Doxology: The New Old 100th – An Advanced Reharmonization Tutorial

The following video demonstrates how I came up with new chords using an old hymn as an example. It involves first stripping away the music to discovering the essential chords which give a tune its basic identity – I call these the skeleton chords – usually they are the I, V and perhaps IV chords of the tune.

My next goal is to find new ways to add some connective tissue between these main chords. The melody is already given, an effective bass line is the muscle which moves the tune forward. Ways to dress the tune up are to try experimenting with different colors of chord tones between the RH melody and the LH bass line. Add a bit of bling with changes in range by adding runs which extend into the upper or lower range of the piano, improvise, and add an intriguing ending!

There are many great sounding ways to arrange a tune! Admittedly, my ideas for new chords to Doxology were inspired after listening to a jazz group called, The Yellowjackets. This version is taken rather far away from the original tune’s harmony. The final result was achieved after much experimentation and many rewrites. Soon I will be posting a blog on basic reharmonization – all the normally used tricks of the trade when wanting to dress up a tune or play by ear!

11 Replies to “Doxology: The New Old 100th – An Advanced Reharmonization Tutorial”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Debbie. You are very talented.
    I am our church pianist and I was classically trained so I have a hard time improvising and recently I’ve wanted to shake-up our doxology but didn’t know where to start. I love your version!
    Would you mind sharing this leadsheet? I’d love to play it this Sunday! 🙂


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