One of the most interesting and captivating musical instruments to play is the organ. The organ has been nicknamed “the king of musical instruments” because of its ability to produce sound with volume and tones over a wide range. These instruments come in many variations: standard electronic, more refined Church Organs, Orchestra Organs, Theater Pipe Organs, or even Cathedral Organs. This instrument can have one to seven keyboards (manual). Learning to play the organ can seem difficult but the results are very satisfying. By starting with learning the piano, acquiring the right materials, and finally learning the organ, you will be able to play this great instrument proficiently.
Method 1 of 3: Learn to Play the Piano
Step 1. Learn to play the keyboard
Before learning to play the organ, you should increase your experience playing the piano. In fact, many organ teachers do not accept students with less than a year of piano playing experience. Therefore, start by learning the piano keys. You must first understand the function of each key, and each note that it produces.
- The piano keyboard repeats its notes from top to bottom over several octaves. That is, the pitch changes from low (left side) to high (right side), but the pitch does not vary.
- There are 12 notes that the piano can produce: seven white keys (C, D, E, F, G, A, B) and five black keys (C-clear, D-clear, F-clear, A-mol, and B- moles).
Step 2. Play the scales
Playing scales (sequences of notes) is the foundation in mastering the technique of playing the piano. Learn some basic piano scales, starting with a simple two-finger scale, and working your way up to a three-finger scale. Practice playing every day.
Step 3. Learn to read sheet music
Since the organ is a fairly sophisticated musical instrument, most teachers require their students to be able to read sheet music before starting to learn to play the organ. Learning to read scores can be challenging at first, but this skill is important in mastering a variety of musical instruments, including the piano and organ.
- Learn more about the treble clef.
- Switch to the bass clef (bass clef).
- Learn the notes (heads, stems, and flags).
- Learn more about meters and cadence.
Step 4. Practice using your hands freely
Once you're comfortable playing scales, and maybe some simple compositions, you should learn to use your hands freely. In the end, you should be able to play two different moves (one for each hand) at the same time. This technique must be mastered before it can proceed to the organs.
Method 2 of 3: Gathering Everything
Step 1. Get an organ tutor
Ask your local church, college, or music store in your city. Many colleges have organ classes for final year students, and music theory in general. You can also look for ads for organ tutors in newspapers or magazines. However, the best way to find a teacher in your city is to use the internet. If you contact an organist from a local church, make sure they are competent enough to teach you.
When contacting the teacher, be sure to ask about the minimum requirements for starting lessons (for example, sight reading ability, and/or a certain level of experience playing the piano)
Step 2. Gain access to the organ
In order to master the organ, you need to practice outside of class hours. Organs are large and expensive instruments so you should make sure you have access to the organ to practice. Talk to an instructor to ask if you can practice in a studio, ask at your local church, or get a suitable small or digital organ at home.
Step 3. Purchase an organ learning book for beginners
An organ study guide will help you learn the basics to complement the knowledge you gain in tutoring. Talk to an organ instructor about the best books to read as a supplement to tutoring. You can find this book in music stores.
Step 4. Buy organ shoes
Pedals are a unique aspect of organ playing, and the right shoes will help you develop technique efficiently. In addition, because you only wear them when playing the instrument in question, the organ shoes will not get dirty which could damage the pedals.
- You can buy organ shoes on the internet for around IDR 850,000.
- Some instructors may ask you to have the right organ shoes on before playing on their own.
Method 3 of 3: Learn to Play the Organ
Step 1. Start learning to play the organ
The organ is a difficult instrument to play. Therefore, you will be greatly helped by professional guidance. Once you find a teacher, arrange a tutoring schedule with them (eg twice a week). Ask if you need to bring anything to each lesson. Make sure the tutoring schedule doesn't clash with your daily obligations.
Step 2. Learn pedal technique
The main difference between piano and organ is the introduction of the third sound through the foot pedal. To play the organ, you have to perfect your pedaling technique and stance. Try to keep your heels together. In addition, both knees must also touch each other. Finally, play with the inside of your foot, which means you need to turn your ankle inward.
Step 3. Practice playing legato
When playing the organ, there should be no pauses between notes. In addition, the tones should also not overlap. This is called “legato”. Playing legato also involves a technique called “pitch trapping”. This means that you hold down the key with one finger so that you can move on to the next note with a different finger. For example, if you initially press a key with your index finger, you can use your thumb to hold the key. Play your keyboard back and forth to master the technique and achieve the legato effect.
- Start playing legato using only the white keys. Once you can play it comfortably, improve it by incorporating the black keys.
- When you can play legato comfortably with your hands, continue playing with your hands and feet.
Step 4. Practice hard
There's only one way to be able to play an instrument fluently: practice, practice, and keep practicing. Create and stick to your regular exercise schedule. The more practice, your skills will improve.
- Get to know other organ players in your area. The number of organ players is usually not large and tends to know each other. Knowing your fellow organists will make it easier for you to get advice and support.
- Listen to good organ music. There are plenty of opportunities to listen to great games, especially in metropolitan areas.
- Every organ is different, especially if you play a pipe organ. Before playing an organ you're not used to playing, familiarize yourself with its stops, pitch, and sensitivity.
- Do not expect to be fluent in playing the organ instantly. Start with a small organ, and work your way up to the pipe organ. This musical experience is worth the effort.