Get Your Scat Together!
SCATABILITY – IDEAS FOR USE IN THE CLASSROOM!
iOS App for Apple iPhone and iPad | Created by Michele Weir
Available in the App Store
VIDEO TUTORIAL OF ALL SCATABILITY FUNCTIONS (English)
PRODUCTS WITHIN SCATABILITY
Actual improvised scat solos based on a specific jazz standard tune or 12-bar blues. All Etudes are 2 choruses of the song they’re based on. Press the ½ locate button to set start point to middle of track: the 2nd chorus of song. Use the loop function to work through the solo repetitively, a couple of phrases at a time.
Repetitive melodic ideas over a repetitive short chord progression. Exercises modulate to different keys and corresponding pitch ranges.
3. Call & Response
Demo vocalist sings an idea (the “call”), then leaves open space for user to repeat (exact repetition) or respond (a musical “response” to the “call,” such as in question / answer. Or the response could be a paraphrasing of the call.)
ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR THE CLASSROOM
1. Learn solos (Etudes) together as a group. Walk through a solo, a couple of phrases at a time, looping phrases so they are heard and practiced repetitively. Then move to the next couple of phrases.
2. Along with learning solos as in letter a. above, once solo is learned, assign students to transcribe.
3. Have entire class sing (or play if instrumentalists) along with a track generated from teacher – this works well with Exercise or C&R tracks. Students can stand, or step in tempo or walk around the room or step in place.
4. Compare and contrast vocal artist solos with recordings of instrumental solos on same tune.
5. Assign students to record and submit themselves improvising over a track. Assign any of these or other parameters: short 1-bar phrases, or 2-bar phrases, or 4-bar phrases, use of blues scale, use of chord scales, motivic development, etc.
6. Ear training: play track and investigate: Major or minor? What is the chord progression of the Exercise? What is the modulation scheme?
7. Track Analysis: instrumentation (brushes? sticks? elec. piano? acoustic piano? etc), rhythmic feel (swing 2 or 4, etc), tone, style, melodic language used in solo (diatonic? any chromaticism?) phrasing style, rhythmic feel, meter, etc etc. Then optional quiz questions, or have class discussion.
8. Assign students to write and possibly record their own exercises on the same changes as an Exercise.
9. Give an assignment for students to record CALL & RESPONSE that they invent, along with an open track. Then optional in class: play recording so that entire class can do the call and response with one of their peers! 10. Use certain tracks to study chord types progressions. (Major and minor II-V-I’s etc., )
11. Use the Blues tracks to study Blues progressions.
12. Assign students to write a new bebop style head on any of the Etude or Blues tracks.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR USING SCATABILITY
1. Listen to the Synth Track to hear the same melodic exercises as Vocal, but with a “Vibes” sound.
2. Toggle on or off the opening countoff in Settings.
3. After recording a track – you can save an export track. (See the Record tab)
4. See Info Tab for song chord progression, level, style, tempo, key, modulation scheme (for exercises or call & response), phrase lengths and instrumentation.
5. Find a lead sheet of the chord changes in the Notation Tab.
6. See Jazz Glossary in the Info Section.
VIDEO TUTORIAL OF ALL SCATABILITY FUNCTIONS (Japanese)