Introduction to Tonal Centers – Improvise for Real method for Saxophone

June 8, 2013

ImproviseForReal·34 videos

For the complete method, please visit

This video explains the concept of a “tonal center” and demonstrates how we can create seven totally different harmonic worlds with just the seven notes of the major scale. Try the exercise yourself and post any comments or questions below!

(Full description follows.)

Improvise for Real offers a surprising vision of modern harmony that brings together the entire world of chords and harmony onto a single “tonal map” that you can visualize and play anywhere on your instrument. For many people, Improvise for Real is the key that enabled them to finally understand harmony and to really enjoy improvising.

In this video we demonstrate how the seven notes of the major scale can actually create a wide variety of harmonic moods, some of which sound very jazzy and “minor”. The notion that these moods are based on a “minor scale” is a myth. All of these sounds come directly from the major scale, and understanding this is the key to understanding almost everything you hear in the music all around you.

These video demonstrations are designed to accompany the book “Improvise for Real” which contains the complete method. The method guides the student through creative exercises that empower the student to explore and discover the beautiful world of modern harmony and to improvise “for real”, without relying on patterns, licks or formulas.

If you would love to be able to understand any piece of music by ear, and to improvise your own solos with complete confidence in any musical situation, then please visit and join the IFR community!