This is a great game to liven up any show. Irish Drinking Song – or IRISH JIG as we call it at Family-Friendly shows and Improv 4 Kids – features the entire team sharing verses and working together to create rhyme schemes.
Scroll down the blog to find
HISTORY OF THE JIG
SHEET MUSIC for Jig in F
LEARNING HOW TO RHYME
DIRECTING JIG – Tricks & Tips
MORE VIDEO EXAMPLES from Live Shows
The Jig is a popular folk dance musical form starting from 1600s England. In modern times it is most commonly known as an Irish or Scottish form, but in the Baroque and Classical periods it was popular throughout Europe, even with serious composers using it for the final movement in many composition. Musically the tune is felt in 2 almost like a march, but subdivided into a bouncy triple (6/8 Time Duple Tr). Be careful about going to fast, as this song can get away from you if not careful. (Duple Compound Meter) – WIKI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jig
This song can be played in any key. Below is the basic melody and chords in the Key of F. Easy mild key for most singers and piano. Our guitarists usually play the song in E. Although I think G keeps the song crisper a minor third higher. But some singers find G pushes their top notes unnecessarily. In rehearsal experiment to find what works best for your singers and musicians.
After MC gets the selection, the players and musician sing/play introduction – which also becomes the chorus.
Repeat the Jig chorus pattern twice at beginning and end of song. Just once between verses.
INTRO: CHORUS x 2
A) Player One introduces first phrase
B) Player Two sets up the first rhyme
C) Player Three furthers the story
B) Player Four ends phrase by rhyming with Player Two.
A – B – C – B Rhyme Scheme – Fourth line rhymes with the second
A) Player Two introduces first phrase
B) Player Three sets up the first rhyme
C) Player Four furthers the story
B) Player One ends phrase by rhyming with Player Three.
A) Player Three introduces first phrase
B) Player Four sets up the first rhyme
C) Player One furthers the story
B) Player Two ends phrase by rhyming with Player Four.
A) Player Four introduces first phrase
B) Player One sets up the first rhyme
C) Player Two furthers the story
B) Player Three ends phrase by rhyming with Player One.
CHORUS x 2 and stretch out last chorus for final round.
LEARNING HOW TO RHYME
As with anything PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
To rhyme in a game like Irish jig you need have a perfect blend of focus and open minded energy. If it is your time to rhyme at the end of a phrase, tune into the set-up player with 100% focus.
Anytime you get a given, our minds go into brainstorm mode. Your off stage about to start the game, you think of all there is to know about the given subject. You then throw that out and use it as needed based on the YES ANDS you and your partner exchange.
Same deal in Irish Jig, or any song. In this game you can only think ahead so much. Once you hear the title / suggestions for the song, think of a short list. THEN the second you hear your set up rhyme, throw out 3-4 options. But right away listen to the offer given by the middle player before randomly adding your 2 cents.
Over time your mind will think faster and faster, and when in doubt your bag of tricks will grow over time as well.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Especially at the beginning. Limit your team to using one syllable words. Think Dr Seuss.
Hop, Pop, Top, Stop, Mop, Plop, Flop, Bob
Me, He, She, We, Free, See, Sea, Tea, Tee, Gee, Bee, Fee, Flea, Key, Pea, Tree
May, Pay, Pray, Prey, Tray, Bay, Hey, They
Toe, Bow, Crow, Row, Doe, Foe, Go, Hoe, Mow, Know, Sew, Woe
There are 100’s if not 1000’s of options. Start with these then constantly expand your base knowledge. I always say the best way to learn Improv is to think like a five year old.
REMEMBER you are a team. You want to set your team mate up to look good. For a more experienced player that means CHALLENGE THEM. But if they mess up because you threw them a hard rhyme, that is as much your responsibility.
WORK TOGETHER. PLAY TOGETHER> GROW TOGETHER!!!
SETTING UP END RHYME
Whether setting up your partners in Jig or yourself in a Blues or other song style requiring rhyme, here is a little trick that will help you every time.
When you think of a great thing to sing about. Leave that for the final rhyme and work your way to that great end.
When you throw out a great line early, you are left scrambling on how to top it and bring it back around for a closing rhyme.
Much easier to have that “GEM” for your big finish, and find a way to get there.
DIRECTING THE SCENE
Tips & Tricks to sell this game
Usually a big finish works best, so if your team is new to music, perhaps put your best singer/rhymer at the player three position, so that the final rhyme rocks.
Get the team to uniformly make the drinking gestures. In our show, we add a little dance and Broadway style pose at the end for a button. But we live Off Broadway, so a more club style show may find that “showy”. Again we always go for the big ending.
I love great singing, but remember this is comedy and theater first. Sometimes great singing does not always produce great diction. In these games, the words are more important than the notes. So if you or a team mate is struggling with the music, SPEAK SING. Get your words out and set up your players. One of my favorites at this is Colin Mochrie. Whenever they do music on WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY, Colin stands out as a non-singer but usually the funniest. Sometimes the better singers sound great but there comedy is OK at best. A nice blend makes a great musical Improv performance.
Irish Jig from a Live show
at the Broadway Comedy Club
See live improv every Saturday 3 & 8pm at the Broadway Comedy Club, 318 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019.
CLICK HERE for $10 discount tickets (reg $25)
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