Focus: Arrangement Techniques and Practice
Week 38 continues in this course's tradition of solid arrangement practice with a G major hymn in the third supplementary book. Duane helps you to analyze the chords and inversions used in this song before going through it hands alone, focusing on each part and its fingering. He then slowly plays it hands together and begins an arrangement. You'll start by adding notes under the melody (as dictated by the chords found in the bass accompaniment) and including octaves in the bass. You'll also be introduced to paths, forms of the walk-up that skip a few notes instead of running exactly up the scale, and shown various ways to use them in a bass accompaniment. In the process of working with these arrangement techniques, Duane demonstrates a few chord substitutions that house color and passing tones. He also introduces and explains suspended chords.
The next song in this lesson is quite possibly the most difficult piece encountered so far. It contains a complicated rhythm pattern filled with eighth notes in both clefs and serves as not only on exercise in note reading an chord recognition but also in finger dexterity and hand independence. After carefully working through this piece as written, paying close attention to the complex rhythms, Duane guides you into some more arrangement, reviewing several techniques covered both in this lesson and previous ones. He closes this week with a discussion of register changing and a demonstration of the call-and-response effect that can be achieved by carefully switching octaves at pre-determined parts.
Review by Mollie Wells