IFR blog > Practice tips
Ear Training for Musical Creativity

Imagine being able to listen to a song and recognize every note of the melody by ear. What would that do for your musical creativity and improvising? In this 10-week workshop you will learn how to develop this ability, adding a whole new creative dimension to your improvisation practice.

IFR video lesson: How to master harmony

In this video I'll teach you an organized system for mastering harmony using our three integrated creative practices: improvising, composing and listening.

The universal musical mind

Bill Evans was a visionary artist who made an enormous personal contribution to our modern concept of jazz piano. And yet at the same time, he believed that ALL human beings have an innate understanding of music.

What's the best approach to ear training?

I have tried many different methods of ear training. I have tried interval recognition apps, functional ear training and even a perfect pitch course. But I have yet to recognize a single note when listening to real music! Can you give me any guidance?

Modal improvisation jam with tenor sax and upright bass

Enjoy this great jam in the 5th harmonic environment recorded at the iconic jazz club Robadors 23 in Barcelona, Spain.

What makes IFR different?

Improvise for Real is now being used by both students and teachers in more than 20 countries. The method has been described as a totally different way to learn about music and improvisation. But what makes it so different?

Q&A - Hear notes relative to key or chord?

To understand music by ear, should we try to hear each note relative to the chord of the moment or relative to the overall key of the song?

Finding your own voice vs. transcribing solos

I see the importance of knowing the sounds from the tonal map and being able to sing what you play. However, isn't improvisation also a matter of transcribing other artists' music to absorb the "feel" and "time" they have?

The four advantages of the tonal point of view

Learning to think relative to the key of the music is the most important thing you can do to accelerate your music learning. This article explains four immediate benefits to your music practice from adopting the tonal point of view.

The relationship between technique and creativity

Instrument technique and improvisation are two practices that feed one another: we need technical skills to be able to express ourselves creatively, and when we improvise we put into practice and consolidate our technical skills.