What is Scat Singing?

Feb 12, 2024 | Singing

What is Scat Singing?

 
 

Scat singing is a vocal style that originated in jazz music in the early 20th century. It involves improvisation of nonsensical syllables and sounds, creating a unique and expressive vocal style. Scat singing is a challenging and creative way to showcase a singer’s vocal abilities, and it has become a beloved tradition in many genres of music.

 
 

Scat singing began in the 1920s with jazz artists like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway. The style quickly caught on, and many other jazz musicians began incorporating scat singing into their performances. The nonsensical syllables and sounds are often used to imitate the sounds of instruments, and scat singers often create complex and intricate rhythms and melodies.

 

One of the most famous scat singers of all time is Ella Fitzgerald. Her virtuosic scat singing can be heard on many of her recordings, including “How High the Moon” and “Mack the Knife.” Fitzgerald’s scat singing was known for its incredible speed and accuracy, as well as her ability to improvise complex melodies and rhythms.

Scat singing has since spread to other genres of music, including blues, R&B, and rock. In the 1950s and 60s, scat singing became particularly popular in vocal jazz groups, such as Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. The group’s intricate vocal arrangements often featured scat singing as a way to create a unique and exciting sound.

 

Today, scat singing remains an important part of jazz music and has also influenced many contemporary artists. Singers like Bobby McFerrin and Al Jarreau have continued to innovate with scat singing, creating new and exciting sounds that push the boundaries of the genre.

 
 
 
 

Learning to scat sing requires practice, creativity, and a good sense of rhythm. Scat singers need to be able to improvise melodies and rhythms on the spot, often in response to the other musicians in the band. They also need to have a good sense of timing and be able to stay on beat even while improvising complex rhythms.

Scat singing is a unique and challenging vocal style that has become a beloved tradition in jazz and other genres of music. Whether you are a seasoned musician or just starting out, scat singing is a fun and exciting way to explore your vocal abilities and push the boundaries of your creativity.

 

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