The Pendulum of Simplicity: Verse/Chorus Songs on the Same Chord Progression

Last month's blog post was about verse/chorus songs. Your typical verse/chorus song has different melodies, on different chord progressions. But it can be both fun and instructive to play with the verse/chorus structure on identical chord progressions. That may sound lame, but it isn't - and actually plenty of modern scripted pop music is built … Continue reading The Pendulum of Simplicity: Verse/Chorus Songs on the Same Chord Progression

Talk to your Musical Director

I have written before on the importance of, as improv players, talking to your musical director (MD),as a matter of getting on the same page.   In most cases such chin wagging happens in rehearsal or prior to shows. But there is something else which I personally enjoy, and which I would not mind seeing more often: … Continue reading Talk to your Musical Director

Songs vs Opera – Titles for Improvised Songs

What makes an improvised song a really good one? There are several possible criteria, and which you use or not is a personal preference: improvised singing is art, not science. In this article we’ll discuss a criterion that is perhaps underestimated: the title. Songs vs Opera In workshops, mostly with inexperienced improvisers/singers, it is not … Continue reading Songs vs Opera – Titles for Improvised Songs

P-Triple-M: A Musical Improv Format

At VIF2019 in Boston earlier this month I did a workshop on Musical Long Form, followed by 2 performances by the workshop group. We created a fun format that I’d like to share this month. The format is named “Post-Modern Musical Montage” - of if you want to sound hip/cool/exotic, feel free to call it … Continue reading P-Triple-M: A Musical Improv Format

11 Non-Musical Improv Skills for Musical Directors

Introduction Last month I posted a blog listing 13 essential music-related skills for improv Musical Directors. I made the point in that blog that those skills can be learned outside of an improv setting, and cannot be acquired during e.g. a 3 hour workshop.  Besides, those skills are general music related skills that are unrelated … Continue reading 11 Non-Musical Improv Skills for Musical Directors

13 Essential Musical Skills for Improv Musical Directors

Introduction A couple of times every year I get asked to work with musicians who want to do Musical Direction  (MD) for improv, or I get asked to run MD workshops at festivals. Which I happily do, but it often surprises me how unrealistic the participants’ expectations are. I think the reason for this is … Continue reading 13 Essential Musical Skills for Improv Musical Directors