Piano World Home Page
Posted By: Isaiah Ojo Learning Gospel music - 04/18/18 03:59 AM
Here are the following songs I want any professional who is able to identifying a musical piece to tell me what abrsm or equivalent (because it's American) level these gospel pieces are. Thank you for your time. I don't mind the time it takes to learn these pieces but for reference I would like to I know the level of these pieces.

https://youtu.be/RsrxzNBmM2g

https://youtu.be/No8NOSmgv-4

https://youtu.be/yQHkMBG1_18

and how long do you think it would take you to learn any of these pieces.

my aspirations are to play just a few songs on piano.

Posted By: Simon_b Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/18/18 07:26 PM
Hi Isaiah

It's very difficult to make a comparison with ABRSM grades, as they are classical grades and these pieces are not classical. The rhythmic feel is very different, and to play them well getting the rhythmic feel is essential. Having said that I'd say they probably equate to about grade 6. Give or take a grade!

As for how long it would take you to learn them, that is equally difficult to answer as I don't how good you are at reading music/playing from and/or interpreting chords, and/or just learning by ear. If you are a relative beginner its going to take a long time. There is so much ground work you would need to do first. But if you have a natural feel for that sort of gospel playing, and already have an appropriate (and that is important) grounding, you might learn them quite quickly.

Finally I should say I am not a professional musician. There are some very good professionals on this forum who might be able to give you a more detailed reply; but I hope my view helps a bit.

Cheers
Posted By: Rickster Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/18/18 09:03 PM
I listened to the YT videos you posted, and, to be honest, those guys have probably been playing the piano all of their lives. They have that "groove", if you will, that only the best Gospel musicians have. What they played, in my view, is not in the simple to play realm. I'd call it moderate to advanced...

As Simon mentioned, if you know anything at all about the piano and chord structure, you can play some great Gospel music in a short period of time. As for me, my piano playing is simple, especially when it comes to Gospel music. I play right hand chords and matching left hand bass. I use certain rhythmic patterns, depending on what I'm playing. I've played and performed Gospel music in many Churches over the years, but I am no where near as good as those guys in the videos you posted. But the thing about Gospel music is that it is a ministry as much as a performance. You don't have to be all that good of a musician to show your love for the Gospel. Here is an example: "Amazing Grace"

Good luck!

Rick
Posted By: Simon_b Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/18/18 09:27 PM
Hi Rick

Nice version!
Have you heard this version by Ethel Caffie Austin?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXMg6iPmSw8

Cheers
Posted By: Rickster Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/18/18 11:21 PM
Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi Rick

Nice version!
Have you heard this version by Ethel Caffie Austin?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXMg6iPmSw8

Cheers

Hi Simon!

Actually, I've seen and heard Ethel Caffie Austin on a CD a friend loaned me to listen to, doing that exact same performance. Gospel piano doesn't get any better than that! I enjoyed watching and listening to the YT vid all over again. That is what I call raw talent, and plenty of it!! smile

The YT vid I posted was recorded about 10 years ago. I would like to think I've improved some since then (but maybe not:-).

All the best!

Rick
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 12:03 AM
Hi Rick!

That Ethel Caffie-Austin rendition of Amazing Grace is taught by her on her teaching video "Learn to play Gospel Piano" by Homespun Video. It is fabulous, and is for Skill level 2, according to them. I have it and it is not hard, and she is a great teacher.

Highly recommended if you want to play in that style, which is known as Black Traditional Gospel. Here is a link to the DVD:

https://www.homespun.com/shop/product/learn-to-play-gospel-piano/
Posted By: Rickster Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 02:34 AM
Originally Posted by rockett88
Hi Rick!

That Ethel Caffie-Austin rendition of Amazing Grace is taught by her on her teaching video "Learn to play Gospel Piano" by Homespun Video. It is fabulous, and is for Skill level 2, according to them. I have it and it is not hard, and she is a great teacher.

Highly recommended if you want to play in that style, which is known as Black Traditional Gospel. Here is a link to the DVD:

https://www.homespun.com/shop/product/learn-to-play-gospel-piano/

Thanks, rocket88!

By-the-way, I listened to your Boogie-Woogie/Blues CD the other day, and it put a smile on my face all over again! And, I would imagine you're a great piano teacher yourself! smile

Take care!

Rick
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 02:54 AM
Thanks Rick, you are very kind...
Posted By: Rob Mullins Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 04:23 AM
H
Originally Posted by Isaiah Ojo
Here are the following songs I want any professional who is able to identifying a musical piece to tell me what abrsm or equivalent (because it's American) level these gospel pieces are. Thank you for your time. I don't mind the time it takes to learn these pieces but for reference I would like to I know the level of these pieces.

https://youtu.be/RsrxzNBmM2g

https://youtu.be/No8NOSmgv-4

https://youtu.be/yQHkMBG1_18

and how long do you think it would take you to learn any of these pieces.

my aspirations are to play just a few songs on piano.

Posted By: Rob Mullins Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 04:46 AM
Hey Isaiah,

How are you?

My girlfriend is playing my 7 foot Kawai GS 60 really loud in the living room,
and she's sounding great. I'm stuck on the computer.

What that means is that I can't go through all your youtube links and advise you
from that standpoint.

