Lesson 21


Focus: The Process of Arrangement

Piano lessons on keyboard with music notes


Last week's completion of main book two leaves you with a number of songs to cover in the supplementary book, and what better way to do that than with a more detailed look at the decision-making steps employed while arranging? You'll take each song piece by piece, carefully going through the construction of an original arrangement. Duane guides you through the song as written before reviewing bass broken chord construction and some key points about voice. He then begins a semi-tutorial into the steps of arranging, starting with the right hand. He breaks the melody first into octaves (sometimes adding a harmony note under the octave note), then constructs harmonies for the melody arrangement by working with both new intervals and the written chords. You'll get a solid review of the techniques you've learned so far as well as crucial insights into the newer ones; tremelos, for example, are given some special attention.


Duane then moves into the left hand possibilities, detailing the myriad of ways in which a bass can be altered to create interesting effects. You'll learn about the difference between open and closed voicing, plus receive a brief review of the purpose and technique behind inversions. Duane guides you through the bass arrangement with broken chords and upward inversions, stopping to give some advice about how to achieve full-sounding chording.


The lesson ends with a brief review of the virtual to-do list created this week, as well as a few side-note tips to consider when beginning an arrangement.


Review by Mollie Wells

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Piano lessons on keyboard with music notes
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