One time, my friends John Rice and Rebecca Rice, and I planned to get up early on a Sunday morning and have a listening party. We decided that we would listen to a piece by Arvo Part from start to finish. I couldn’t remember the last time I had sat down at home to listen to a classical piece with friends. What fun! If I remember right, after the piece was over, we had a little brunch in silence and then Rebecca picked up her Viola. John gathered his upright bass, and I my guitar, and somehow we ended up inventing this little game, which has ever since been one of my very favorites.
Choose some notes to play with, perhaps about 5 of them. A good first choice could be, for example, the D minor scale: D E F G A Bflat C D, but you could pick any notes that you want.
Someone starts to count out quarter notes with a foot or the like.
On each quarter note, each player chooses a note. Just like in the children’s game reauchambeau (rocks, paper, scissors) everyone makes a simultaneous choice of their note, without knowing what note the others might play.
Play Tee-Tee Notes until you are fluently playing melodies that harmonize and counterpoint one another.
As we played, Rebecca started taking liberties, jumping onto eighth notes, and then to whole notes. And then we started stealing each other’s parts from one another. Which became the next game, Tee Tee Note Thieves.