How to Play Merry Christmas, Darling






There's a cool song I like to play that's moderately slow in C.
Merry Christmas, Darling was written by Richard Carpenter and the lyrics by Hank Pooler in 1970. It has a Rubato feel in 4/4 time. Later on, Richard's sister recorded the song with her great vocals that I especially like. You can read more, here.



Here I am playing this popular song on my Motif ES8 on a Chorus Dyno voice setting. You'll find the first arrangement taken from some sheet music I have and the latter charts I found online.


The Carpenters Album



1. Merry Christmas Darling


Dm7                      Em       Am7
     Greeting cards have all been sent


Dm7                G7      C          
     The Christmas rush is through


Am            Am(maj7) Am7      Am6  
But I still have one wish to make


  Dm7              G
A special one for you


Cmaj7                    Dm/C
       Merry Christmas, darling


Cmaj7                       Gm7   C7
        We're apart, that's true

               F        G/F
              But I can dream

        Em       Am
      And in my dreams

Dm            Em      Dm/F G7
I'm Christmas  ing with you

Cmaj              Dm7/F
      Holidays are joyful

Cmaj                          Gm  
      There's always something new


    F      G/F        Em       Am
But every  day's       a holi day

D7/F#             Fm  Bb7
When I'm near to you

    Eb           F/Eb
The lights on my tree

Dm7                   Gm
     I wish you could see

Cm7            F7    Bb
     I wish it every da-A-A-A-ay
                            ( ahh ahh



         Gm          Gm(maj7)
    The  logs on the fire
ahh     ahh

Gm7              G7    
Fill me with de sire

C              F      Em   Dm7
    To see you and to say

G     Cmaj7           Dm/C
That I wish you Merry Christmas

                 
(Merry christmas darling)

Cmaj7               Gm7         C7+7
Happy New Year to-o-o-o
                  ( ahh   ahh      ahh

     F        G/F
I've just one wish 

        Em7       Am7     
On this Christmas Eve
                     
  Em7               Am7
( On this Christmas eve)

  Dm7     G7        Bb7         
I wish I were with you

          
( Ahh ahh ahh



                  
      Dm         Dm(maj7)
               The logs on the fire

Dm7          D7       D7/C
Fill me with desire

G/B             Am7    Bm7  Am7
     To see you and to say

Am7/D   Gmaj9          Am7/G
That  I wish you Merry Christmas

                  Gmaj9
( Merry Christmas Darling )

               Dm9          Fmaj7/G  Db7+11  Cmaj7
Happy New Year to-o-o-o-o-o                  I’ve
                        (ahh   ahhh  ahhh 

 F        G/F
just one wish 

        Em7
On this Christmas Eve

  Em7               Am7
( On this Christmas eve )

       Dm7   G7      C Bb7
I wish I    were with you


Dm7                G7  G   C
     I wish I were with   you
                         (merry Christmas merry Christmas)


      Dm7               Fm7               Cmaj7
Merry Christmas,  merry Christmas         darling



Chord Breakdown

L.H. / R.H.

Dm7 = DC/F
Em = EGB/B
Am7 = AG/CE
Dm7 = DFA/C
G7 = GF/BG
C = C/CE
Am = AE/C
Am(maj7) = AG#/C
Am7 = AG/E
Am6 = AF#/C
Dm7 = DFA/C
G = GDG/B

Cmaj7 = CGB/G
Dm/C = CFA/D
Cmaj7 = CGB/E
Gm7 = GF/BbD
C7 = CE/C
F = FCF/AC
G/F = FDF/GB
Em = EGB/E
Am = AEA/C
Dm = DFA/C
Em = EGB/E
Dm/F = FA/D
G7 = GF/C

Cmaj = CGB/G
F = CFA
Cmaj7 = CGB/E
Gm = GF/BbD
F = FCF/AC
G/F = FDF/GB
Em = EGB/G
Am = AEA/C
D7/F# = F#A/C
Fm = FAb/CD
Bb7 = BbAb/Bb

Eb = EbGBb *
F/Eb = EbAC/A
Dm7 = DAC/F
Gm = GDG/BbG
Cm7 = CG/Bb
F7 = FEb/AF
Bb = BbFBb/D
Gm = GD/Bb
Gm(maj7) = F#D/Bb
Gm7 = FD/GD
G7 = GB/DF
C = CG/E
F = FA/D
Em = EB/EG
Dm7 = DC/
G = GB/G

