Boogie Your Way To Dexterity


Article by Bonita Luciotti



Boogie Woogie patterns are not only fun, but a great way to develop finger (and, in the case of organists, foot) dexterity. Here are some patterns to practice, based on the 12 bar blues form.

The first patterns are for the right hand alone. Next, there is a variety of left hand Boogie bass lines. Finally, there are two examples of organ pedal patterns. For the last pattern, get your right foot off the volume pedal and play the upper notes in each eighth-note grouping!

All patterns can be played together, so get your musician friends to join in... or create a duet with yourself by taping one set and playing along with the recording using a new set of patterns the second time around.



 Boogie Your Way To Dexterity

By Bonita Luciotti

Right Hand Pattern #1

 4/4 time, play 3 notes in a triplet:

C/C, D, E, E, F, G, G, F, E, E, D, C // C, D, E, E, F, G, G, F, E, E, D, C // repeat

4/4 time play 3 eighth notes as a triplet:

F/F, G, A, A, Bb, C // repeat // C/C, D, E, E, F, G, G, F, E, E, D, C // repeat

G/G, A, B, B, C, D, D, C, B, B, A, G // F/F, G, A, A, Bb, C, C, Bb, A, A, G, F

C/C, D, E, E, F, G,G, F, E, E, D, C // repeat // repeat // C, rest, C, rest //

Right Hand Pattern #2

C/E, F, G, G, A, Bb, Bb, A, G, G, F, E // repeat // repeat //

F/A, Bb, C, C, D, Eb, Eb, D, C, C, Bb, A // repeat // C/E, F, G, G, A, Bb, Bb, A, G, G, F, E //

repeat // G/B, C, D, D, E, F, F, E, D, D, C, B // F/A, Bb, C, C, D, Eb, Eb, D, C, C, Bb, A

C/E, F, G, G, A, Bb, Bb, A, G, G, F, E // repeat // repeat // E, rest, E, rest //

Left Hand Pattern #1

/CG,  /CG, Eb, E,  /CG,  /CG, Eb, E // repeat // repeat // repeat //

/FC, /FC, Ab, A, /FC, /FC, Ab, A // /FC, /FC, Ab, A, /FC, Ab, A //

/CG, /CG, Eb, E, CG, CG, Eb, E / repeat / /GD, /GD, Bb, B, GD, GD, Bb, B //

/FC, /FC, Ab, A, /FC, /FC, Ab, A // /CG, /CG, Eb, E, /CG, CG, Eb, E // repeat //

/CG, /CG, Eb, E, /CG, /CG, Eb, E, /CG, rest, /CG, rest //

Left Hand Pattern #2 (done in jazz eighths)

Use the octaves on the downbeat of each measure and then on & 4 &

1  &  2  &  3   &  4   &
C, C, E, F, F#, G, G, G // repeat // repeat // repeat //

F, F, A, Bb, B, C, C, C // repeat // C, C, E, F, F#, G, G, G // repeat // G, G, B, C, C#, D, D, D // 
F, F, A, Bb, B, C, C, C // C, C, E, F, F#, G, G, G // repeat // repeat // C, rest, C, rest //

Left Hand Pattern #3 (done in "jazz eighths')

C, C, E, E, G, G, A, A // Bb, Bb, A, A, G, G, E, E // C, C, E, E, G, G, A, A //

Bb, Bb, A, A, G, G, E, E // F, F, A, A, C, C, D, D // Eb, Eb, D, D, C, C, A, A //

C, C, E, E, G, G, A, A, // Bb, Bb, A, A, G, G, E, E // g, G, B, B, D, D, B, B //

F, F, A, A, C, C, A, A // C, C, E, E, G, G, A, A, // Bb, Bb, A, A, G, G, E, E // 

C, C, E, E, G, G, A, A // C, rest /CC, rest //

Spinet Pedals

C, E, G, A // Bb, A, G, E // C, E, G, A // Bb, A, G, E

F, A, C, A // repeat // C, E, G, A, // Bb, A, G, E // G, B, G, G //

F, A, F, F // C, E, G, A // Bb, A, G, E // C, E, G, A // C, rest, C, rest //

Console Pedals (done in "jazz eighths")

