IFR blog > Practice tips
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?

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?

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?

Q&A - How music should I practice?

An IFR student asks how much he needs to practice to be successful with the IFR method.

Q&A - Are the IFR harmonic environments the modes?

Are the seven harmonic environments that we're studying in IFR Exercise 2 the same thing as the "modes"?

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?

The relationship between technique and creativity

Instrument technique and improvisation are two practices that feed one another: we need technical skills to be able to express ourselves creatively, and when we improvise we put into practice and consolidate our technical skills.

IFR video lesson: Melody Paths

In this video I'll teach you how to understand any chord progression using the IFR technique 'Melody Paths'. This exercise will enable you to weave your own melodies across the chord changes.

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?