Cmaj7 = CGB/B
Dm/C = CFA/D
Cmaj7 = CGB/E
Gm7 = G/FA
C+7 = CBb/EG#C
F = FCF/AC
G/F = FDF/GB
Em7 = EBE/DG
Am7 = AEA/C **  (2nd time to coda)
Dm7 = DFA/C
G7 = GF/BE
C = CEG/C
Bb7 = BbAb (back to*)

Coda

Dm7 = DFA/C
G7 = GF/BE
Em7(b5) = EG/BbEG
A7 = AG/C#
Dm7 = DFA/CFA
G7 = GF/BE
C = CGC/C
Dm7 = DA/FAE
Fm7 = FC/FAbEb
Cmaj7 = CG/EGD


2. Merry Christmas Darling


Am7                      Bm7      Em7
     Greeting cards have all been sent


Am7                D7      G          G  D/F#  Em
     The Christmas rush is through


            Em(maj7) Em7           Em6  
But I still have one wish to make


  Am7              D    Em   D
A special one for you


Gmaj9                   Am7/G
       Merry Christmas, darling


Gmaj9                       Dm9   Fmaj7/G
        We're apart, that's true

Db9+11  Cmaj7            D/C
              But I can dream

Bm7             Em7
      And in my dreams

Am7            Bm7 Cmaj7     D7sus4 D7
I'm Christmas  ing with you

Gmaj9              Am7/G
      Holidays are joyful

Gmaj9                          Dm9  
      There's always something new


    Cmaj7  D/C    Bm7         Em7  D6
But every  day's       a holi day

A/C#             Cm6  F7
When I'm near to you

    Bb           C/Bb
The lights on my tree

Am7                   Dm7
     I wish you could see

Gm7            C7    F
     I wish it every da-A-A-A-ay
                            ( ahh ahh



C/E      Dm          Dm(maj7)
    The  logs on the fire
ahh     ahh

Dm7              D7    D7/C 
Fill me with de sire

G/B            Am7    Bm7   Am7
    To see you and to say

Am7/D  Gmaj9          Am7/G
That I wish you Merry Christmas

                 Gmaj9
(Merry christmas darling)

               Dm9       Fmaj7/G   Db7+11
Happy New Year to-o-o-o
                  ( ahh   ahh      ahh

     Cmaj7    D/C
I've just one wish 

        Bm7         
On this Christmas Eve
                     
  Em7               Am7
( On this Christmas eve)

         Am7/D     G         
I wish I were with you

          G/D
( Ahh ahh ahh


|Bb/F   C/Bb    |Am7     Dm7   |Gm7   C     |

                  
|F        C/E|      Dm         Dm(maj7)
               The logs on the fire

Dm7          D7       D7/C
Fill me with desire

G/B             Am7    Bm7  Am7
     To see you and to say

Am7/D   Gmaj9          Am7/G
That  I wish you Merry Christmas

                  Gmaj9
( Merry Christmas Darling )

               Dm9          Fmaj7/G  Db7+11  Cmaj7
Happy New Year to-o-o-o-o-o                  I’ve
                        (ahh   ahhh  ahhh 

         D/C
just one wish 

        Bm7
On this Christmas Eve

  Em7               Am7
( On this Christmas eve )

       D7   D7/C      Bm7-5   E7+5  E7
I wish I    were with you


Am7                Am7/D  G
     I wish I were with   you
                         (merry Christmas merry Christmas)


      Am9               Cm7       Cm7/F   Gmaj9
Merry Christmas,  merry Christmas         darling
Tabs from ultimate-guitar.com


3. Merry Christmas, Darling


Merry Christmas Darling [Dmaj7 Em7]
We're apart that's true [Dmaj7 Em7 A7]
But I can dream and in my dreams, [G F#m D Bm]
I'm Christmas-ing with you. [Em F#m G A7]

Holidays are joyful [Dmaj7 Em7]
There's always something new [Dmaj7 Em7 A7]
But every day's A holiday [G Fm D Bm]
When I'm near to you [E7 A7]

The lights on my tree I wish you could see [Em7 A7 F#m Bm]
I wish it every day [G A D]
The logs on the fire fill me with desire [Bm Bm+7 Bm7 Bm6]
To see you and to say [Em F#m G A]

That I wish you a merry Christmas [Dmaj7 Em7]
Happy New Year, too [Dmaj7 Em7 A7]
I've just one wish on this Christmas Eve [G A7 F#m Bm]
I wish I were with you [G A7 F#m B7]
I wish I were with you [Em A7 D]

A wonderful resource to help your playing along, ChristmasKeys1

Have a wonderful Christmas season!



