IFR blog > Practice tips
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IFR video lesson: 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.

IFR video lesson: Melody Paths

In this video I'll teach you how to understand any chord progression using the IFR exercise 'Melody Paths'. This is my favorite way to learn new chord progressions so I can weave melodies across the chord changes.

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.

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?

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.

The four advantages of the tonal point of view

Learning to think relative to the key of the music is the most important thing you can do to accelerate your music learning. This article explains four immediate benefits to your music practice from adopting the tonal point of view.

How to build a strong sense of tonal orientation

When I'm practicing Seven Worlds, sometimes I lose my tonal orientation and I can't feel the tonal center anymore. So for example note 2 doesn't feel like home anymore. Instead my ear keeps wanting to resolve to note 1. Do you have any tips for this?

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.

How quickly should an improviser advance?

I'm currently practicing the IFR exercise Seven Worlds and I'm not sure how much time I should spend in each harmonic environment before advancing to the next. Is there any guideline?