IFR blog > Practice tips > Developing your ear
Melody Paths with chords 1, 6-, 2-, 5D

This is a practice video for Improvise for Real students who want to understand and internalize the chord progression 1, 6-, 2-, 5D. First, we will understand the role of each chord in the progression, and then we will practice ear training with the Melody Paths exercise.

How to recognize melodies by ear using the key of the music

In this video you'll learn the most important technique for recognizing songs and melodies by ear. The technique is to focus on the path that the melody traces through the overall key of the music.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 which note of the major scale it is (e.g. note 4)?

Why nursery rhymes are great ear training for improvisers

I'm currently singing and playing short tunes like nursery rhymes, hymns, etc. The way I do it is that I will play a tune only once and try to make my best attempt at playing the correct notes the very first time. Is this approach a good one?