"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

144 Chords To Know


Constructing Simple Chords

Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos

Triads

The three elements of traditional music are melody, rhythm and harmony. The harmonic element in most of the music we hear and play is based upon three-note chords called triads. Because of the important role harmony plays in most music, knowledge of triads and awareness of their sounds are essential for fluent reading, good intonation and sensitive listening. Triads are written by combining various intervals, so thorough command of interval terminology is vital.

Remember that a chord is three or more tones sounding simultaneously.

It's so important to know how to play:

1. All 12 major chords.
2. All 12 minor chords.
3. All 12 augmented chords.
4. All 12 diminished chords.


That makes a total of 48 chords to learn on the piano and if you invert (turn upside down) each chord 3 times, now you have a grand total of 144 sounding chords to play. I've talked about chord inversions before and you can view the post here.


By augmented, I mean to make the chord larger and by diminished, let's make the chord smaller. Have a look at a former post, augmented-and-diminished-chords.

For example:

C Major Triad = CEG
C Minor Triad = CEbG
C Diminished Triad = CEbGb
C Augmented Triad = CEG#

sheet music of Joy To The World

music notes to a Christmas Song

                                            
                                        

http://www.8notes.com

Christmas Song: Joy To The World

The history of the song can be found, here. Maybe try playing this famous Christmas Carol in a few of the major keys for piano practice.

1. Key of C

C                 Dm   C   G7   C
Joy to the world!  The Lord is come;
     F        G        C
Let earth receive her King.
C
Let every heart prepare Him room,
     C
And heav'n and nature sing,
     G7
And heav'n and nature sing,
     C      F   C     Dm   C  G7  C  
And heav'n and heav'n and nature sing. 

2. Key of D

Joy to the world! 
[D] 
The Lord is come! 
[Em D A7 D] 
Let earth receive her King! 
[G A D] 
Let every heart prepare Him room, 
[D G D D G D] 
And heav'n and nature sing, 
[D] 
and heav'n and nature sing, 
[A A7] 
and heav'n and heav'n 
[D G D] 
and nature sing! 

3. Key of E

E                     A       E
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
   A      B          E
Let earth receive her King;
   E          E          E
Let every heart prepare Him room,
    E                  E
And Heaven and nature sing,
    B                B
And Heaven and nature sing,
   E           A         E  B     E
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.



4. Key of F

F                     Bb       F
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
   Bb      C          F
Let earth receive her King;
    F           F           F
Let every heart prepare Him room,
    F                 F
And Heaven and nature sing,
    C                 C
And Heaven and nature sing,
    F           Bb          F  C   F
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

5. Key of G

G                     C       G
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
    C     D           G
Let earth receive her King;
    G           G           G
Let every heart prepare Him room,
    G                 G
And Heaven and nature sing,
    D                 D
And Heaven and nature sing,
    G           C           G  D   G
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

6. Key of A

A                     D       A
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
    D     E           A
Let earth receive her King;
    A          A           A
Let every heart prepare Him room,
    A                 A
And Heaven and nature sing,
   E                 E
And Heaven and nature sing,
    A           D          A  E   A
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

7. Key of B

B                    E       B
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
    E     F           B
Let earth receive her King;
    B         B           B
Let every heart prepare Him room,
    B                 B
And Heaven and nature sing,
   F                F
And Heaven and nature sing,
    B           E          B  F  B
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.


Listen to Joy to The World Tracks in Bb, Db, Eb, and Gb at www.rhapsody.com


If you haven't seen this post on the chord dictionary, be sure and visit piano chords. Latinpianist provides a great study on basic chords for beginners.

Be sure and check out my article on Constructing Simple Chords.

I noticed some of you have signed up for the  GospelKeys Master Class featuring Michael Bereal. That's so cool... thanks!

Have a wonderful Christmas season!





"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Primary Chords to Know

Pressing Down The Piano Key


Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Awhile back I wrote a post about three chords, the-chords-c-f-and-g. I thought I would elaborate a bit more since you've probably heard music teacher's say that you only need to know just a few chords to play any song. So, what are those chords? Here's a few points to know.


  1. Every key has three chords known as primary chords.
  2. They are groups of notes built on the 1st note of the scale, the 4th note of that scale and the 5th    note of the scale.
  3. These notes occur more than any other chord in a song but remember there are more chords throught a song.
  4.  Build the I Chord from C (in the Key of C) = CEG
  5.  Build the IV Chord from F = FAC
  6.  Build the V Chord from G = GBD
  7.  Remember the I, IV, V is based on the scale of that particular key.

Absolute
C
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC


Absolute
F
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC


Absolute
G
DbEbF#AbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbF#AbBb
CDEFGABC

You need to know these 3 chords so that you can play and sing in every key, in addition to C.

Key / Chords

G: G, C, D

D: D, G, A

A: A, D, E

E: E, A, B

B: B, E, F#

F: F, Bb, C

Bb: Bb. Eb, F

Eb: Eb, Ab, Bb

Ab: Ab, Db, Eb

Db: Db, Gb, Ab

Gb: Gb, Cb, Db

By learning these 3 chords to any key, you can start off with Silent Night and then practice singing and playing this Christmas song in all the other keys. Are you familiar with the story of Silent Night? Here it is, www.wnyc.org.

Silent Night Chord Chart

For music instruction on learning piano chords, visit Chords 101 & 102 for the audio series.

Have fun with it. I think playing Christmas Carols is a great confidence booster to your piano playing!

If you find that you're an intermediate player, then check out the other silent-night-arrangements.

Order this DVD resource for ChristmasKeys1 to get a jump start on the season's music.

Blessings,







"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Free Thanksgiving Music

painted piano mountain scene

 Photo credit: earl53                                       

As I was thinking about what tunes I'm going to play tomorrow and over the weekend, I realized I had some George Winston music on my ipod and I have some sheet music by David Lanz to play but I was looking around the internet to see what's available. Almost every hymn and worship song is about giving thanks to the Lord.

Here's a few I found to add to your library. What song set will you be looking at? I'm getting geared up for introducing some Christmas songs in my next post but I mostly wanted to take the time here to tell you how much I appreciate your support in following my posts over the years. Your emails are so positive and encouraging. I am thankful for you!

Free Thanksgiving Music


1. Sheet Music for Primer Level - Level 3
www.gmajormusictheory.org

2. Save The Turkey Music games
https://susanparadis.wordpress.com

3. Thanksgiving by Edward Weiss (Easy/Intermediate)
http://solosheets.blogspot.com

4. Amazing Grace (Beginner-Middle C Position)
http://www.music-for-music-teachers.com

5. Forever Chris Tomlin
Forever Song

“Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King,
His love endures forever.
For He is good, He is above all things.
His love endures forever.
Sing praise, sing praise.”
6. We Gather Together (Dutch Hymn)
http://www.pianosongdownload.com

7. Free Sheet Music and Scores
Sheet Music/Thanksgiving

A popular song, sung by Amy Grant that many play during this holiday season is El Shaddai.
A former blog post, How-to-play-amazing-grace-jazz-style

If interested in playing shouting music, have a look at this music resource, GospelKeys500 and if you want to learn to play praise songs by ear, visit GospelKeys300

Wishing joy for you and your loved ones this thanksgiving!





"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
 

Slash Chords: Consonant to Dissonant

slash chords: consonant to dissonant

Photo Credit: sixninepixels


Awhile back I wrote a post about slash chords. I was reading an interesting article, Slash Chords - Part II Beyond Western Harmony by Chaim Burstein. Here's an excerpt:


  • 20th Century and the Avant-Garde
Slash chords can be a great way to get away from your typical diatonic chord progressions. One of my favorite ways to use slash chords almost completely disregards Western harmonic concepts. In the prior article on slash chords, we were only concerned with slash chords that do not appear as some form of a chord inversion. Today we are going to discuss every possible combination of triads over bass notes...

Below you'll find a chart that contains every possible major triad and bass note combination. I've organized it from what I find to be the most consonant to the most dissonant. Each new chord is labeled in levels of dissonance, with Level 1 being the least dissonant and Level 12 containing the most dissonant harmonies. This chart was created using only a piano and my ears.

  • Slash Chords Levels: Consonant (1) to Dissonant (12) 
Level 1 

C/C played C/EGC

Level 2

F/C played C/FAC

Level 3

Ab/C = C/EbAbC

Level 4

G/C = C/DGB

Level 5

Eb/C = C/EbGBb

Level 6

Bb/C = C/DFBb

Level 7

A/C = C/EAC#

Level 8

D/C = C/F#AD

Level 9

E/C = C/G#BE

Level 10

B/C = C/F#BD#

Level 11

Db/C = C/FAbDb

Level 12 = C/F#A#C#

Another way to use this chart is to increase or decrease the level of dissonance perceived by the listener. This can be very effective at high points in an arrangement... increase the level of dissonance with each new melody note. Try playing these on a piano and notice how the dissonance increases each time a new chord voicing is played. The top voice can act as the root, third or fifth of a chord. This gives you three different ways to harmonize any melody note at any given level of dissonance.

  • Harmonizing the note E natural three different ways
L.H. / R.H.

F/GCE

D/AC#E

A/G#BE


In case you missed it, here's an article I wrote on How-Do-I-Harmonize-These-Melodies.

You'll want to pick up a copy of The 300pg Piano by Ear Home Study Course to learn about chords, melodies, harmony and more music theory answers to your questions.

Hope you'll try these chords and see how they sound to your ears.

Wishing you all the best with your piano practice!





"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

5 Songs Giving Thanks

corn for the harvest
Photo Credit: busela
Looking through my worship folder, I came across a couple of songs that you can actually play anytime but seemed appropriate for November. Do you have special songs that bring a warm memory to mind, heart and soul for Thanksgiving? Here's 5 songs with the chord charts to follow.




Intro- E, A2

Verse 1

                A2       E
What can I give to you

                   B         C#m
What can I offer to the king

                 A2           E 
For all the love you've shown

                    B         C#m
For all your mercy over me


Chorus

                     A2               E
I called your name, you heard my cry

                  A2.            C#m
Out of the grave, and into life

                    A2              E
My heart is yours, my soul is free

 E                          B   E     
Thank you God for saving me

Intro chords- E, A2

Verse 2

                        A2    E
 The rock of salvation

                    B.            C#m
My hope is built on nothing less 

                       A2  E
Morning by morning

             B                 C#m
How great is your faithfulness

Bridge

E                                  A2
You have your life upon the cross

                            E
You suffered once for all

                   A2
You made a way

E                           A2
Jesus in victory you rose

                              E
You made us all your own

                      A2
Now we are saved









INTRO G | G | G | G

VERSE1
      Em7                     C2             G/B   D2
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
   C2                 G/B    Dsus     | D
The agonies of Calvary
Em7                        C2         G/B     D2
You the perfect holy One crushed Your Son
Am7                  G/B                  Dsus D|D
Drank the bitter cup reserved for me

CHORUS
        G              D2               Em7
Your blood has washed away my sin
         C2
Jesus, thank You
       G                            D2     Em7
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
          C2
Jesus, thank You
Em7                 D/F#          G        C2
Once Your enemy now seated at Your table
         Dsus   | D
Jesus, thank
G/B     | C2   | Dsus D | D | G/B  | C2
You

VERSE 2
Em7                  C2                G/B         D2
By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
          C2                   G/B     Dsus | D
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Em7                      C2                   G/B  D2
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
         Am7              G/B               Dsus     D | D
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end

CHORUS

BRIDGE
Em7  D/F#   G      C2          G/B D2 C2   
Lover of my soul, I want to live for You (repeat)


      G             Bm7
Give thanks with a grateful heart
     Em7             Bm
Give thanks unto the Holy One
      C                  G/B          F          Dsus D
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son    (repeat)

    Bm          Em7              Am
And now let the weak say, "I am strong"
         D7             Gmaj7  
Let the poor say, "I am rich
           Em                 F        D7
Because of what the Lord has done for us"  (repeat)

       G
Give thanks




(A)   D        Bm        G                   Em7
I am so thankful for the fullness of your love
           Asus A         G                    D
I am so thankful for the shedding of your blood
  A        Bm        Gmaj7          Em7
I am so thankful you died in my place
     Asus     A               D
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love

B      E        C#m          A             F#m7
I am so thankful that you came into my life
           Bsus B             A               E
I am so thankful that you love me like a child
   B       C#m              Amaj7            F#m7
I am so thankful I'll be with you for all time
      Bsus    B               E
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love

       Bsus   B        G#7     C#m
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love
      A        B                E  C#m A
Oh Lord, I'm thankful for your love
     B                E
I'm thankful for your love
You may be interested in:



Thank You God For Saving Me (As Made Popular By Chris Tomlin) [Performance Track] - Ep



Thank You Lord (Don Moen)

Be sure and take a look at Advanced Gospel Courses

*some affiliate links in this post*

All the best,






"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

All Things Are Possible: Darlene Zschech

Cover Art: Chris Perry Graphic Design with Asher Gregory


In 1992 Darlene Zschech wrote the words and music to All Things Are Possible. This is a great song in the Key of C with 4/4 time signature, and then modulates to Key of D. All Things Are Possible is the sixth album in the live praise and worship series of Christian Contemporary music by Hillsong Church. For more information, visit wikipedia.org

Video from YouTube of the song performed:


Hosanna Music offers this chord chart from their songbook:

Shout to the Lord 2000 Songbook (Hosanna! Music)

Intro: C - F - G (4x)

C2       Am7           C2
Almighty God, my Redeemer
           Am7             F
My Hiding Place, my Safe Refuge
         G2         F2
No other name like Jesus
             G2
No power can stand against You.

