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The Organists' Toolkit
A Guide for Reluctant Organists


The intention of this site is NOT to teach you how to play the organ. It's a very basic guide so that pianists are able to accompany hymns and other simple music. Also, it does NOT give instruction on using the pedals. It's possible to provide a completely satisfactory accompaniment without introducing this complication.

PAGE 1 gives a basic description of the mechanics and geography of the organ.

PAGE 2 suggests ways of accompanying a congregation and other aspect of service playing.

PAGE 3 includes downloadable repertoire, and suggestions for further study or finding a teacher.

Some of the information may seem very basic, but it's put here for completeness. Some general tips about accompanying a congregation will be included and suggestions how someone, who is really very reluctant to take on any service playing, can manage it in an acceptable manner.

The descriptions and comments on this page are pretty universal but, if playing somewhere for the first time, it's always useful to get there early to check out the instrument.

Although these pages describe pipe-organs, digital and/or electronic organs are conceptually the same, it's just that the method of sound production is different.

As mentioned above, this is a survival guide. It misses out 95% of the glory and variety of playing an organ, but it does lead to safe, useable accompaniments.

If possible (and do all you can to make it possible) arrange practice time on the organ you are going to be playing so that you can get to know its idiosyncracies.

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