Arranging

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Buy the Complete Set of Eleven Courses and get my other six courses for free! (Inspirational Improvisation, The Chord Toolbox I&II, Chord Substitutions Made Easy, The Nashville Number System, and Master Series: Arranging with James Koerts). Valid through 3/29/17.

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Arranging (DVD)
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$99.99
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Arranging (Download)
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Want to talk to me before purchasing? My phone number is 888-815-9082 and I will answer any questions you want to ask to help you decide what courses you should buy. (If you get my voice mail, leave a message and I will call you back.)

Includes 3 hours of instruction and a study guide with classwork and examples

All of us have faced the fear of sitting down to write an arrangement and not knowing where to start. Traditional teaching in this area has not helped much. Pianists are normally just encouraged to cobble together a few ideas, tack on an intro, and hope for the best.

Arranging should be more than that. An arrangement is a chance to communicate very big ideas and impact people at a very deep level. That is why I talk a lot about the big decisions you have to make before I ever starts playing in this 3-hour course.

This course gives you seven concrete steps from picking a song to polishing a final arrangement. We are aware of no similar approach anywhere.

Here are things you will learn:

  • How to choose a song to arrange.
  • How to choose a shape and storyline for the arrangement.
  • How to develop the form and length.
  • How to develop hooks (unique ideas that tie the arrangement together).
  • How to document your arrangement through the process.
  • How to develop each section of the arrangement.
  • Dozens of technical treatments and creative ideas.
  • How to polish your arrangement for performance.

This course does not teach reharmonization (fancy chords, substitutions, etc). If you are interested in that subject, you should consider purchasing Reharmonization. Also, you might consider purchasing the course on Modulations.

You might find as you work through this course that you want to rearrange the steps to better suit the way you work. That is perfectly fine. These steps simply reflect decisions and processes that arrangers should be thinking through when they create. You should have big goals for your arrangements; they should not be time fillers during a worship service and they should not be themes and variations designed to show off technical skill. This course will help you think at a higher level.

Prerequisites

What you need to know to understand this course

1. How to read music (general basics such as naming notes, counting, key signatures, etc.).
2. Basic theory. You need to know how to play a major scale. Ideally, you can build simple chords such as major and minor triads. If you need help in this area, consider purchasing Theory for Church Pianists from GregHowlett.com.
3. How to identify chords and chart a song. You should be able to work through a typical song in the hymnal and write in the chords you see. If you need help in this area, consider purchasing the course How to Chart a Song from GregHowlett.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your return policy?

If you purchase and want to return this product, you are welcome to do so within 90 days of the purchase date. We have yet to see our first return!

How is this course different from all the rest on the market?

It is different in one very significant way. It is based on understanding harmony. There are methods for teaching congregational accompaniment that do not focus on harmony. While you may initially learn quicker using those methods, you will limit your long term potential.

What kind of church music will the concepts work with?

You can use these concepts with any music. In the DVDs, the concepts are demonstrated with simple hymns, but you can use them with practically any modern music.

Do I have to wait for this course to arrive by mail or can I view it online?

You can order and take the electronic version of this course. You simply need a DSL or similar internet connection. When you order, you will receive the study guide in PDF format and will be able to view/download the course as much as you want. This option will save you money and is especially effective if you have a laptop but no TV in the same room as your piano.