C2           Am7             C2
My feet are planted on this Rock
           Am7      F2
And I will not be shaken
           G2              F2
My hope it comes from You alone
            G2         G/A - A
My Lord and my salvatio------n.


Chorus:

D2              Bm7             D2
Your praise is al - ways on my lips
              Bm7          G2
Your word is living in my heart
             A2           D/A    A    
And I will praise You with a new song
 G             A       D/A  A
My soul will bless You, Lord
D2           Bm7               D2
You fill my life with greater joy
         Bm7              G2
Yes, I delight myself in You
             A2     D/A              G
And I will praise You with a new song
              A2   D/A  A
My soul will bless You, Lord.


Bridge:

         Bm7
When I'm weak
     A        G
You make me strong
D/F#      G       Bm7       A
When I'm poor, I know I'm rich
            Bm7  A        G    A
For in the power of Your name
                        G - A
All things are possible
                        G - A
All things are possible
                        G - A
All things are possible
                        G - A
All things are possible


Here are some of the chords that are played in the song, All Things Are Possible.

L.H. / R.H.

C2 = C/DEGC
Am7 = A/CEGC
F2 = F/CGA
G = G/BDG
Am = A/CEA
A = A/C#EA

key change:

D2 = D/DEF#A
Bm7 = B/DF#A
G = G/DGB
A = C#EA
D/A = A/DF#A
D/F# = F#/DA

Have you missed some other songs by Hillsong? Perhaps the chord progressions to some of your favorite songs can be found here:

Let Creation Sing

God Is Great

All of My Days

God Is Able

Here I Am To Worship

Whether you play guitar or piano, sheet music and chords are listed in the songbook, including 16 songs... like "The Potter's Hand" and "My Redeemer Lives."

Shout to the Lord 2000 Songbook (Hosanna! Music)

Blessings,






"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Rhythm Tips

velcro reach in the jumpy slide


My grandson had a fabulous time at our church Harvest Festival. He went on the slide, bungee slide and velcro wall, to name a few. I got to thinking about his rhythm and how it changed with every event he attended. So it is with musicians and their rhythm. Keep practicing the scales, inversions and octaves. Here are a few articles I wrote awhile back on rhythm.

  • Beginner
Quarter Note = 1 count
A quarter note is all black with a stem on it either going up or down. I call it our "stepping" note because the note just steps and moves along. With 4/4 time, you would have a measure of 4 quarter notes because one quarter note gets 1 count. Remember music and math go together.

Half Note = 2 counts

A half note is all white with a stem on it. When playing this kind of note you would pause, like coming to a yellow traffic light. You would play a half note, counting 1 & 2 &. With 4/4 time, you would have 2 half notes in a measure to play because 2 + 2 = 4. Remember music and math go together!

If you are not sure what a measure in written music is, always remember that the notes placed between bar lines is a measure. Bar lines divide music into measures. When looking at a piece of music, go to the very end of a song and there you will find a double bar line.

Repeat Dots (Repeat Sign)

The two dots at the end of the piece are a repeat sign, meaning to play the song from the beginning. Sometimes my students ask, "Oh, do I have to?" The answer is "yes" because the composer intended for that section of music to be played again! Another way to look at it is that you will not have more pages to turn. Just play the first page again or perhaps it will be just a few lines repeated. The repeat sign is a very valuable sign indeed.

Whole Note = 4 counts

A whole note is a white note, too but it does not have a stem on it. I call it our doughnut note. Some of my students call it a "hamburger" note! When you see a whole note, you must hold the note down and count, 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. It is just like coming to a red light and making a full stop.

Dotted Half Note = 3 counts

A dot after a note adds half the value of the note. So, you now have 2 + 1 = 3 beats. You hold the note down and count, 1 & 2 & 3 &.
Now, the cool thing is that every type of music note has a corresponding rest. A rest sign means "do not play" like a rest area. Sometimes it means get your hand ready in position and move up, yet still do not play a note, just rest! Examples of some rests are:

Quarter Rest

It looks like a "Z" and a quarter rest gets 1 count.

Half Rest

It looks like a black top hat. A half rest gets 2 counts or beats of silence. A half rest sits above the third line.

Whole Rest

Looks like an upside down black top hat. The whole rest hangs below the fourth line. It gets 4 counts or beats of silence.
Each measure in 4/4 time has notes and rests adding up to 4 counts.

