IFR blog > Practice tips > Developing your ear
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?

How to recognize a song's tonal center

If I identify a particular note as the tonal center of a song, how can I tell if it's note 4 (for example) of one particular scale or note 1 of another?

Hopeless at ear training

I have always had a terrible ear and I feel that it's preventing me from making the most of your method. There seem to be just two sorts of musicians: the ones who can play by ear and the ones who just can't. Can you help me?

Should you listen to one particular instrument to recognize chords by ear?

To recognize chords by ear, is it helpful to listen to one particular instrument or should we be listening for something else?

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.

Which harmonic environments should an improviser learn first?

Should I study the most important harmonic environments first? Or is it better to study all seven harmonic environments in order?

Demo of exercise from Understanding Begins with Listening

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