Using Your Hands

If you can play the piano, you can play the organ. Right?

Absolutely!
But to really play music, you need to move those piano-trained fingers in a different way.

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Manual Technique

things your piano teacher never told you

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Direct Fingering

This is pretty straight-forward. Adjacent notes are played with adjacent fingers.

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Finger Crossing

In its simplest form the thumb passes under longer fingers or the longer fingers pass over the thumb. In order to maintain a good legato line, many unusual types of crossings will the needed.

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Finger Substitution

Replacing one finger by another while holding down the key in order to free the first finger often comes as a natural way to compensate for the lack of a sustain pedal. Using it too much becomes very cumbersome and increases the risk of slowing down the tempo. When there is enough time to execute it cleanly, it can be a valuable technique.

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Finger Glissando

Sliding from a sharp to a natural key by any of the five fingers to achieve a legato connection.

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Recommended Materials

good books & stuff to help you along

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OrganTutor, by Don Cook

OrganTutor is a computer-based resource for classical and traditional sacred organ instruction. The computer tutorial and workbook contain technical and musical studies for aspiring classical or church organists of any denomination. They are designed to be used together, but are available in several versions and combinations.

Available at http://www.ardpublications.com/

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Hymn Studies for Organists, by Parley Belnap

Using the hymnbook of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a basis, Dr. Belnap covers every detail of hymn playing, including fingering and pedaling, dealing with repeated notes, part playing, variety in hymn playing, registration, and much more. Hymn Studies for Organists is useful in private or group organ training, or for independent study.

Available at http://creativeworks.byu.edu/catalog/

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LDS Hymns for Organists, by Carol Dean

Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints marked with fingering and pedaling notations. A great resource for lds organists.

Available through carolorg1111@gmail.com

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Manual Only Hymns for Organ, edited by Don Cook

Selected hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arranged specifically for playing ‘hands only’ at the organ. Includes instruction for using the bass coupler and ‘easing into’ playing the pedals.

Download available by clicking here or at the LDS Church Music website.

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