By Vidas Pinkevicius
For people who are afraid to improvise on the organ but are curious about it, here's a quick 7 minute exercise in C major which anybody can do. We can call it "Afternoon in the Desert". After you improvise it, you'll know why such a title.
You will need a two manual organ with pedals. The right hand will play a melody on the solo registration, the left hand and the pedals will accompany it on the softer stops (everything is in C major - no sharps at all, slow tempo, 3/4 meter):
1. Play 3 notes in the pedals in quarter notes, such as C-F-G for 1 minute.
2. Play a scale in the left hand in parallel 1st inversion chords (sixth chords) - C-E-A, D-F-B, E-G-C, F-A-D etc. up and down for 1 minute.
3. Starting and ending on a C note, play a melody with mixed rhythms (sixteenth notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, dotted eighth notes) for 1 minute.
4. Play both hands together for 1 minute.
5. Play right hand and pedal part together for 1 minute.
6. Play left hand and pedal part together for 1 minute.
7. Play all parts together for 1 minute. You can begin with a little intro of solo pedals, then adding the left hand, then - the right hand.
Was it scary? How did it sound?
Please share your experience in the comments.
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Would you like to say "Thank You" to us?
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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.