Tonic (Card Set)
Games for Music, CC BY

Tonic: The Card & Dice Game for Musicians is a music game written by Scott Hughes. The game went up on Kickstarter on July 14, 2015, and reached it’s goal four days later. It shipped on November 2, 2015.

The creator offers an official free downloadable version!

“Tonic helps musicians of all kinds become better improvisers and composers. It takes a fun, stress-free approach that doesn't depend on complicated theory or prior experience.”

According to Scott Hughes,

Improvisation is the most direct link between the music in your head and the music in your instrument. The purpose of Tonic is to strengthen that link. It does this by encouraging you to think unconventionally and playful about improvisation and about music, so that you can shed the anxiety and the stress that commonly keep people from learning to improvise. My hope is that this allows you to relax more and trust your gut, and will help you make better music. Tonic is a "game" only in the loosest sense of the word. There is no score, and there is no object. The point is to have fun, relax, and make music. Your success should be measured by how free and fearless you feel when working through these exercises. Print these cards on the heaviest weight paper you can find, and cut along the lines. Then just shuffle and go!

The game was originally made for the creator’s students. He then decided to share them with communities on Reddit where he received a positive response, which lead him crowdfunding physical copies. It's available as a deck of cards accompanied by a set of dice. Later Scott Hughes produced a line of variations to Tonic, such as a “Theory Edition”, another game, this time for ear training, “CopyCat”, and more.


Kickstarter page:

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