

4 Diminished Chords

Want to know a quick way of identifying any diminished chord?

Want the chord of C diminished? Right - hold down C - count three notes chromatically - this is - hold it down - count another three - this is F#- hold it down - count another three and you have A natural - and you now have the chord of C diminished.....

How about E diminished? Play E and hold it down - count three chromatically F# - hold it down - count three chromatically - A natural - hold it down - count another three and you have C - you now have the chord of E diminished ... wait a minute - the notes are the same .....

You will discover that there are just three diminished chords as the diminished chords of  C, E, F# and A consist of the same notes, the diminished chords of C#, E, G and B consists of the same notes as do the diminished chords of D, F, A and B

5 Playing a Waltz

There are three beasts to the bar - the first is a strong beat and the next two are weak ..... as a general rule, for the first beat of each bar,  play the root note of the chord on the pedal followed by the chord with the left hand on the lower manual for the next two and so on ... that is the basic - as you progress, however, you might like to try the variation explained in Chapter 13 and/or counter melodies as explained in Chapter 16.

6 Playing a Quickstep

A quickstep consists of four beats to the bar - the first beat is strong, the second is weak, the third is medium and the fourth is weak - I suggest that you play the root note on the pedal on the first beat, the chord on the lower manual on the second beat, the fifth note of the scale on the pedal for the third beat and the chord on the lower manual for the fourth beat .. this assumes that it is the one chord for the whole of the bar ..... that is the basic - as you progress, however, you might like to try the variation explained in Chapter 13 and/or counter melodies as explained in Chapter 16.

7 Playing a slow foxtrot

This is four beats to the bar and although you can play it as a slower form of the quickstep it is more usual to play a pedal note on each note using what is sometimes refered to as a walking bass ....... variations are more likely to  involve using both hands on the same manual and syncopation rather than counter melodies.

8 Playing a Tango

There is more than one type of Tango - there are four beats to the bar what you will find is that one variation has the strong beat on the first, third and fourth and these are played on the pedal - this means that there are three consecutive pedal notes being the 3rd and 4th of one bar followed by the first of the next (you will find this pedal sequence in the Beguine, Rhumba and Bossa Nova). The other tango beat is strong on every beat with a couple of semi quavers at the end of each bar.

9 Playing a Samba

There are four beats to the bar and the basic rhythm is something like - 2 quavers/crotchet/two semi quavers, semi quaver rest, semiquaver/crotchet - there are variations and scope or counter melodies .....

10 Playing a Beguine, Rhumba, Bossa Nova

The pedal sequence is 3,4 1 as described in the tango - the Bossa Nova beat is best left to the drum machine - the Rhumba is a slow version of the Beguine - see the video for th eaction of the left hand in the beguine and make use of counter melodies.

11 Playing a Cha Cha

Four beats to the bar - crotchet, crotchet, quaver/quaver, crotchet ... you need to stress the rhythm within the melody - pedal can be 3,4,1 as in the Tango

12 Playing a Jazz Waltz

As it is a waltz it is 3/4 time but with a jazzy feel - there is a need for syncopation to get the best effect - there is scope for counter melodies but also try playing a 4/4 piece as 3/4 - for example Sweet Georgia Brown

13 Playing in 5/4 time

This is essentially one bar of jazz waltz followed by a 2/4 bar and so on - it is not easy - listen and watch the demonstration - there are very few tunes written in 5/4 - the most famous is Dave Brubeck 's Take Five - some tunes not written in 5/4 can be played in 5/4 time e.g. - Mack the Knife

14 Playing in 6/8 time

Some marches are in 6/8 time - that is 6 quavers to the bar with the beat being quaver, rest, quaver, quaver, rest, quaver .... as the next bar starts on the beat what you have is two quavers followed by a rest with the main beat being on the second quaver (with the second quaver being the first and fourth in each bar).

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