C, C, E, C, G, C, A, C // Bb, C, A, C, G, C, E, C // C, C, E, C, G, C, A, C //

Bb, C, A, C, G, C, E, C // F, F, A, F, C, F, D, F // Eb, F, D, F, C, F, A, F //

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

C, C, E, C, G, C, A, C // Bb, C, A, C, G, C, E, C // C, C, E, C, G, C, A, C // C, rest, C, rest //

Resources for you:



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

Ghost Music From Old-Time Scary Movies

English: Broken Blossoms
English: Broken Blossoms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Have you ever listened to background music from "Old-time movies and cartoons"? I have a few examples to offer from Ghost Music that was used in early silent movies in scary scenes and also, background music for scary silent films.

Example 1: Ghost Music

With a time signature of 4/4, play Moderato e misterioso. Both hands play the exact same notes at the same time. Here are the single notes with the left hand played an octave lower in the bass. First measure is all quarter notes.

C, Eb, G, C / Ab, G, F, Eb, D / C, Eb, G, C / C Eb tremelo / BD


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

Second measure, Ab is a half note and the following are eighth notes .

Ab / G, F, Eb, D


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

 Third measure has quarter notes: C, Eb, G, C again.


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

 Fourth measure has a half note, quarter note and rest. Play CEb together as a tremelo. What is a tremelo, you ask? It's a wavering effect in a musical tone, produced by rapidly repeating notes of slightly different pitches to produce prominent overtones. Then land on BD.


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

 Now, repeat the first two measure. Then play 3 Cs in a row and end on FAC# (tremelo)


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC


Example 2: Background Music for Scary Silent Films

Next we have 2/4 time signature, played Allegro effettuoso. Each measure has a group of sixteenth notes followed by a quarter note. First line of music, play Low G and D together in the bass.


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

The right hand notes go up and back down rather quickly. G, A, Bb, A, G. Do that 3 times with GD in the bass. R.H. also begins on G in the bass.

DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC
DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

Second line of music, play Low C and G with L.H. and play, C, D, Eb, D, C in the R.H. 3 xs.


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

Last measure, play C, D, Eb, F, G in the right hand with CG in the bass.


DbEbGbAbBb
CDEFGABC

Repeat the very first three measures from the beginning and end on GD/G (play 2 xs)


If you're looking for some free music to go with the upcoming spooky sounds of Halloween, you may want to check out free-halloween-piano-music. Also, here are the chords to In-hall-of-mountain-king.

These runs remind me of  Hanon 1 Finger Exercises

 Enjoy the somewhat spooky sounds!

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

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Writing

Cover of "Writing Better Lyrics"
Cover of Writing Better Lyrics
Jazz singer/songwriter Rondi Charleston conducts vocal and songwriting workshops privately in her NYC studio and in colleges and universities... Praised by Hot House Magazine for "the most memorable new songs to come from a jazz singer since Abbey Lincoln," she has integrated her journalistic and musical skills and emerged as a gifted storyteller of inedible, poignant originals. Rondi recommends, Writing Better Lyrics

I wanted to share this entire article with you in response to those of you who have written to me about songwriting. No, I'm not gifted in this area but many of my friends are, Rob Mehl and Pat Carr to name a few.

 Notes on Lyric Writing and Song Conception

By Rondi Charleston (JAZZed 2012)


The process of writing lyrics and music is part of my everyday existence. The ideas that fuel future songs come as a direct result of my being constantly aware of my surroundings - observing people, places and things - and taking mental snapshots of events, both large and small, as I go through my day. For example, Land of Gailiee was inspired by an unusual event I witnessed while visiting Israel a few years ago. During a rare snowfall in Jerusalem, people of all faiths and ages came out of their houses to play together in the snow, building snowmen and just having fun together. It was a joyous, peaceful, beautiful moment which sparked the possibility of what peace could look like in this troubled region of the world. I immediately went back to my hotel and started my editing process. When the lyrics were complete, I then brought them, along with a few notes of melody, to Lynne Arriale, who fleshed it all out and wrote the soaring chorus.
Lynne Arriale Trio
Lynne Arriale Trio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, turning an idea into a song isn't always an easy process. There are many steps and obstacles to be navigated - and sometimes wrestled with - along the way. The fundamental goal is to unite all the elements of a song - language, melody, harmony and rhythm. But, to do so, they must be broken down into bite-sized segments to ensure that all elements resonate at each point along the way.

