Musical Improv Games - Scales
Warming up the voice. Landing in the room or virtual space. Making a suggestion. Singing in front of other people.
- Participants stand in a circle.
- This exercise uses 5 note scales going up and then down.
- The scale is then repeated on a higher note, usually a semitone up from the first.
- Any word can be chosen for the scale to begin with. The word is announced and the group all have to sing the scale together using the suggested word.
- When the first scale is finished, the next person in the circle announces the next word, and the next scale is sung to that word.
- Ideally, the words announced should be associated, for example if the first word was dog, the next could be cat and so on.
Person 1: ‘Dog’
All: ‘Dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog’
Person 2: ‘Cat’
All: ‘Cat cat cat cat cat cat cat cat cat’
Person 3: ‘Purr’
All: ‘Purr purr purr purr purr purr purr purr purr’
Person 4: ‘Tiger’
- After going round the group once, the exercise can be repeated, but this time with more emphasis on staying in time with a beat.
- Each scale has a pause at the end which should be just big enough for the next person to announce their word. If done correctly, a regular rhythm can be followed, and the whole exercise can be sung ‘in time’.
- Once the rhythm has been established, the exercise can be performed faster, until things start to break down! Often words of more than one syllable will be announced, in which case it is entirely up to each improviser, whether to try and fit the whole word onto each note, ‘Tiger tiger tiger tiger tiger tiger tiger tiger tiger’ or to scan the word across two or more notes, ‘Ti-ger ti-ger ti-ger ti-ger ti’.