Creating Intros For Songs & Hymns
In this lesson we explore different ways to create solo piano introductions which can be applied to jazz standards, songs, and church hymns.
We use the tune "What A Wonderful World" for all of the demonstrations but remember that these concepts and principles for creating introductions can be applied to any song or church hymn.
Check out the introduction examples below and download the full notation PDF files in the Downloads section.
Use The Ending Of The Tune
One of the easiest ways to create an introduction is to play the last 4 or of the song or hymn. This will lead you smoothly and convincingly into the start of the tune.
Creating an introduction with the final bars of the song is a failsafe ways to create a compelling introduction. For longer introductions we can use the last 8 bars or even the last 16 bars.
Create An Intro Using The V7sus Chord
Another simple method to construct an introduction is to use sus chord voicings. This works well when the starting chord is a major I chord such as the first chord in "What A Wonderful World" which starts on an Fmaj7 chord.
The V7 chord of Fmaj7 is a C7sus chord. We can also look at this at a Bbmaj7/C which gives the Sus13 flavour. Experiment with arpeggios and inversions of the Bbmaj7 chord.
Create A Free Rubato Introduction
Rubato introductions, also known as ‘free time introductions’ are very effective when playing solo piano. We can use the chords and harmony of the tune as inspiration to create an interesting intro chord progression:
We can also use the words and lyrics of the song for inspiration when creating an introduction. When we try to express the meaning of the lyrics musically we can create a very effective and fitting introduction for any tune.
Introduction Example 1 File Type: pdf
Dom7Sus Chord Introduction File Type: pdf
Rubato Free-Time Introduction File Type: pdf