IFR blog > Practice tips > Developing your ear
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?

Which ear training course should I choose?

"I love the IFR approach to ear training! I would like to purchase one of your ear training video courses, but how can I decide which course might be more appropriate for me: Ear Training for Musical Creativity or Recognizing Chords by Ear? And can I take them both at once?"

Melody Paths with 6-, 5D, 4, -3

In this video we will sing Melody Paths together across the chord progression 6-, 5D, 4, 3-. This progression goes down in scale degrees, using only natural chords from the major scale, so we are not introducing any notes or chords from outside the key.

Learning to recognize chords by ear

Sometimes I have to listen to a chord progression between 5-10 times before I can recognize the chords. Is this normal? Or should I be able to do this instantly?

Intervals vs. tonal ear training

In this video I demonstrate why tonal ear training is so much more powerful than listening for intervals, especially over long or complex chord progressions.

Listening activity: Recognizing the chords in popular songs

This listening activity will help you learn to recognize chord progressions by ear. We have put together a list of beautiful popular songs that use the exact same chords that you're studying in IFR Jam Tracks Levels 2 and 3.

Melody Paths with chords 6-, 4, 1, 5D

In this video we are going to train our ear together with the famous chord progression 6-, 4, 1, 5D. First, we'll sing the roots to make sure we can feel the chord changes. Then we'll practice the ear training exercise Melody Paths, singing melodies connecting chord notes across the chord progression.

How to build a strong sense of tonal orientation

"When I'm practicing Seven Worlds, sometimes I lose my orientation and I can't feel the tonal center anymore. So for example note 2 doesn't feel like home anymore. Instead my ear keeps wanting to resolve to note 1. Do you have any tips for this?"

Finding the key of the music by ear

In this video demonstration with tenor sax and piano, we demonstrate how IFR students are able to instantly find the key of the music by ear.

Demo of exercise from Understanding Begins with Listening

This is a demonstration of the singing activity from the chapter ‘Understanding Begins with Listening’ from Improvise for Real. It's the first step to learning to recognize both chords and melodies by ear.