Simple Worship Intros on the Piano
The leader points at you and asks you to play an intro. No big deal right? What if it’s a new song and you don’t know the melody? Then, you look down and all you have is a chord/lyric sheet that does not tell you much information. YIKES!!! Here are a few tricks to help you on your way.
Hello everybody, Wade McNutt here, Piano Chops. We have a little question uh, from, uh, email, and I, I wanted to do a video blog to talk about it. It's a great question. Uh, and this is from Cheryle.
She said, I'm not very comfortable playing worship songs; playing Hymns from a hymnal is no problem. When I'm asked to help in the contemporary service, all I'm given is text with chords, which is very common, um, no melody, or actual lead sheet. The biggest stumbling block is playing an introduction to each song. I don't know most of the songs and there is no melody to give an idea for an intro and there's not, uh, no time to listen, uh, on Youtube when I'm asked to play at the last minute. Any ideas providing generic introductions to help singers get started?
Absolutely. So, um, first of all Cheryle, you are not alone. This is uh, happened to everybody. Um, the first thing I want you to, to remember, is to, to not make it too difficult. Alright? Sometimes we overthink things as musicians, I do the same thing. Um, but, think about what a guitar player would do. Ya know, they'll, they'll choose a guitar..uh..chord on the guitar and just kind of strum. So, that's one of the big tricks is to vamp. Alright? It's called vamping.
So, let's say whatever the first chord of the song, where the singer's gonna start singing, play that chord over and over again. So, using the song "How Great is Our God", uh, I'll just use the, uh, chord G, cause that's where the singer's gonna start, and you can just vamp. As long as you want to. It even sounds good if someone's, maybe someone's speaking or praying, staying on that one chord is fine. Now, to you it might seem monotonous, you know, over and over and over again, but really its, it's exactly what uh, will, work for the song. And then they can come in whenever they want to. Say the, the prayer ends, amen.
(singing) How Great is Our God.
Right? Boom. You can start singing at any point. So that's a very, very easy, simple thing to do. Find one chord, vamp it.
Um, the next thing, it's still vamping, but we're gonna, we're gonna vamp a chord progression now. So, just take whatever the first chord progression is that we're gonna uh, sing during the song, and play that. Play it over and over again. You don't have to have the melody, you don't have to have any of that. You can just play the chord. So, for this song, it's two G's. To E minor. To C. D. Back to G. And you can just keep doing this progression over and over again. Again, someone praying, talking, whatever you need to do. If you know, uh, how to do some of the fancy stuff that I teach, like, uh, the fills, you throw some of that stuff in too, but keep it simple. And then whenever everybody's ready, the singer just comes in.
(singing) Great is our God, sing with me How Great.
Right on. Ok, so just take a chord, chord progression, um, and that will get you going. Now, this is uh, the, the next thing is a little more advanced. Um, cause you, you gotta be able to use your ear just a little bit to pick out, to pick out a melody. But maybe you can pick out, maybe just three notes. So, so maybe you're, you're trying to figure this out.
(singing) How great our God...
Let's just use these three notes. Let's create an intro from it. Ok? So, again, you'll have to be, it's a little more advanced, you'll have to be a little faster to, to do this, but let's see what I can do with just three notes. Throw in a fill. Ok, so, it does not have to be complicated, just has to be enough to give the, um, the key of the song to the singer, for them to know, um, kinda what, where their starting note is. And most of the time that can be accomplished by just playing, uh, one chord over and over again.
Alright, so, simple, little simple way to do an introduction, um, maybe things that you've already been doing, so, use that. Uh, I hope it helps you out, um, and especially you know, all the, all the players that are, they're new to this, new to just playing with chords and lyrics. And maybe you have some other ideas and different things that have helped you. Please leave a comment below. Let's, ya know, help the community and uh, let's keep moving forward.
God bless yall. Hope this was a great lesson. Uh, eye-opening for uh, for uh, moving forward in your journey. We will talk to you later. Buh-bye.