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Thread: This sounds good, how can I start?

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    This sounds good, how can I start?

    I would love to learn to play the organ, but I have never played one before. I can play the piano, but I do not have an organ of my own. What can I do?

    Thank you for your help
    Last edited by mr_bjb; Apr-10-2007 at 15:00.

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    Hello mr_bjb,

    For starters, the only similarity to piano and the organ are the keys and how they are arranged. The playing techniques are quite different - not to mention the different sounds available on an organ, and of course, the extra keyboard (pedalboard) for the feet to play as well.

    The only way to learn to play the organ is to play on one. There is, imho, a wonderful publication: The Method of Organ Playing written by Harold Gleason that can be of great help to a beginner learning to play the organ. I to have to add here, that the current (8th edition) new book is rather pricey ... there could be less expensive (older editions) ones on sites such as ebay or amazon. I still have mine (1949, 4th edition) and still find it a valuable resource.

    Perhaps there is a music store or religious institution at where you can arrange for practice time at. Have you sought out an organ teacher? Some universities or colleges have organ departments and might offer some courses in this, too.

    How long have you played the piano? Have you studied piano (taken lessons) or are you self taught?

    Hope this helps a little. I wish you all the best in your quest for learning more about the King of Instruments.

    Kh ~~.

    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...

  3. #3
    Recruit, Pianissimo
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Thank you for your help. I do have piano lessons and have been learning for about five years

    Thank you


  4. #4
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    yeah - just do it - as to owning one, very few people own their own pipe organs (reasons are pretty obvious) and most who do own home pipe organs get very tired of the limited amount of stops pretty quickly.

    Your local church might have a pipe organ ... always good to go meet the clergy and see if you can practise on it

  5. #5
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    It sure as hell ain't MY "lucky" country :(
    Well, good to meet some clergy perhaps! Always be keen but when approaching churches, try not to come across as too green. Some of the more, shall we say "precious" institutions tend to take you for a bit of a ride if they know you're even the slightest bit desperate to play an instrument. Many will charge a fee where there is no need and you even sometimes come across churches where the organist won't let anyone else play "their" instrument (and it's usually a crap instrument not worth it anyway ... god if ever end up like that, someone shoot me!!)

    As for practice instruments, well you can pick up all sorts of older electronic church organs for a reasonable sum (if you have a reasonable sum to start with), with the correct disposition of manuals and pedals for serious repertoire practice (hell, even Gillian Weir used to have an electronic in her house to practice on).

    As for primers, my first teacher gave me many, many pages from C.H. Trevor's The Oxford Organ Method which was quite well graded. There's also Playing the Organ by .... damn, who was that - was it Stainer?

    You can often pick up some nicely graded volumes second-hand. Where do you live bjb?
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  6. #6
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Play the Organ by David Sanger (comes in 2 volumes)

  7. #7
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Mr bjb You don't say where you are, but if it is in England I know of an electronic organ (It is large and fairly cumbersome) which my local church has to dispose of. It has two manuals and a pedalboard and would be a fine instrument to prepare you for playing a pipe organ. I used to play it myself for weddings and funerals. I'm sure it shouldn't be expensive, so if you are interested contact
    the vicar of St. Francis Church, at the Vicarage, Saxon Green, Bridgwater, Somerset. Sylvie (Remember to play Legato for the is not a percussive instrument like the piano) Good Luck.

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