What you’ll need:
- At least one other crazy fiddler, preferably as many as you can gather.
- Your smart device
- Ellen’s “Heads Up” app (iOS | Android)
- Your instruments
Ellen’s “Heads Up” has been around for a few years now, so chances are most people have seen a game or two. For a fun way to quiz yourself and your friends on your tune list, create your own game in the app and list as many tunes and songs that you can think of (that you can play). You could pass the phone around and have your friends add their tunes too. Basically, you want lots of tunes on the list!
One person holds the phone while everyone else plays the tunes that the phone displays. The person holding the phone has to correctly call (shout) the title as quickly as the tune is recognized, then tilt the phone down for the next title to appear and for the jammers to start playing. If the person can’t name the tune, she or he tilts the phone up for a pass and a new tune title.
I like this version because it’s a great way to listen in a crazy environment. The jammers have to listen to each other to play at the same tempo (basically just jumping on to the tune wherever the first/loudest player is playing) so the person holding the phone can hear a cohesive melody. The jammers have to think fast to remember the tunes- no kick offs, no announcing the keys, just play! And the person holding the phone has to remember titles- a hard challenge for lots of people!
Sit in a circle and pass the phone after your turn. This is difficult with instruments. So instead, everyone has to sing/lilt the tunes! Since most people don’t have perfect pitch, people start belting out the tune in various keys and it can sound like cacophonous babbling. The person with the phone who is trying to guess the tune title has a hard and hilarious job. So listen hard, then quick! pass the phone!
After you’ve played with the app, all these tunes will have been given a jumpstart, but then stopped quickly to play the first phrase of another tune. So make sure you Head Off to a proper jam session after all the silliness and have fun really playing the tunes.