I recently asked people on Facebook and Twitter, If you had to write the Golden Rules of Improv to give to someone you were about to play with who’d never heard free improvised music before, what would they be?
These were the responses.
Listen. Respond when you’re engaged by something.
– Scott Mclaughlin
Listen more than you play. Don’t be afraid. There are no mistakes. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Don’t ever be afraid to make mistakes. Oh, and just because its fun to wank, doesn’t mean its any good from an audience perspective …
– Daz Disley
Music is in the gaps as well as the notes.
– Shaun Blezard
There are no rules maaaaan. Do what you feel.
– Kate Armitage
Listen! And don’t over play – and most importantly relax!
– Kevin Quigley
“Talk” to each other. Its a conversation. Don’t dominate it, hear the others’ opinions.
– Ian Simpson
keep eye contact with each of the other players and try to “communicate”.
– Mark E Pitt
Listen, know when to shut up, know when to say something.
– David O’Connor
Train your mind to look out for the best opportunity to do something completely inappropriate. Improv is about freshening up, revitalising something when it is in danger of becoming safe or staid.
If you make a “mistake” do it again so it seems intentional. (Or just enjoy the mistake.)
– Damara Arrowood