Time Signature

The time signature is the two numbers written at the beginning of a piece. The top number tells how many beats are in each measure. The bottom number tells what kind of note gets one beat.
2 means two beats in each measure
4 means the quarter note receives one beat or count.
3 means three beats in each measure.
4 means the quarter note gets one beat.
4 means four beats in each measure
4 means the quarter note gets one beat.

Practice Directions
1. Clap and count the rhythm aloud.
2. Play and say the name of notes aloud.
3. Play and count the rhythm aloud.

  • Intermediate
Tempo is the speed of any piece of music. Just like driving a car and seeing the 45 M.P.H. speed sign, it is the same for Tempo words in music.

At the very top left hand corner, on the beginning page of your sheet music, you will often see a word that tells you how fast or how slow to play a particular song. Sometimes you will be asked to slow down your speed of playing in a particular passage.

Usually you will find that these tempo words are written in Italian. Here are some of the more common Italian words you will discover in music. It does help to memorize most of these words. Having flash cards to quiz yourself is a very good idea.

Slow Tempo Marks:

Adagio (play with ease)
Largo (very slow and broad)
Lento (very slow)
Grave (heavy and solemn)

Medium Tempo Marks:

Andante (a moderate, graceful, walking tempo)
Andantino (a little slower than andante)
Moderato (a moderate tempo)
Molto (very)
Larghetto (somewhat slow)

Fast Tempo Marks:

Allegretto (lively and quick but a little slower than Allegro))
Allegro (cheerful, fast and quick)
Vivace (lively and brisk)
Presto (very fast)
Prestissimo (very, very fast)

Right in the middle of a piece, you will see that the composer has decided he wants you to slow down. Look for a new tempo marking at the very beginning of a new section. Here's what to look for.

Gradually Getting Faster:

Accelerando (becoming gradually faster and abbreviated accel.)
Stringendo (quickening)

Gradually Getting Slower:

Ritardando (becoming gradually slower and abbreviated rit.)
Ritenuto (held back)
Rallentando (becoming gradually slower)
Rattenuto (holding back and slowing down)

When you slow down at the end of a phrase of music or a particular section of a composition, you will notice at the start of the next section a new word, a tempo. This means to go back to the original tempo. It is like slowing down while driving a car because you see a sign that says, "Speed Reduced Ahead.", and then going back up to the regular speed limit once again.

Now your piano practice sounds playful and energetic while observing accelerando. Sometimes your moderato walking tempo sounds smooth dance-like. Time completely changes within a song all because you changed speed when playing the piano. The pace of a piece of music becomes alive because you have observed tempo marks with expression. Well done.



6/8 Time Signature

This time signature can be a bit tricky to play at first. When you first learn to read music, the time signature usually has a 4 on the bottom: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4. This means that a quarter note gets counted as 1 beat.

When you see a time signature with an 8 on the bottom like 6/8, this means that an eighth note is counted as 1 beat and there are six eighth notes in each measure.

When you look at some music, you will notice that six eighth  notes are grouped together into two groups of three eighth notes.

Things to watch out for in 6/8:

The three notes in 6/8 are not triplets but eighth notes.
This time signature will often feel like the music has two strong beats instead of six. We often feel a strong beat for each group of three eighth notes.

  • Advanced
Sometimes you see the triplet sign situated on top of the first measure of a song. Most often it follows the indication of style such as swing, boogie-woogie, big band, rock-a-ballad, funky shuffle, slow blues, back-beat, be-bop, dixieland, twelve-eight feel, jazz-waltz, salsa, soft-shoe, country, gospel-waltz, bounce, jump or groove tempo.

These eighth-notes are sometimes called rolled eighths. If you have a rhythm machine handy, set it to swing, rock-ballad, whatever. Make sure your beat-box has a setting that goes (1-2-3, 2-2-3, 3-2-3, 4-2-3) or a variation of that beat. Set the tempo to 82 (Andante). Once you have mastered that tempo, just increase the tempo.

  • Practice: Left Hand Chords with Single Right Hand Notes

C/C, D, E
G7/F, G, A, B
C/C, C, B, A
G7/G, F, E, D
C/C
G7/G

Db/Db, Eb, F
Ab7/Gb, Ab, Bb, C
Db/Db, Db, C, Bb
Ab/Ab, G, F, Eb
Db/Db
Ab7/Ab

D/D, E, F#
A7/G, A, B, C#
D/D, D, C#, B
A7/A, G, F#, E

D/D
A7/A


Keep ascending by a half-step. Then increase the tempo.

