IFR blog > Practice tips > Unlocking your creativity
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?

Finding your own voice vs. transcribing solos

I see the importance of knowing the sounds from the tonal map and being able to sing what you play. However, isn't improvisation also a matter of transcribing other artists' music to absorb the "feel" and "time" they have?

 Modal improvisation demonstration

This is a demonstration of some of the sounds we can create with IFR Exercise 2: Melody. Throughout this entire modal improvisation, both musicians are using just seven notes.

Is there a "method" for using the major scale in a melodic way?

I am wondering if there is a "method" for using the major scale in a melodic way rather than playing the scale notes randomly?

How to play what you hear - 5 great exercises

Here are five great improvisation exercises that all work together to help you learn to play what you hear.

Jeremy Chapman on musical creativity

This great Ted Talk by Jeremy Chapman offers many surprising insights about musical creativity. His talk includes improvisation with the audience and guest musicians, and he even mentions Improvise for Real about halfway through the talk.

Exploring the outside notes

In this excerpt from the IFR Jump Start program, Jelske Hoogervorst offers ideas about how to begin experimenting with outside notes in your improvisations.

The universal musical mind

Bill Evans was a visionary artist who made an enormous personal contribution to our modern concept of jazz piano. And yet at the same time, he believed that ALL human beings have an innate understanding of music.