Disadvantages of the Metronome
Counting Out Loud
In addition to counting as above, there are various ways of vocalising as you play, or just before you play a passage. If you are able, you can sing using the actual pitches, perhaps on a “lah”, or “tah” syllable. For a better result, we can borrow a technique from jazz singers - scat singing. In scat singing, we can use any sounds we like, they don’t need to have any meaning. Traditionally, jazz singers use nonsense syllables such as ”doo”, ”dah” or “bah” for longer notes, percussive ones such as “dit” or “bop” for shorter ones, ”dooby”, ”dooby-doo”, and so on for faster groups. There really are no rules for this. The beauty of scat improvisation is that you don’t have to plan in advance which sounds you’re going to use, anything that comes out will be fine! Once you get over the initial self consciousness, you will be able to vocalise freely at the piano. Your voice becomes an instrument, and you don’t need any vocal training or singing skills whatever. One last but important thing – don’t worry about being on pitch. You can vocalise the precise pitches if you are able but this is not at all necessary. The important thing is to get the rhythm exact, reflecting the energy and the dynamic of the music through your voice. If you can get the rough shape of the line so much the better. Some response to the ups and downs in pitch is enough.