IFR blog > Practice tips > Creating a new music practice > How long to spend in each harmonic environment
The IFR method for guitar

Improvise for Real is about learning to play what you hear. You'll learn to understand the sounds in the music all around you and to improvise with complete freedom in any musical situation.

Exploring the 3rd harmonic environment

In this excerpt from the IFR Jump Start Program, Jelske Hoogervorst demonstrates a series of creative activities that we use to study each harmonic environment of the major scale.

Best way to analyze standards in a minor key

Most songs over which I want to improvise normally have just one concrete environment, so it might be easier to name the notes as starting from note 1 rather than from a note of the parent key. Do you think it's necessary to alway connect back to the parent key?

How do I get started in IFR?

I have heard a lot of good things about IFR. I want to begin practicing the method but I'm not sure where to start. Can you tell me what materials I need?

Be yourself and discover your own music!

The whole reason we are drawn to improvising is because it offers the promise of complete creative freedom. So isn't it ironic that the first thing we do with this freedom is to look for licks and formulas so we can sound exactly like everybody else?

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 over the years and I'm totally confused. 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?

Practice in all keys or master one at a time

Is it better to start each improvisation exercise from a random note on our instrument? Or is it better to stay in one key until we've mastered it?

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?

Visualizing the tonal map on the trumpet

I have been practicing the IFR exercises for half a year and it's great how I am progressing! One of my obstacles is that I still imagine notes and lines from a music staff instead of the tonal numbers. Is there any way to switch from one image to the other?