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Thread: TEACHERS LOUNGE - Music Instruction and iReal pro

  1. #1

    Default TEACHERS LOUNGE - Music Instruction and iReal pro

    TEACHERS LOUNGE - Music Instruction and iReal pro

    Education Discount available:
    50% discount for Educational Institutions for the Mac version of iReal Pro when purchased directly from iReal pro.(minimum 10 licenses)

    Apple volume purchase (iOS) program for schools

    Music teachers, instructors, mentors....

    How are you using iReal pro with your students?
    Share your tips and tricks.
    Do you use a projector or big screen display for groups?
    How do you use iReal pro in the classroom?
    What works for you?

    What have your teachers done that have been most helpful for you?

    Join in the conversation here.

    Let's help each other better help our students.


  2. #2


    Posted previously by Admin:

    Here are some ideas

    - you can export audio files for students with ipods etc. (not MP3, only wav and aac export)

    - midi export, they can use it in Sibelius, Finale, midi player apps etc. for practice. If teaching piano or bass, they can analyze the voicings or bass lines.

    - use musicXML export (into Finale etc.) for further editing etc.

    - exercises, other users have posted some here:
    or make up your own

    - give them URLs or YouTube links to performances of songs they are learning in iReal b

    - add text at any measure for playing tips or ideas

    - any chart can be exported as a PDF or jpg which can be used on tablets, ipads, computers or printed. You could prepare a number of charts (and other notes) into a single PDF document for their lessons (PDFs can be imported into Kindles - or just printed!)

    - a 'song' could just be text (very limited use!) - New song, Blank … just type in the Text window, you will need to tap to the next system below. Slightly useful perhaps?

    If they have iReal Pro:
    - iReal Pro installs on the cheaper ipod touch and most android devices. Song files are compatible between devices, so you can send them songs or exercises for practice. You could use a specific 'name' in the composer field so it relates to you (easier for them to find the practice pieces you have created) and they can put them into a playlist; or create specific playlists with exercises in for different levels of students.

    - guitar, bass players can use a connector on their iPhone (iPod touch) like AmpKit iLink or iRig:
    then run iReal Pro in the background and have the guitar work through the effects pedals on a suitable app (lots of fun, as well as a way to get them to practice.)

    - they can use tap tempo to play along at different speeds; or set tempo at speeds you would like them to practice with (use text telling them the bpm in each song)

    - use the Practice feature (in the Player window) for tempo and/or key changes each chorus

    - use the scales or piano or guitar diagrams - in the Hub for reference or activated during (slow!) playback with each measure

    - use loop for practice - ideas, riffs, licks etc.

    - use different playback styles for fun

    - they can use iBooks (forscore, PDF viewer etc.) to view a PDF of exercises, notation, licks you have prepared and run iReal Pro player in the background

    - they could import the audio from iReal Pro, into a multitrack recording app (Garageband or similar), add their playing to it and email it to you for assessment

    There is both global transpose in Settings for setting the transposing instrument, then song transpose for each chart. The player always plays in concert key. You will need to be aware of this if you are preparing audio export or jpg/pdf export etc.

    I hope something here helps.
    Last edited by pdxdjazz; 12-18-2019 at 02:08 PM. Reason: updated app name to iReal Pro as it called now

  3. #3


    From Andyspianotips:
    By the way,
    If I wanted to organize a group of these for my students to download easily with 1 click (as I've done with Jazz 1300 / Pop 400), what's the best way to do that? (Secondly, if I included the files in a group on Facebook, is it easy enough for them to download it from there or is it much better to do it directly through the forums in the app?)

    Hi Andy,
    There are lots of ways to share iRp charts and playlists.
    You can use email, dropbox and other file storage/sharing services.
    You can post iReal pro chart files on your own website.

    You can start a *single* sandbox thread titled:
    Andyspianotips charts
    Then share the url of the thread (link) with your students.
    Remember, from time to time admin may delete sandbox posts.
    Use personal email, Dropbox, Drive, cloud, etc. to archive your iRp files and backup(s).

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Use of Record feature

    Using the built-in Record feature, teachers can get their students to submit their playing for evaluation; or teachers can make a quick recording of their playing so students can use it as a reference or inspiration.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2017


    I think I might be one of the few Jazz Cellists in the world,,, so Iím not good with improv. Any advice??

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Gboling View Post
    I think I might be one of the few Jazz Cellists in the world,,, so Iím not good with improv. Any advice??
    When someone just plays scales that some book says will work over certain's not musical.
    When you "think" your way through a tune, that's exactly what it sounds like.
    In order for improvised music to come out through your fingers, it needs to originate deep inside. The way it gets inside is through your ears.
    You will begin to play phrases and licks you've heard but aren't arent copying or "stealing". It's simply coming out.
    Then, listen some more.