Sometimes you may be wondering when a composer wants you to play straight eighth notes. When there are both dotted eighths and sixteenths, regular eighth notes are played straight. Some professional musicians will make notes on their sheets when it comes to sudden key changes, difficult passage, time signature changes, etc. 

If interested, visit Backpocket Band Software It will help you keep a beat and works with pcs and macs. Easy to use on the computer, next to your keyboard or piano.






"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Learn In Dreams: The Breaking of the Fellowship

The songIn Dreams included in movie cover art The Lord of the Rings
Featured in The Breaking of the Fellowship, the song In Dreams was written by Fran Walsh and Howard Shore. Copyright 2001, this beautiful piece is in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Shore composed the music in an emotional, operatic way, threading through the scores over 90 identified leitmotifs, which are categorized by the Middle-earth cultures to which they relate.

The music was performed primarily by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Voices, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra contributing some of the early Moria music. A wide variety of instrumental and vocal soloists contributed to the scores as well. For more information on the film series, visit wikipedia.org


The Breaking of the Fellowship (feat. "In Dreams") - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


My junior high and high school students enjoy playing the piece, especially at recital time.
Play the song rather slow and flowing with 4/4 time signature.

  • Fran Walsh and Howard Shore (YouTube Piano Video)





  • Key of C: In Dreams



          C       Em       F     -   C
When the cold of winter comes
           F              G     C    -    G
Starless night will cover day
         C     Em        F       -     C
In the veiling of the sun
         Am             G
We will walk in bitter rain
[ Tab from: http://www.guitaretab.com/h/howard-shore/334409.html ]
         Am 
But in dreams
       F - G      C - G
I can hear your name
          Am
And in dreams
              G    Am      
We will meet again

Instrumental Interlude:
C - Bb - C / Ab - Eb - Bb - Ab - Bb
C - Bb - C / Bb - Ab

Key Change:

          D       F#m       G   -   D
When the seas and mountains fall
         G  -  A           D   -   A
And we come,    to end of days
       D    F#m      G    -   D
In the dark I hear a call
             Bm
Calling me there,
            A
I will go there
            D
And back again



  • Key of D: In Dreams
         D        F#m     G    D/F#
When the cold of winter comes
          G          A    D   A
Starless night will cover day
         D      F#m    G    D/F#
In the veiling of the sun
         G        Bm/F# A/E  C/E
We will walk in bitter rain
[ Tab from: http://www.guitaretab.com/h/howard-shore/334409.html ]
  Bm/D A/E Bm/F# A/E
But in dreams
      G     A   D  A
I can hear your name
 Bm/D        A/E Gmaj7
But in dreams
 Bm/F#   G   A    
We will meet again

Instrumental Interlude:
Bb/D F/C / Dsus4 D F / D
Bb/D C/E / 



          D       F#m       G   -   D/F#
When the seas and mountains fall
         G  -  A           D   -   A
And we come,    to end of days
       D    F#m      G    -   D/F#
In the dark I hear a call
            G Bm/F#
Calling me there,
            A/E
I will go there
            D
And back again

  • Chord Breakdown
D/AF# When the cold of
F#/AF# winter
G/BD comes,
D/F# starless
G/GB night will
A/EC cover
DAC#/F# day
C#/AC#E In the
D/AF# veiling
F#/AF# of the
G/BD sun
F#/AF#A we will
G/DB walk
F#/DB in bitter
E/C#E rain
E/GE
D/DB But in dreams
E/AC#
F#/BDF#
E/AC# I can
G/GBD hear
A/EC# your
DA/F# name
C#/E But in
D/BDF# dreams
E/AC#
G/BDF# we will
G/GBD meet
A/AC#E a
BF#G/BDF# gain
DF#A/D
FAC/A
F#/AD
DBb/FBb
CA/F
DGA/G
DF#A/D
FA/C
F#/AD
DBb/FBb
EC/GC When the
DA/F# seas and
F#A/F# mountains
GB/D fall and we
DG/GB come to
EA/EC# end of
DA/F# days
C#/A in the
D/AF# dark I
F#/AF# hear a
G/BD call
F#/ADA calling me
G/DB there
F#/DB I will go
EAE/E there and back
DA/F#D again
The Breaking of the Fellowship (feat. "In Dreams") - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
There's a key change in the song. Do you know how to modulate a whole step up? 
You can hear the change, usually almost towards the end for a dramatic finish.
Need some help with transposing? Check out Songrobot software for pc or mac.
Love the song!
All the best,







"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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