IFR blog > Practice tips > Creating a new music practice > 2 5 1 ear training workout

2-5-1 ear training workout

In this video we are going to train our ear together, singing the tonal numbers over the famous 2-5-1 chord progression. This is the most important chord progression in jazz music and it also appears in pop, rock, blues and other styles. Sing along and explore these beautiful sounds creatively with me!

In this video we will explore the 2-5-1 chord progression melodically in three levels:

Level 1 - Melody Paths (only chord notes): This is an exercise from the Improvise for Real method where we create linear melodies connecting chord notes across a progression. This singing exercise will help you learn to hear the chord changes melodically, meaning that you'll learn to hear the beautiful chord notes that are available to you at each moment in your improvising.

Level 2- Free melodic improvisation (all the notes of the scale): We create melodies using all the notes of the scale, not just the chord notes. The goal is to explore the unique and special sounds that the other notes of the scale create over this chord progression, and how we can use them to create tension and release in our melodies.

Level 3 - Outside notes: In this final exercise, we sing beautiful melodies that include notes from outside the key of the music. We will explore all five outside notes that we have available to us: #1/b2, #2/b3, #4/b5, #5/b6, #6/b7. These outside notes create beautiful tensions and bluesy sounds that I think you are going to like very much.

For this exercise, we are using a jam track from lesson 6 of IFR Jam Tracks Level 3: Pure Harmony Advanced. This course includes 15 beautiful chord progressions with a special focus on the 2-5-1 chord progression, building progressively to help you master this important sequence of chords.

Download “Improvise for Real” and begin YOUR creative journey today!

The complete “Improvise for Real” method is available as a 250 page illustrated e-book and jam tracks which you can download and use on any smartphone, tablet or computer. Just click the link below to begin enjoying a fun and creative daily practice that will show you how music and harmony really work. Discover your own musical creativity and play the music inside you!

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