Improvisation Basics: How to Get Started
Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart are ukulele teacher and leaders from Australia who have developed a live online course on improvisation while locked down during Covid. Maybe you have met them on their previous tours of USA and Canada and know of their song arrangements and fun approach to learning already? After years of teaching improvisational technique and theory to uke clubs and festivals around the world, they have now developed a very accessible and personal online course and want to share it with you!
Improvisation Level One – Theory, Technique, Feel.
Want to know the theory, technique and shortcuts to improvising on the ukulele? Or you do you just want the shortcuts?
This is a short course over four consecutive weeks starting mid February. Each class is 1.5 hours, and is offered to only 15 people to keep the group small and increase your learning. This course can be followed by Improvisation Level Two and Three.
- We learn and review four important scales – the major, the pentatonics (major and minor), and the blues. The fun part is that we learn these through playing songs.
- Get a grip on the theory of it all – the lowdown on how, when and why to use these scales.
- Melody rules! but learn how to bend, twist and change the melody to create your improvisation! Techniques to give your improvising that all important feel.
- Jamming. We’ll play a bunch of songs across different genres to create our own improvisation jam sessions.
- We’ll practice, and review feel. You get a chance to improve your improvising in the privacy of your own home! And we’ll provide you with backing tracks to do so.
- We’ll give you one-on-one feedback on your improvisations, in a gentle but encouraging way to help you grow as a player.
What do you need?
- An ukulele. Baritone ukes are ok (if you know what you are doing) but you must have a capo available.
- Knowing the names of your strings and some notes on the fretboard is required. This is not for beginners.
- Minimal knowledge + tenacious and curious attitude + fingers that can = acceptable. Please be ready to give things a go.
- A printer or a separate ipad or device for viewing your music.
- Headphones are preferable, or good speakers.
- Standard microphone on your device or computer is ok.
- A separate device (like a phone) to record your solos and to repost them.
- We use ZOOM as our teaching platform and Facebook to post your home work and keep the class connected. If you’re not on Facebook we can come up with other strategies.
- Fill in the form to let us know your preferred time and day
- This will allow us to select the time that suits most people.
This is not a commitment but just an Expression of Interest.
This is what people said about our courses run in Australia 2020
You all did a great job, so well organised and everyone enjoyed it and is appreciative of the fun and learning ……. Jonathan
The thing that worked well for me was the relatively small size of the class and the use of break out rooms with only four people – that makes it personal and a lot easier to ask questions or focus on one thing…….Alasdair
If you do anything like it again please remember me. I have improved so much and might even be getting the groove! ……….Tanya
As you know I really love the Improv sessions and am learning heaps and even practicing. So, obviously am VERY sad it’s coming to an end. Is there any possibility you might continue a bit longer please! …… Di (a primary school uke teacher)
I feel so blessed we have such teachers. You are all great, and because you come at each topic from a different perspective, we are getting a plethora of input and it’s truly amazing. I don’t think you realise how clever you are. ……. Cathy (actually a uke teacher herself)
Access to the resources, classes and other material is just fabulous so again thank you….. Helen