Recognizing Chords by Ear

Recognizing Chords by Ear

Imagine being able to listen to any song and recognize all of the chords by ear. You could instantly play these songs in any key on your instrument. And you could improvise your own solos at jam sessions without even having to ask what the chords are.


Recognizing Chords by Ear

Imagine being able to listen to any song and recognize all of the chords by ear. You could instantly play these songs in any key on your instrument. And you could improvise your own solos at jam sessions without even having to ask what the chords are. It would even demystify songwriting, because you could literally hear the chord progressions to your favorite songs.

This is exactly what you will learn in this course. Through step-by-step video lessons, audio practice tracks and creative exercises, you'll learn to recognize the most important chords in popular music by ear. You'll also learn a process that will enable you to keep growing in this ability for the rest of your life.

Open to all instruments

Everyone can learn to recognize chords by ear! This course is open to all instruments. Even if you play a melodic instrument that doesn't produce chords, our lessons and creative exercises will allow you to feel and experience each chord for yourself. Through a combination of video lessons, audio practice tracks and creative exercises for both your voice and your instrument, you will discover the unique sensation produced by each chord and you'll learn to recognize this sensation in the songs you hear.

Note: For this course you will need to be able to sing and recognize the notes of the major scale by ear. If you are new to the IFR method, we recommend that you first start with our video course Ear Training for Musical Creativity so that you can master these foundational skills.

Immediate benefits to your playing:

  • Play along with friends at parties and jam sessions without having to ask what the chords are.
  • Recognize the chords to your favorite songs and play them in any key on your instrument.
  • Gain a deeper appreciation for the beautiful chords you hear in the music all around you.
  • Discover how melodies and chord progressions work together so you can write your own songs.
  • Learn how to put your own chords to familiar melodies or to melodies that you compose yourself.

How is this course different from other ear training programs?

Learning in a musical context. Every step of the way, you'll be hearing these chords in beautiful songs and chord progressions. So the connection to real music is very present right from the start. This is one of the biggest complaints that musicians have about other ear training programs. They get better at identifying random sounds in the context of a quiz, but they still can't recognize anything in the songs they hear on the radio. So it's important to hear and study chords in the context of actual music, and that's what we do in this course.

Creativity. We believe that the best way to master harmony is to experience it first hand. So in addition to the listening and singing exercises, you'll also be jamming with your instrument and exploring all of these sounds very deeply. You'll be improvising with the chord notes, playing melodies that connect the chords together, and you'll even learn to improvise harmony parts to accompany a melody. (This is a great ability to have in a band!)

Organized path. This course will immerse you in the feeling of the chords gradually, so every lesson builds on the abilities gained in the previous one. The key to any ear training is to go very deeply into the first few sounds until you can distinguish between them easily. This not only gives you confidence ("Hey, I can do this!") but it also serves as a jumping off point for recognizing everything else.

Complete multimedia video course - 10 progressive units

Total flexibility

This course is divided into 10 units of progressive difficulty. At each step of the journey, you'll learn to hear the notes that make up each chord and you'll learn to recognize the unique feeling of each chord in relation to the overall key of the music. And with each lesson I’ll guide you through new creative exercises that will let you explore each chord for yourself so that you can truly make it yours.

Video lessons, audio lessons, creative exercises, song analysis and self-tests

  • Video lessons. We'll explore each chord deeply and I'll show you how to recognize it by ear.
  • Audio lessons. You'll learn to hear and sing the chord notes across chord changes.
  • Jamming exercises. You'll be jamming with your instrument over backing tracks to explore each chord deeply.
  • Harmonizing melodies. You'll experience putting different chords to melodies so you can hear their effects for yourself.
  • Song analysis. We will analyze famous songs together and identify the chords being played.
  • Self-tests. Special audio tracks to practice recognizing chords by ear in an easy, progressive way.

10 main video lessons

Song analysis videos

Supplemental lessons

What students say about this course:

"Awesome course if you want the most commonly used chords to sink down deep into your bones. It will really help you recognize chords by ear and to learn how to develop your skills on your own after the course."
Mike Leffler (guitar, United States)

"I am a beginner at this process of listening to chord changes. So this course was perfect for me. You couldn’t have done a better job teaching this. Your pace was ideal. Your videos, illustrations, pdf files, backing tracks, songs to listen to, couldn’t have been better."
John Young (piano, United States)

"IFR courses are so much deeper than simple ear training. Students are guided on a step-by-step exploration of aural harmony, studying not only the component sounds of each chord, but also how these chord tones function to push chords forwards in distinct progressions. Heightened harmonic awareness is then taken from relatively simple backing tracks to a playlist of fully arranged songs. With its focus on hearing harmony, and its comprehensive path from sound to song, Improvise for Real delivers the ear to living music, and is the foundation of a powerful musical education."
Steven Weiss (guitar, United States)

Learn from a professional musician and experienced teacher

IFR instructor Mireia

Mireia Clua is a professional violinist based in New York City and the co-founder of Improvise for Real. Mireia is the creator of the entire IFR ear training program including our "Sing the Numbers" audio course. She created all of the learning materials for this course and also her foundational course "Ear Training for Musical Creativity". She has personally taught hundreds of IFR students in live workshops, and she has more than 20 years of experience teaching music to both children and adults. Mireia is especially focused on creating a safe learning environment where each student feels respected, nurtured and encouraged.

Purchase the complete multimedia video course for $150

Just click on the “Add to cart” button below to purchase this complete course for $150. You can make your purchase with any major credit card and you can download all of the materials immediately after making your purchase. And if you don't agree that this course is the best investment you ever made in your ability to recognize chords by ear, just send us an e-mail within 60 days and we'll give you a full refund.