Lesson 17


Focus: Arranging

Piano lessons on keyboard with music notes


Week 17 is a lesson unlike any other (at least previously); instead of going through several songs and concepts, Duane focuses this lesson on one song to show you the multitudes of ways in which one piece can be arranged. After getting comfortable with the song as written, you'll begin work on the left hand accompaniment, trying several styles to see which fits best; first, a review of the swing bass, then some upward inversions. Duane also demonstrates some non-chording possibilities for the accompaniment, including walk-ups and walk-downs.


The arrangement possibilities then shift to the right hand, where you'll try a number of different melody fills. You'll start with a 2-1 walk-down before moving on to two new concepts: lightning runs and breaking up a melody chord into triplets. While exploring the possibilities found in octave fillers and parallelisms, Duane shows you how the pentatonic scale can be used to create a perfect-sounding fill almost every type; he also demonstrates walking the song down to a different key, grace notes and syncopated chording.


And where else would the lesson end but with a discussion of arrangement endings? Duane ends the lesson by quite literally ending the song; he demonstrates a variety of different arrangement endings, explaining the appropriateness and technique behind each option.


Review by Mollie Wells

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