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.

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.

The power of direct experience

You may have heard that you need to understand a lot of music theory in order to improvise. But what if it's the other way around? That might sound confusing at first, but I believe that getting clear about this could potentially save you YEARS of frustration and wasted time.

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?

IFR video lesson: Melody Paths

In this video I'll teach you how to understand any chord progression using the IFR technique 'Melody Paths'. This exercise will enable you to weave your own melodies across the chord changes.

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 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.