IFR blog > Practice tips
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.

IFR video lesson: Demystifying chord extensions

In this video we will demystify 9th chords, 11th chords and 13th chords and you'll see how simple these chords really are. I'll also try to show you that you are actually already producing these sounds in your music all the time, even if you don't realize it.

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?