How To Think A Few Steps Ahead

Mental Multitasking

This week I recorded one of the more challenging songs for keyboardists. Alive by Hillsong Young and Free is a synth workout. You definitely need to bring your A-game if you want to pull this off. One of the main reasons for its difficulty is the amount of sounds that you have to go through in addition to playing independent chords and melodies in each hand. If you want to sound like the album, there's no getting around this.

Because of this, you would think the main ability requirement would be technical skill because of the notes and chords you play. Although having the technical ability to play these parts is critical, even more so is the ability to seamlessly put them all together. And that requires... you guessed it. Thinking ahead!

Be able to play something without thinking about it so you can prepare for what you are going to play next.

Double Duty

You have to simultaneously think about what you are playing as well as what you are going to play NEXT so that you can change sounds and patches at the right time.  This requires you to know what you are playing like the back of your hand. You need to be able to play something without thinking about it so you can prepare for what you are going to play next.

Thinking ahead in the piece is one of the most crucial aspects and abilities any musician should strive for. Practice this essential skill and you'll be well on your way to becoming an even more well-rounded musician.

Ryan is currently the Worship Director at The Church at Wills Creek in North Alabama. He has been the keyboardist for many Christian artists and has served with several churches including Christ Fellowship and Church of the Highlands. Ryan is the keyboard instructor for WorshipArtistry.com and also works as a producer, music educator, and studio musician. Ryan has two children, Josiah and Vivy, and they love spending time on their 100 acre farm.

How To Think A Few Steps Ahead

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