One of the first technical steps in lyric writing is generating and focusing on an original idea. In addition to always having your antennae up and on alert throughout the day, there is a helpful exercise called "objective writing." (For more in depth discussion, I highly recommend Anne LaMott's Bird By Bird and Pat Pattison's Writing Better Lyrics). Object writing is an invaluable tool for finding your own persona voice and vision. It involves honing your five senses as well as your kinesthetic and organic senses, in order to gain access to that treasure trove of experience and emotion inside of you. For example,  Your Spirit Lingers, which I also wrote with Lynne, was based on an object writing session I had using an autobiographical book written by my great-grandmother about my family's emigration from Norway in the 1800, and subsequent trek by wagon train across the country to Oregon. I was awed by the hardships she overcame, her strong faith and inner strength, and the remnants of personality traits I noticed in others and myself in my family and how they lived on through us still.

The next step is to focus your perspective - adding the elements of "who, what, when, where, how and why" to the mix. Will it be the first person narrative? Direct address? Third person? This requires discipline - choosing a lane, shall we say, and sticking to it.

Now you are ready to start a work-sheet! Again, I want to recommend Pat Pattison's book for this. As he puts it, you want to generate words in a specific "key" - just as you would for music. Let's say you wanted to write a song about your mother or father. You would begin by making lists of words that related somehow to them and this idea. Then group them into nouns, verbs, adjectives, and start mixing them up in order to find fresh metaphors. This is exciting stuff - not unlike juxtaposting chords to find new tonalities!!! Then it's on to short sentences and hopefully finding some new, unexpected meaning and nuance along the way.

After paring down your word choices, you can add rhymes to your worksheet. It's helpful to think about rhymes in the same way you think about chords. Landing on a solid rhyme is like landing on the tonic after a series of changes. Sometimes you want to land squarely but often, you have a more interesting story to tell that benefits from the element of surprise or the unexpected. You might want to unbalance the rhyming scheme and take the listener on a different journey! This is where skill plays an important role. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Ultimately, we unite words and melody emotionally in addition to syllables and notes. The natural shape of the melody and the language must be integrated. Rhythm is then united with meaning. It's a thrilling and intoxicating process and when it works, there is nothing more exciting in the world - well worth the hours, days and weeks of time and effort that go into creating it!

I also truly love working with students privately and now in workshops. Every student comes with their own unique set of gifts and challenges. I try to assess them in the first few sessions and then tailor an approach that will work best for them. For example, one student came in with a naturally beautiful voice, but her original songs were cliched and derivative. I encouraged her to do some object writing, and to explore her own unique identity. (Her background was Indian and Swedish, and she was trying to copy American pop songs. It was inauthentic and she had so much more to offer). Now she's writing music that incorporates sounds from her native country, and telling stories no one else can tell! She has grown enormously as an artist!

As a writer, over time, you develop a sort of sixth sense that tells you when a lyric is fully baked - when more work is needed. The rule of thumb is being specific by avoiding generalities and cliches.

Guiding collaborators to melodies is also a very delicate process. You want to give just enough of a suggestion - a few notes and a rhythmic motif - to generate a spark, and then let them take it from there. In my case, working with two great musicians, Bruce Barth and Lynne Arriale, all that was needed were a couple of bars from me and they took off on their own, creating gorgeous melodies and multi-layered harmonies that fit the lyrics perfectly. They are both such sensitive listeners, and each put in the time to really think about the meaning of the songs in order to conjure up the right tone and feeling.

