Soulful Melodic Decoration
In this lesson we will explore some useful devices to add soulful melodic decoration including grace notes, space fillers, and accents.
We take the well known church song “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” to demonstrate the techniques and concepts.
Bending The Notes On The Piano
One of the limitations of the piano is that we can’t ‘bend the notes’. Bending the notes is the best way to emulate the human voice and give our solos and melodies a more human aspect which in turn makes it more soulful.
Grace Notes & Blues Scale Fragments
Although we can’t bend the notes we can use grace notes which is one of the best ways to make our songs more soulful is to use graces notes, trills, and other melodic decoration.
Understand that one of the limitation of the piano is that we cannot 'bend the notes' in the same way that it can be done with horn instruments or the human voice.
Add graces notes to emulate the human voice and achieve a more soulful sound when playing your favourite songs.
Grace notes work particularly well when the melody lands on a chord tone and it's most common to use the note a half step below the melody for the grace note.
Download the lead sheet for "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" and experiment with grace notes on each note of the melody.
Combine grace notes with fragments of the blues scale to achieve a soulful bluesy sound as demonstrated in the tutorial.