Musical Fairy Tale
Hints for the musician
© 2001 David Schmoll
This is a demanding structure for the improv musician.  Itís all about how many styles you know (or can fake) and how quickly you can switch between them musically and technically. If youíre working with synths, know where your sounds are and be ready to pull them up in an instant; if youíre just using piano, be ready to get creative in a hurry in case you have to play in a normally synth-driven style like rap or techno.

Usually, you start an intro as soon as the proctor calls the style. However, the player may decide to do a parody of a specific song. If so, that person will signal the musician to wait and then begin singing a capella. Now you must figure out which song the player is going to parody, and what key the player is singing in, as quickly as possible (parodies are a double-edged sword. When they work, they rock, but when they tank, they tank BIG).

Listen as deeply and empathically as possible, make bold choices, and always act like you know exactly what youíre doing. Many players will be looking to you for guidance through their part of the story. Make sure these players know, by how you act and how you play, that you are right there with them, working as a team, even if you feel like you don't have a clue! If you project confidence in the work the two of you are doing together, the player will feel more comfortable in the style, resulting in a better performance overall.

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