Introduction to Melodic Improvising

Introduction to Melodic Improvising

In this 12 week online workshop you will learn to play your own spontaneous melodies and improvise together with other musicians, and you'll learn how to practice in a way that will boost your musical creativity.


12 week workshop: Introduction to Melodic Improvising

Would you like to be able to improvise spontaneously whenever you hear music? Would you like to be able to play music with others the same way you have a conversation: naturally, effortless, full of fun? Would you like to break out of your habitual routines and create new music every time you play?

Workshop begins April 15, 2022.

In this 12 week online workshop you will learn to improvise your own spontaneous melodies along with jam tracks and with other musicians, and you'll learn how to practice in a way that develops your musical creativity. There will be lots of interaction with fellow students and you will receive the personal feedback and help you need to get off to the best possible start in the Improvise for Real method.

Open to all instruments and improvisation levels. Beginners welcome!

This workshop is open to all instruments and improvisation levels. Our focus will be on improvising melodic solos over jam tracks and also creating unaccompanied melodic improvisations on your own. We won't be talking about comping chords (for guitar players and pianists), but all instruments are invited to join us for a deep dive into the art of playing beautiful solos.

12 weekly video lessons - yours to keep forever

Every week you'll receive a new video lesson that you can watch at your own convenience. We use video lessons instead of live sessions to make the course easily adaptable to your schedule. You will play with IFR Jam Tracks Levels 1 & 2, and you will receive many audio examples as well. Each lesson contains very clear homework assignments so you know exactly what to practice. You will explore the seven harmonic environments and improvise over your first chord progressions. You'll also learn how to play chords on your melodic instrument (even brass and woodwinds) so that you can improvise without a jam track. You will even jam with your fellow students and you will learn musical strategies to create different improvisations every time. There are also mastery level exercises for more experienced improvisers.

Immediate benefits to your playing:

  • Learn to orient yourself by ear in the key of the music when you are jamming with friends.
  • Understand how harmony flows through chord progressions and weave your own melodies through the chords.
  • Master all the notes of our musical system so you can go beyond pentatonic scales and other patterns.
  • Learn how to create melodic tension and release when you improvise.
  • Learn how to build chords and create harmony on your melodic instrument so you can improvise without a jam track.
  • Learn how to break through your musical routines and change your improvisation each time you play.
  • Play directly from your musical imagination when you are improvising, expressing the sounds you hear in your mind on your instrument.
  • Create a solid foundation to continue your practice with my sequel courses that focus on jazz improvisation.

How is this course different from other improvisation courses?

Learn through your own direct experience. Instead of telling you what to play to sound good, in this course you'll be learning through your own direct experience. The sounds are presented in a step by step, progressive order so that you can master each one and add it to your personal vocabulary. You will be improvising your own music with these sounds right from the start, using your ears and developing your inner voice.

Learn in a creative, musical context. In IFR, we always practice in the context of real music. We use very simple but very effective exercises to play in different harmonic contexts. We will use jam tracks that are fun to practice with, and the course includes many musical examples to illustrate each harmonic concept.

Learn to tell musical stories and boost your creativity. Improvising is a very personal way of making music. You can recognize great improvisors immediately by their personal style. How did they develop that? I will teach you how to tell powerful musical stories with just a few notes. Instead of overwhelming you with a lot of musical material, we will use simple harmonic situations so that you can focus on your own creative expression. In this course you will learn how to add creative exercises to your practice that will strengthen your creative muscles and deepen your artistic awareness.

Learn from other students. You are not alone! The entire group will be a source of motivation and inspiration for you, and your fellow students will help you stay on track. You can ask questions, exchange ideas and listen to each other's recordings of the exercises. You will be challenged to create co-productions together, which feels like jamming together in the same room.

My own coaching and feedback. Throughout the entire course, I will answer your questions and listen to recordings of your playing. I will give you personalized advice and ideas to explore in your practicing and I will challenge your creative development.

Testimonials from past students

"I have loved and enjoyed it immensely, and it has enabled me to think and more importantly to feel about my music making in a new and exciting way.  It has been a musical transformation for me. Even my wife and daughter have commented how much my playing has changed and improved. Praise indeed!" - Martin Vincent (saxophone, United Kingdom)

"Jelske's feedback on samples of my playing was extremely valuable. Jelske is a great teacher. I would definitely recommend this course to others who are seeking to acquire the skills of jazz improv. The tonal approach, among other things, opens up great possibilities and changes one's perspective to improv." - Larry Silberstein (clarinet, United States)

"I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn the art of improvisation. I feel like I could ask any question and Jelske would respond with a very thorough answer. It’s like having access to a master coach! I am now more connected to how harmony flows through the major scale and I am making progress on my instrument as far as hearing ideas in my head and executing them on the guitar." - Mark Margolies (guitar, United States)

"This is the only course about improvisation that really gets you to improvise from the start. Using your ears and developing your inner voice, without music theory interfering. Jelske gives very good personalized feedback. I can honestly say that Jelske is the best teacher I have come across." - Eef van der Burg (saxophone, Netherlands)

Pricing and scheduling

  • Course begins Friday, April 15, 2022. (You don't have to be available on this Friday. You can watch the video lessons anytime and participate during the week.)
  • 12 week online course runs from April 15 through July 8, 2022.
  • Total cost = $450.
  • Price includes all course materials (lesson videos, practice tracks, etc.) as well as my personal feedback on your recordings, plus unlimited access to our student community.

Self-study option also available

Would you prefer to take "Introduction to Melodic Improvising" on your own? For full details on this option, just click here.

We invite you to join us!

If you have any questions about the workshop, just send me an e-mail at and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Just click the "Add to Cart" button to reserve your place now!