What’s Going On?
A musical improv warm up from Phil Lunn.
It’s loosely based on the song “What’s Up” by 4 Non-Blondes, which is better known by the yelled tagline “What’s Going On?”.
Stand in a circle. Someone chooses a location, for example “vampire castle”. Each person in turn sings a rhyming couplet that describes the environment that fits the melody.
“There’s a statue before me dripping with blood
Don’t know what it means but it can’t be good”
And the whole group sings:
“I said hey—what’s going on?”
And we continue around the circle.
What I like about this is that as well as practising setting up rhymes (which there’s loads of exercises for), this really tests our skill to follow a rhythm. The lines are quite long, and with quite rigid timing if you do it well. Improvising within rhythm is a hugely important skill, more important than rhyming.
This is an exercise Phil Lunn developed during a lovely afternoon being shown around Stockholm with his improviser friend Kerstin Höglund.
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