10 Beginner Tricks For Playing Organ in A Worship Band
So you’ve just purchased the Ultimate Organs pack and you’re ready to play organ for the first time with your worship team. What do you do? Here are 10 simple tricks to make you sound like a pro:
1. Don’t play too much.
Drawbar organs have a lot of frequencies going at the same time, and it’s easy to play too much. Just hold a couple of notes down at a time so you don’t take up too much sonic space.
2. Use the Leslie speed control.
The modulation wheel in the Ultimate Organs pack controls the speed of the Leslie FX (fast and slow) and switching between the modes live creates a lot of interest.
3. Play open chords.
Try not to play chords with more than a couple of notes (unless you’re playing gospel). Playing too many tones at the same time can fill too much sonic space.
4. Stick with 4ths and 5ths.
These sound great on organs, and will leave lots of room for the vocals and other instruments.
5. Mess with the drawbars to change the sound.
Each drawbar adds a different tone to the sound, and adjusting them can completely change the character of your sound. For an in depth understanding of how drawbars work, here’s a great article from Hammond about it.
6. Experiment with the volume pedal.
Volume pedals are really challenging to use for pianists who are making the jump to organ, but can be useful in “swelling in” the organ sound in just the right spots.
7. Try slides.
Sliding up the keyboard right before hitting the chord can create a great effect live. Be careful- doing this too much will sound a bit cheesy.
8. A little distortion goes a long way.
Every patch in the Ultimate Organs pack has the ability to add a bit of tube distortion, and adding some will thicken up your tone and make it cut through the mix.
9. Watch your levels.
Organs are notorious for being uneven volume-wise. If you’re having trouble with levels live, use a gentle compressor/limiter on the master output.
10. Remember to listen.
As with all instruments, listening makes everything better. Pay special attention to guitarists, since they play in the same frequencies you play in onstage.
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