IFR blog > Practice tips
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Special message for beginners

This is a special lesson for beginners to musical improvisation. I'll show you how you can begin improvising right now as a creative and exciting part of your daily music practice.

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.

Animation Video - How Music Works, part 1

This animated video for beginners explains the first step to understanding how songs are made.

IFR Exercise 1 Daily Meditation with half steps on tenor sax

For IFR students practicing Exercise 1: Landscape, this is a demonstration of the Exercise 1 Daily Meditation. Miguel 'Pintxo' Villar demonstrates the exercise on the tenor saxophone using the interval of a half step.

IFR video lesson: How to master harmony

In this video I'll teach you an organized system for mastering harmony using our three integrated creative practices: improvising, composing and listening.

Modal improvisation with tenor sax and upright bass

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 singing the tonal numbers a crutch?

I play the guitar and in order to avoid getting lost on the fretboard I say the numbers of the scale out loud. So I literally say "1, 2, 3" etc out loud as I'm playing. Will this be like a crutch in the future where I can't move around unless I count the notes?

IFR Exercise 1 Daily Meditation with whole steps for soprano sax

For IFR students practicing Exercise 1: Landscape, this is a demonstration of the Exercise 1 Daily Meditation. Marina Vallet demonstrates the exercise on the soprano saxophone using the interval of a whole step.

There is always time to practice!

Even with just a few minutes per day you can still have a deep and meaningful connection with music. Your pleasure and satisfaction aren't necessarily about "how long you practice" but about how completely you allow yourself to get lost in the experience.