I'm often asked about my story-telling and how I create lyrics that somehow touch listeners in a personal way. Actually, I really don't think about appealing to a universal audience when I write. I just trust my own instincts, and hope that the things that interest me, will also interest others. Without this organic approach we lose our authenticity. It's been a wonderful surprise to see how audiences and critics have resonated so personally and emotionally to my original tunes. Even though the details and actual events differ, many of our stories are much the same. It's an interesting testimony to the shared life experience.

Writing Better Lyrics

Best wishes and much continued success to all songwriters!

*affiliate links in post*

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

How To Play Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Cover of "All I Have Needed"
Cover of All I Have Needed


I have been thinking of this song all morning. This strong hymn with comforting lyrics is an all-time favorite with many. Our church body is praying for a woman named Sally who has Altzheimer's and wandered from a campground in the mountains. We hope for her safety and return to her family. She has been missing for 7 days now.

I wondered if you had a memorable traditional song that is one of your favorite's in addition to Amazing Grace? Perhaps it is, What a Friend We Have In Jesus.

 Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Words by Thomas O. Chisholm
Music by William M. Runyan

Song in the Key of C


VERSE 1
 
C            Fmaj7   Dm/F  F/G   G7 F/C C
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, 
 F    G/F F  Em7   Am D            G
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
              C           Gm7       C7  Fmaj7 F6
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
D/F#         C/G         Dm9   G   C
As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.

CHORUS 
 
 G            Csus    C
Great is Thy faithfulness!
 A            Dsus    Dm
Great is Thy faithfulness!
 G      G/F C/E C  Am/E G/D Am7 D7 G
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
G/F         C/E G F   C7/E  Bb/D C7 Fmaj7 F6
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
D/F#          C/G          Dm9   G7  C
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

VERSE 2
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

VERSE 3
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide. 
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Chords I Like

VERSE 1:
             
C/GCE Great is thy 
F/FAE faithful-
F/FAD ness, 
G/ACF O God 
G/BDF my 
C/ACF Fa-
C/GCE ther.
 
F/CFA There 
F/DGB is 
F/CFA no 
E/BDG shadow 
A/ACE of 
D/F#D turn-
D/GE ing 
D/AF# with 
G/ABG Thee; 
 
G/BG Thou 
G/CA chang-
G/DB est 
C/EGC not, Thy com-
GF/BbDG passions 
C/GBbE they 
F/ACE fail not
 
F#/DA As Thou has 
G/EGC been Thou 
G/CEG for-
D/FACE ever 
G/GBD wilt 
C/EGC be.

CHORUS:
 
G/BDG Great is 
G/GBD Thy 
C/GCF faith-
C/GCE fulness!
 
A/C#EA Great is 
A/AC#E Thy 
D/ADG faith-
D/ADF fulness!
 
G/BDG Morn-
G/CDA ing 
F/DGB by 
E/CGC morn-
C/CEG ing 
E/CEA new 
D/DGB mer-
A/EGC cies 
D/CF#A I 
G/BDG see. 
 
F/BDG All I 
F/DGB have 
E/CGC need-
G/DGB ed 
F/CFA Thy 
E/BbCG hand 
D/BbDF hath 
C/BbCE pro-
F/ACE vi-
F/ACD ded

F#/DA Great is Thy 
G/EGC faith-
G/CEG fulness, 
D/ACE Lord 
D/ACF un-
G/FGB to 
C/EGC me.

Song in the Key of D


VERSE 1:
  D           G           A7         D
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
 G            D        Em            A
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
 A7            D           D            Em7
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
G            D         A       A7  D
As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.

CHORUS:
 A            D
Great is Thy faithfulness!
 Bm            Em
Great is Thy faithfulness!
 A7         D             Em      A
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
A7          D          D           Em7
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
G             D            A     A7  D
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

VERSE 2:
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

VERSE 3:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide. 
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Hear and Play offers Gospel resources. Here's one you may be interested in.
GospelKeys Master Class1 featuring Michael Bereal

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