Vocal Improvisation

Learn to improvise and expand your repertoire of musical phrases

by Sanna Van Vliet

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5 lessons

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you will have access to this course for 1 year


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Vocal Improvisation

Learn to improvise and expand your repertoire of musical phrases

In this course you will learn how to gain more freedom for embellishing melodies and broaden your repertoire of musical phrases. With a deeper level of harmonic and melodic awareness and you will enlarge your freedom of expression and make your songs more personal. And all of this makes it more fun to improvise! 

You will be learning how to put fundamental skills into practice and how to improve your listening skills. In this course we will work with basic exercises, using tools like the major, minor harmonic and minor aeolian scales. We’ll practice these scales by singing intervals and sequences, thereby getting to know the sound of each scale.
By the end of this course you will have an improved awareness of what happens around you in a ‘performance setting’, you’ll be more in control, and you’ll have a better understanding of the music you hear.

Furthermore we will be working on the swing-feel versus the straight-feel. For example, what is the difference in their sound, theory, and feeling? There will be various exercise involving singing in both feels, as well as alternating between the two in order to strengthen your rhythmic awareness. This course is suited for singers, professional and amateur, jazz, pop or classically trained and instrumentalists who like to scat. Some level of theoretical understanding could come in handy, such as knowledge of the circle of fifths, major- and minor scales and degrees on a major scale, 7th chords and chord-symbols.


Videos: 1,5 hours

Skill Level: Beginners-Intermediate

Backing Tracks:  10 Backing tracks especially recorded for this course

Language: English

Get personal video feedback every week and earn a certificate from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam: Visit the Course page!


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How it works:

The course is a series of related video lessons, each structured around a specific topic or topics. By the end of this course, you will have developed a strong sense of direction in your daily study routine.

Weekly video lessons
after joining the course, you will be able to view a new video lesson weekly. Each video lesson consists of:

Examples that musically define the sound of the topic you are studying in each video

A study routine section in which we first discuss how to study the specific topic of each lesson. We will then play several exercises specially written to show you how to structure your daily study routine

Assignments that will help you consolidate and practice what you have learned in each video.

Weekly assignments
After each lesson, you will be asked to study, practice and then video record yourself playing an assignment which may consist of several exercises. When ready, you submit the video of your assignment. The process of having to record yourself every week, significantly helps to internalise the material discussed in this course - quickly and naturally.

Weekly feedback: This function is only available in the "course" mode.

Certificate: This function is only available in the "course" mode.


Content of this course:

Lesson 1

The major scale, exercises, degrees and improvisation 


Lesson 2

Going to the 4th degree, trading, analysis, improvisation and exercises. I–II–V-IV. Bb major and Eb major 


Lesson 3

Phrasing and rhythm, straight feel, swing feel and combinations. Triplets and bossa and finally rhythms and melody 

Lesson 4

Minor scales. Aeolian minor, harmonic minor, exercises, degrees and improvisation 


Lesson 5

Going to the 6th degree. Practicing scales, degrees and improvisation. 

II-V-VI progressions and improvising over the dominant chord. Combinations