XP 2: What is improvising (and jamming)?
Making up music as you go can be fun, but there’s more to it than just making up sound. We can also call it many different things: freestyling, improvising, jamming, playing from the heart.
We can also call it many different things: freestyling, improvising, jamming, playing from the heart. To make things even more interesting, it can work differently depending on the musical culture or practice! So, we’ll keep things basic for this playlist and use the terms jamming and improvising, but we’re basically talking about making up music as you go.
- How is jamming like a boat on the ocean?
- How is jamming like a conversation?
- What do people do to improvise and jam?
- How can I improvise and jam?
- Think of jamming like a conversation.
- Find someone who is willing to try having a musical conversation with you.
- Face each other.
- Communicate with sound only and not using any words (you can also use any instruments you play, body percussion etc.)
2. Now, try the following jam session:
- One person makes the sound of an ocean, whatever that means for you.
- It doesn’t have to have a beat (but it can if you want–a beat can make a jam more fun).
- If you’re doing this by yourself, play any of the following ocean sounds from the web:
- The other person gets to jam, using any sounds they can make with anything they have: voice, hands, feet, pencil, instruments, words, noises, etc.
- Try to choose sounds that represent a boat, if you can. It doesn’t have to actually sound like a boat. Use your imagination.
- Take turns switching between sounding like an ocean and jamming
- Watch the following video that explains some aspects of improvising and jamming
- For the next few days, be aware of how conversations work.
- What will your conversations be like with a friend, a parent, a teacher, a police officer, a stranger, a pet, whoever?
- What will your conversations sound like with a friend, a parent, a teacher, a police officer, a stranger, a pet, whoever?
- How might your conversation sound if you were both playing an instrument, or beatboxing instead of talking?
- Can you imagine a beatbox conversation with a dog or cat!
Share What you Learned
If you are using the LRNG platform:
- Go back, find out what to submit, and complete the XP
- If you want, you can then learn even more with the optional “Go Further!” activities below
If you are not using the LRNG platform:
- Continue below and share with your teacher or organization:
Sharing What You Learned
- Describe one of the jamming experiences you had from this XP
- Explain one thing that you might try to do differently the next time you try it
(optional) Go further in depth with some of the improvised music you heard in the video
Return to the Getting Started Jamming Music Learning Playlist