How long should I practice Exercise 2 before moving on to Exercise 3?

Hey David,

I am totally immersed in your system and find that Exercise 2 will keep me busy for the next few months. I practice IFR every day for about one hour. What comfort level should I hope to achieve in Exercise 2 before trying to attempt Exercise 3?


David's response:

Hi Karan,

This is an interesting question because the harmonic material itself doesn't change when we move from Exercise 2: Melody to Exercise 3: Pure Harmony. All we're doing is adding the concept of chord notes. So this is the level when we begin working with chords and chord progressions.

But these chords are built from the same seven harmonic environments that you were already studying in Exercise 2. So when you're practicing at the level of IFR Exercise 3, you're also reviewing everything you learned in IFR Exercise 2.

Because the Exercise 2 concepts are still present in your Exercise 3 practice, this transition isn't one of "moving on" but rather going deeper. For this reason, it's totally up to you to decide when you would like to add this additional richness to your practicing.

My personal advice would be to spend at least a couple of months working at the level of Exercise 2 before moving on to Exercise 3. But you don't have to torture yourself with the question of whether you have really "mastered" the seven harmonic environments before adding the chord notes, because your work with the chord notes will actually strengthen your mastery of the seven harmonic environments that we study in Exercise 2.

I would just encourage you to wait because there is no reason to rush in life. There are some very nice things that you can discover in Exercise 2 and I think it's much more beautiful and exciting to make these discoveries before complicating your life with new concepts. So in general, I would always encourage you to take your time and enjoy each moment.

Here is a lesson video on how to study the seven harmonic environments creatively that will give you some great ideas to explore in your practicing. This is how you can really get the most from your Exercise 2 practice.

Happy jamming!