IFR blog > Practice tips
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?

How to build a strong sense of tonal orientation

"When I'm practicing Seven Worlds, sometimes I lose my 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?"

Learning to see your entire musical range at once

In Exercise 1 you describe "...looking down on this musical terrain from above..." Does this mean visualizing fingerings on your horn, notes on a staff, letters on a page or something else?

IFR modal improvisation exercise demonstration 'Seven Worlds'

For IFR students practicing Exercise 2: Melody, this is a demonstration of the exercise Seven Worlds in the sixth harmonic environment. Miguel 'Pintxo' Villar explores the harmonic environment on tenor sax.

Composing with a looper pedal

Are you curious about looping? In this video I'll show you how the looper pedal works and how easy it is to create your own loops with what you already know from your IFR practice.

IFR video lesson: Sound, map and instrument

In this free video lesson, I show you how you can learn to understand music by ear and to play the sounds you imagine using the "Sound, Map and Instrument" technique from Improvise for Real.

IFR video lesson: How to study the modes

In this video I teach you how you can study the modes creatively and learn to make your own music with these beautiful sounds.

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.

Hopeless at ear training

I have always had a terrible ear and I feel that it's preventing me from making the most of your method. There seem to be just two sorts of musicians: the ones who can play by ear and the ones who just can't. Can you help me?