(CONGRATULATIONS TO TIKE. He is the winner of the free DVD for commenting on our last blog. Don’t forget to comment!)
We all have certain things that we like to eat because of the flavor that the food has. The flavor is what makes the food great. Music has different flavors as well. Some people like the flavor of classical, jazz, blues, rock, etc. I will give you some examples of what I mean and discuss how to develop the type of flavor in your playing that you would like.
The wonderful thing about gospel music is that many different flavors are accepted by people as great flavors for gospel music.
For example, many of the songs that Richard Smallwood has written has a classical flavor. I have really enjoyed his music down through the years and did you know he studied classical piano in college. His music style reflects his background and training. Can you hear the classical flavor in his playing and in the overall song itself? The song “Total Praise” has become a gospel music standard and is probably one of his most popular songs.
Kirk Whalum is an awesome musician and is mainly known as a Jazz Musician but he is a christian and also does christian music that has a jazz flavor. (Side Note – The guy playing the Yamaha Motif Keyboard in the background is Grammy nominated artist John Stoddard. He is an awesome pianist that is very versatile. I will be playing with him on February 19th. We may get a chance to hang out a little. I’ll try to get some tips from him for you so stay tuned)
Chris Tomlin is a prolific song writer that has written so many hit gospel songs like “How Great Is Our God”. He has a certain flavor that so many people love.
There are so many wonderful flavors that fall under the umbrella of gospel and christian music. So the question is, “how does one develop in the flavor that they love”.
- Your sound, style, and approach (YOUR FLAVOR) to music is determined by your background, experiences, environment, and what you listen to.
I have a background in a small pentecostal church in the south and I also later studied jazz and classical music. My personal style seems to be a combination of all three. I am learning other styles as well, so my flavor is evolving.
- If you want to be more jazzy in your playing, you should listen to more jazz musicians and study them.
- If you want to have more of a classical flavor, then you should listen to more classical music and study it.
What you are around and listen to on a regular basis will become a part of you and you will naturally gravitate towards that in your mental concept of how music should sound and in how you personally try to play it. It is a very natural thing that happens.
You have to expose yourself to the kind of music that you yourself want to play. It needs to become a part of you. The keys are listening and studying. You have to learn new things!
I would love to hear about the flavor that you play with or aspire to play with.