Making music is hard.
Whether you're experienced or not, it's easy to get stuck. The amount of theory, scales, and influences floating around in your head can be overwhelming. Sometimes, it feels impossible to know where to begin.
As a musician, I know what it's like. And when I reflected on my own experiences and talked to other musicians, I realized that I wasn't alone.
Improvisation is the most natural way to make music. Deep down, we are all improvisers. All creative people are.
But somehow, we forgot. And the result is that for many people, making music has become a source of fear and anxiety, rather than of joy and freedom.
I created Tonic because I think improvisation is something that all musicians can learn. Tonic helps open your mind and frees you of the need to sound "good." It has the power to change the way you connect to your instrument and make you a better musician today.
It’s for all musicians -- classical, jazz, rock, professional, beginner, young, or old. You can play it alone or with a group, and you don't need any experience.
Each card has an instruction that challenges you to create a short piece of music on the spot. Roll the dice to choose the pitches that you can use.
To play, shuffle the cards and follow the directions.
There is no score, and there are no losers. The point is to have fun and make music. Your success is measured by how free and fearless you feel when working through the exercises.
- There are no wrong notes.
- Always listen.
- Don't try to sound "good." This is a judgement-free zone.
- Have an open mind.
- Keep it simple.
- When in doubt, be bold.
- High quality poker-style cards on heavy card stock
- A sturdy and slim carrying box
- Three 12-sided black musical dice
- Instructions with definitions of musical terms
Some cards tell you what pitches to use. Others have time constraints. Some are for specific instruments. A few are visual. Some tell you to use your computer or phone. Some are meditative, and some are chaotic. Some are straightforward, and some are...a little odd.
Become the musician you've always wanted to be.
- Learn to create music from nothing. Start composing and improvising today in a low-stress and accessible way. Play music the way you’ve always wanted to-- without anxiety or fear.
- Break through creative blocks. Free yourself of the written page and tap deep into your subconscious to realize your full potential as an artist and performer.
- Cure performance anxiety. Practice making music with no safety net, and you will learn to trust yourself and develop confidence in your art. Tonic will help destroy stage fright in all its ugly forms.
- Train your ears. Without written notes to guide you, you’ll learn to truly listen. Maybe for the first time in your musical life. Tonic will develop your ear and help you translate the ideas in your head through your instrument.
- Historically, classical musicians were improvisers, but it's a lost art. Tonic is an easy entry point because it removes the variables and tells you exactly what to do.
- Build the confidence to play without written music and learn skills that will transfer to your classical studies.
- The problem with jazz education is that there is TOO MUCH information out there. Every book and every teacher has a different approach to improv and a new set of exercises for you to learn.
- Take a step back and approach music like a child again. Learn to forget about changes, tunes, and theory, and just play from a natural and confident place.
- Share with your students to encourage collaboration and critical thinking skills.
- Tonic is what I wish my teachers had when I was a student. It's a playful introduction to music for kids and grown-ups alike that also improves problem-solving and confidence.
- Works your idea muscle and will help spark fresh ideas for songwriting and solos.
- Push out of your comfort zone and towards exploring new sounds and ways to think about your instrument.
- Does not require any knowledge of music theory to play. All you need is basic knowledge of musical terms, which are explained in the instructions.
- Challenge yourself to see what you're capable of, relying only on the expressive potential of your own mind.
- Great gift item for all musicians. Best for high school age and older.
- An open-ended practice tool that musicians are free to use in their own way.
"Create a melody that fits the following chord progression: I - iv - V7 - I. Repeat until you run out of ideas."
- "Absolutely love the message of the game . . . You've turned a concept that is intimidating to so many people into something that's all about having fun and letting your mind run wild . . . I can see this game giving so many people the confidence to improvise while also making them good improvisers. Everyone wins." (1)
- "Love it! Great to see something like this focus on 'free' improvisation. " (2)
- "It's really hard to express to people how to improvise, even seasoned classical players, and this could be a fun game to get their feet wet." (3)
- "Really cool idea! I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into each card. Can't wait to get to my instrument to try this out." (4)
Risks and challenges
This project is ready to roll (dice pun). All the artwork and text are finished. What you see above is the final production sample. I have trusted manufacturers lined up and a streamlined supply chain.
I have professional experience in making physical products, and handling operations to ensure a timely delivery.
Problems always pop up-- flash floods, tornadoes, etc., but I've done everything possible to plan ahead and give myself extra time in case of delays.
And there is also the chance that we won't reach the funding goal. If this happens, I'll rework the project and figure out how to do it better.
This is a pretty simple product-- just paper and plastic. Because of this, the delivery time will be shorter than most campaigns. I expect to ship early orders in late September and the remainder in October.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)