Lesson 18

Focus: New Arrangement Techniques

Piano lessons on keyboard with music notes



Week 18 continues last week's arrangement studies with a detailed look at several new techniques. You'll begin by trying your hand a new song; as always, Duane takes you through the piece step by step, paying special attention to any tricky areas or unfamiliar concepts. It's only after getting comfortable with the song as written that you'll start toying with some already learned arrangement techniques, such as swing or Alberti bass. Duane then explains the principles behind melody fills and introduces two new ones: triplets and turns. He also teaches you about offset chords and color tones -- non-chord tones used to add an interesting element to a tried-and-true chord -- and the contemporary sound that can be achieved with stacks of fourths.


Duane continues to introduce new techniques as you move slowly through the song's arrangement process, focusing strongly on the playful, whimsical nature of the piece. He discusses walk-ups as interesting transitions, grace notes and parallel octaves before moving into a crash course in the various triplet fills available to an arranger, including tripletizing the octave, triplet break-ups and triplet walk-ups.


The lesson comes to a close by moving to the supplementary book for quick work on a new song. You'll review all the techniques learned thus far in the course, focusing again on the whimsical style used in the last song, and even learn a bit about dip-downs and other more advanced arrangement techniques. Duane ends this week with some key advice on using creativity in your own arrangement endeavors.


Review by Mollie Wells

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Piano lessons on keyboard with music notes
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