The vast majority of organ music is polyphonic. This means that it consists of two or more independent melodies which comprise the composition. For an organist, playing such music can be a real challenge. Not only one has to play the correct notes and rhythms but also to achieve the precision of articulation in each part. This requires developing advanced hand and foot independence.
The ultimate level of this skill is demonstrated in the notorious 6 Trio Sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach which he wrote for his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann to complete his education in organ playing. In this article, I will give you my personal tips and advice on how to develop hand and foot independence in organ playing.
2) Right hand and pedals
3) Left hand and pedals
If you want some real challenge, play them in the key of A minor, too and start transposing them into different keys with ascending number of accidentals (G major and E minor – 1 sharp, F major and D minor – 1 flat, D major and B minor – 2 sharps, B flat major and G minor – 2 flats etc.). Need help with your music theory skills in building these scales? Just let me know and I will explain it to you.
If you follow my suggestions, in time you will be able to play technically advanced and polyphonically challenging compositions very well. You will be surprised how fast you will advance. Hand and foot independence will skyrocket your organ playing to the next level in no time.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ? If so, download my FREE video guide: "How to Master Any Organ Composition" in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ music.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.