Damien Sneed takes us through the various styles of gospel in an awesome clip. But how did he learn to play all that??
As someone starting out wanting to learn gospel, I found it hard to know what to practice. What did I need to know? How much did I need to know of it? Where did I need to start? Who should I listen to?
Well, in this blog, I want to address the mountain of information out there and cut through some of the noise. How do you actually learn how to play gospel piano? Through my experience, there are 3 T's which are crucial to success. I'll go into more detail in subsequent posts, but here's the basics!
Learn your theory! This post will teach you pretty much everything you need to know:
The LGM Basic Theory Collection
This website (learngospelmusic.com) is an INVALUABLE...I repeat, INVALUABLE resource. I learnt so much from this website it's unreal. There are some really great people on there with amazing resources - the post above is from T-Block, a regular poster in the forums.
Key theory to learn:
- Major Scale
- Harmonic Minor
- Melodic Minor
- Natural Minor
- Scale Degrees & Number System
- Circle of 5ths
- Scale Degree Chords
- Basic Progressions
- Tritones and Tritone Substitutions
Learn as many gospel songs as you can!
Here are links to the chords to some of the most important gospel standards (I might make this list into a separate post):
Bread Of Heaven - Fred Hammond - http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,1868.msg135865.html#msg135865
Now Behold The Lamb - Kirk Franklin - http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,6264.msg26198.html#msg26198
We're Blessed - Fred Hammond -http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,5952.msg24907.html#msg24907
Like The Dew - Judith Christie McAllister -http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,4463.msg106416.html#msg106416
Falling In Love With Jesus - Kirk Whalum -http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,5141.msg21397.html#msg21397
Total Praise - Richard Smallwood -http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,3769.0.html
I Will Bless The Lord - Byron Cage -http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,18199.0.html
Breathe - Byron Cage - http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,18166.0.html
Stand - Donnie McClurkin - http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,7987.0.html
Create In Me A Clean Heart - http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,50009.0.html
And many more...
Don't just learn chords & scales. Learn HOW to play them. The correct fingering. The best way to move from chord to chord.
Here's an example of a great video:
Other tips for accelerated learning:
Purchase these DVDs! They are gold. Amazing resources!
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8ip4JZt3K8 - Gospel Keyboard Urban Pro 600
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvOcW-QUhEM - Urban & Contemporary Worship Xtreme
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRMule3qOy8 - Justin Gilbert Advanced Piano Voicings
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DjJuXAGEqo - John Peters DVD
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apimtYRharo - PJ Morgan DVD
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD6Dn3RSZGY - Jermaine Griggs and Jonathan Powell
Play in church. Pick a song & play it in a real life service. Accelerates your playing like nobody's business!
Hope this helped - part 2 is coming real soon! Let me know in the comments if this made sense and if it gave you a kickstart!