Here's what I can say to you though:

Gospel piano is great as a genre. There are a specific set of voicings that must be
used in order for you to sound like you know what you are doing.

My mom played piano in the gospel church, and she put my crib next to her piano for
years, and that is how I learned to do it. I guess I was lucky.

When I finally got to writing it all down, "Minute by Minute" by the Doobie Brothers had
the best sequence of how to apply the chromatic scale in the bass to a series of
right hand chords.

While she's playing really loud and nice right now,

I'll take a stab at helping you out (I'm sure I have the paper on this but there are 11 thousand
pieces of curriculum I wrote) and I'm not gonna try and look for them right now .

So, let's get busy.

Gospel is a system of three note triads over a single bass note.
The chords need to be played in the midrange of the piano as they sound dumb up in
the higher registers.

So,

from the bottom up, here we go:



Top line are the triads, bottom note, single bass note.

C E G

bass note C (one or two octaves down)

C# E A

bass note C#

D F A

bass note D

D# F# A

bass note is D#

E G C (C major triad 1st inversion)

bass note E

F A C

bass note F

F# A C

bass note F3

E G C

bass note G

E G# B

bass note G#

E A C

bass note A

C E G

bass note Bb

B D G

bass note B

finish here:

E G C

bass note C.

I think I did that right. We had a long day driving around LA sharing music
and meeting new people all around.

When you put a triplet rhythm in it, you get the beginning of the Doobie Brothers song.

If you want to write me about this, I should be able to do a search on the EDU library
I have created, I can probably do it on Friday afternoon.
My email is info@planetmullins.com.

I love Gospel piano. Super easy if the right person is explaining it to you,
impossible with the wrong person who doesn't know the genre from personal experience,
gigs and discography.

Have a good night!

Best,

Rob Mullins
Posted By: Rob Mullins Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 04:50 AM
PS,

and here are the chord symbols (she playing it again even better and louder)

C A/C# Dm D#dim C/E F F# dim C/G E/G# Am Bb G/B C as the final of the cadence.

Hope this helps. I think we are going out to dinner soon. Best of luck with your music.
Posted By: Nahum Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 06:09 AM
I ran into gospel music for the first time after a long period of activity as a jazz pianist; and it took me about a year to learn the style of rhythm, chords and their strumming, while with the harmony itself there were no problems.
Posted By: Simon_b Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 05:06 PM
Hi All

You can buy a transcription of the Ethel Caffie Austin performance on Elmo Peeler's website.
I bought it last year....

https://www.manymidi.com/index.html

I forget the price, but I think its in the $5 to $10 region.

I've bought a few transcriptions from him, and they are extremely accurate.
There's plenty of other interesting Piano related stuff on the website as well.

Cheers
Posted By: dobro Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 05:38 PM
That’s a cool site Simon. Thanks for posting.
Posted By: Isaiah Ojo Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/19/18 07:45 PM
That was lovely
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/20/18 09:02 PM
Originally Posted by Isaiah Ojo
. . .

my aspirations are to play just a few songs on piano.



PMFJI --

When I read that, I think about the visual equivalent:

Quote
I want to learn enough about art to paint just a few really good pictures.


The analogy isn't exact, but the pedagogical problem is similar:
Posted By: Isaiah Ojo Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/21/18 02:58 AM
pedagogical problem?
Posted By: Rickster Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/21/18 03:23 AM
In my view, when we want to learn something, we seek out information/instruction from any and all sources available to us. The extent of our learning or meeting our individual goals is a personal thing. I don't think we should force our personal pedagogy philosophy on others. If someone wants to learn bits and pieces, small increments, or just enough to play a few Gospel songs, I see nothing wrong with that, and it can be done. In my view, learning to play the piano is a life-long endeavor, and no one every fully reaches the pinnacle of perfection in mastering the instrument, although many feel they have.

Just a few thoughts...

Rick
Posted By: cmajornine Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/21/18 06:01 AM
Originally Posted by Isaiah Ojo
Here are the following songs I want any professional who is able to identifying a musical piece to tell me what abrsm or equivalent (because it's American) level these gospel pieces are. Thank you for your time. I don't mind the time it takes to learn these pieces but for reference I would like to I know the level of these pieces.

https://youtu.be/RsrxzNBmM2g

https://youtu.be/No8NOSmgv-4

https://youtu.be/yQHkMBG1_18

and how long do you think it would take you to learn any of these pieces.

my aspirations are to play just a few songs on piano.




What you are witnessing in those links you provided are advanced interpretations of modern black r&b gospel songs, which are being sung in most modern black churches today.

You can learn to play  in this style by studying the course below. 

https://www.kajabinext.com/instructors/133635

It's by far the the best gospel piano course out there. After you have studied this course you should be able to understand what is happening in the links you provided. May the Lord be with you. Be blessed.


http://www.cmajorninekeyz.info/index.html


Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: Learning Gospel music - 04/22/18 05:28 AM
Sorry -- I thought I'd deleted that post. But the problem is:

. . . How do you emulate the work of a master, without having the experience that the master needed,
. . . to produce that work ?

It was late, and I was tired . . . .

As Rickster says, we have different goals, and different learning styles. If there's a good course on playing modern Gospel, go to it!
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums