Gospel music and worship music are music that are played and written to praise and worship God in a Christian community or environment. It is meant to be powerful and to give praise, worship and thanks to a Mighty God. So since the concept of worship is influential, the actual music must be too.
In piano worship (style) playing, there are many different aspects that make this type of music stand out among the rest.
Music Rhythm is a very important aspect of worship style playing. It makes songs so much more powerful to have strong chords backed up by a strong rhythm. Syncopated rhythms are commonly used, so it is a good idea to have a solid knowledge of different kinds of rhythms when it comes to playing this type of style.
The worship accompaniment style uses a number of piano chord progressions, but there are a few that are used more predominantly than others. The chord progression I-IV-V is the most popular. Not only are chord progressions important in this style of music, but so are the chords themselves.
Color chords such as the dominant 7th chords, major 7th and minor 7th chords are also commonly used.
When playing the gospel style, you may also dress up your song using arpeggios, runs, fillers, modes, walk down and walk up. When using a run, you must first determine the exact placement within the song.
Be sure to counts you have to fit the run. Once this is determined, choose an appropriate rhythm to fill the run in. Experiment with the scale you would like to use (knowledge of scales comes in very handy with this!), and find the suitable run for the song.
Remember, you do not have to use the first run you write! A great place to insert a run is during long measures of the same chord.
There are many types of subgenres of worsip and Gospel style music such as Southern Gospel, Christian Rock, Bluegrass Gospel, Country Gospel, and Gospel Blues. Although these styles do sound different, they do share a few common themes such as rhythm and color chords. Worship piano music is growing in popularity, and is growing in demand for piano players across the country.
We recommend the Mastering the Art of Piano Accompaniment Course