Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Organ-ish playing

What is organ-ish playing?  I had no idea, but that was the concept given to me by the worship leader when she was explaining what she wanted from me.
After asking more questions, I inferred that she wanted me to play on the digital piano, strings setting, simple chords, holding down the keys that didn't change from chord to chord.  Easy as pie, right?
Well, a smidge harder than I thought.
For years, I've been playing improv from chord lead sheets for church on Sunday morning. While I play though, my fingers stay busy the whole time. I've got arpeggios going in the left, chord changes from 2s to 4sus', passing tones, tidbits of melody, the whole nine yards! So to be asked to "downplay" all that was almost insulting. But I didn't "take the bait" (see footnotes for that meaning) and decided to go for it. What did I have to lose?  Maybe I could even learn something.
So I practiced. I practiced at home, at the group practice both during the week and the morning of and this is what I discovered. I don't like organ-ish playing. I find it boring. BUT I also realized that during that scurry of notes that I usually play, I'm not taking the time to appreciate the similar notes and suspension pitches that carry from chord to chord.
It was really neat. But boring. No more organ-ish playing for me.

*footnotes. Don't Take The Bait is the name of a book/Bible Study that I did a couple years ago. The premise is, don't get offended. Period.

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