I've always found listening to music the most instructive whenever I've wanted to grow as a player. It's how I developed my ear and my understanding of what's going on in any music I hear (though I certainly was also a serious theory student). But I trust my ear over any method of instruction, which is why this first "course" of mine steers clear of any theoretical stuff, and instead focuses on listening well and asking you to remember what you learn from your listening. Before there was music "theory" there was music "fact."

Learning how to use your ears to guide the music you make is unquestionably the single most important skill you need to develop as a musician. Ear IQ is a natural and intuitive approach for developing BIG ears and powerful improvisational skills. No unnecessary theoretical baggage - no tedious exercises… you’re going to listen, play, and learn to improvise your way through all of the material in the course.

In this edition of Ear IQ, Reactive Improvisation, we’ll focus your ears on chords, note choices and improvising over chord changes. In the first section, I’ll show you a straightforward and foolproof way to learn to play on chord changes. We’ll listen to progressions, listen to all the notes against the chords, create collections of notes to use in our improvising, and explore various techniques to use those collections to create fresh sounding solos that nail the changes.

In the second section, we’ll apply everything we learned in the first section to five new sets of chord changes. We’ll dig deep into each of these progressions, analyze the harmony, find the most useful collections of good sounding notes for each chord, and I’ll talk about some strategies that might be most effective in each case. I’ll also demonstrate the collections for each song and give you an improvised performance with the backing track.

Ready to grow some BIG ears? Grab your guitar and get reactive...