    Begin to see music as a CHORD PROGRESSION instead of as a melody line.
    Look online for a mandolin chord chart.
    The note names are different but the CHORD SHAPES will apply to the cello.
    Explore these tunes:
    Try different styles and tempos. Try turning "Embellished Chords" on. Try turning the chord instrument off in the mixer, just playing with the bass and drums.
    Experiment. Take liberties with the timing and phrasing. Try adding harmonies.
    There are no wrong notes. Some notes just sound better than others.
    It's a process..............

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Gboling View Post
    I think I might be one of the few Jazz Cellists in the world,,, so I’m not good with improv. Any advice??
    There are a number jazz cellists you will find if you run a search. I'm sure you have already. Early on, I was very impressed with David Baker (jazz educator) when I saw him live. You presumably come from a classical background so you might like (or already know about) Yo Yo Ma and the diverse kinds of music he involves himself in (Silk Road project, Tango and playing with many jazz players) which shows him at least in improvisational settings. Also some of the well known bass players also played cello. (It must have been difficult because of the different string intervals!) And there are other jazz musicians playing (the traditionally classical) french horn, harp and bassoon for instance.

    Jazz players listen to other instruments other than their own, including jazz singers and saxophonists probably because of their historical influence (and their musianship) as the jazz language developed.

    As Bob has said, listen, because it is a large part of internalising the inflections and sound of jazz—the notes, the phrasing of the notes, and the way in which the notes and phrases are actually played or approached or ended, and how they relate to what the rhythm section is playing at the time. A soloist is always listening to the rhythm section, not only for timing, but there might be harmonic or rhythmic ideas coming from the other players, and they in turn are listening to them, accommodating the solo, supporting what the solo is doing, not getting in the way, but providing an appropriate backdrop. Unlike classical where the arrangement or the score is prescribed, in jazz (or improvisation) you are doing it instantly, but being aware of what else is happening with the other instruments as they play behind you is the same kind of concept as a composer (orchestrator or arranger) is doing at the time they write the notes for each instrument on their score.

    The technique of transcribing solos is absolutely vital, because it develops the ear as it becomes accustomed to the notes, the phrases and timing (silences in-between) and how they relate to the chords (slow ballads are good to start with).

    Often classical musicians will find notated jazz solos and try to replicate them as if it were a classical piece needing to be learnt. Unfortunately, this does not help much in them learning to improvise, because all that usually happens is that they can play someone's solo (with no reference to the internalised feeling the soloist had, no listening or reacting with the rhythm section). It would be similar to learning phrases in a foreign language without knowing what it means nor the background environment that evoked this phrase. (Yes, we have all studied and analysed notated solos, but the purpose in doing this is a little different.)

    One idea is to start simply with one or two chords (scales) and get comfortable with improvising with this. A popular recording is Miles Davis's Kind of Blue album which was based largely on modal improvisation. Using just a few chords for most of the pieces, you can hear the instrumentalists as they develop their solos, use the language of jazz and create wonderful phrases ... to create wonderful solos, all on those few chord progressions. Transcribing some of these solos where they have not been encumbered by complex scales and chords can be very useful.

    * Use Anytune Pro (or similar) for transcribing;

    * Create simple chord progressions as songs in iReal Pro or use loops to practice;

    * Practice your improvisation using both pizz and arco because the notes sound different (decay time) and may inspire you to choose different notes for your phrases or come up with different ideas;

    * If you become disheartened, find ways to become inspired instead. (When watching YouTube, practice learning to invert any disheartened feelings, replacing them with inspiration);

    * Listen to great players play ballads because the notes and phrasing and inflections are going past slower. Playing ballads can feel very exposed, because each note has to sound gorgeous. (Check out Chet Baker for instance as he sings and plays trumpet.) As you improvise, make sure each note of yours sounds gorgeous also;

    * Sometimes don't be scared to stop your improvisation phrase if you played something which did not sound the best and could be improved on. I will often stop and practice the phrase slower or more deliberately many times, just so it might be there under my fingers spontaneously another day;

    * Start with small steps toward your goal, then continue on with small steps;

    * Use the recording function within iReal Pro every few months, just so you have a comparison over the course of a year or two. (No one else needs to hear them necessarily—it is a reference just for you.) Sometimes you lose sight of where you were and how far you have come;

    * A useful book might be Improvising Jazz but there are many others that would be useful

    * Get together with others to practice improvising so you get used to listening while soloing (and listening while someone else solos);

    * A good teacher, not necessarily a jazz cellist would be able to help you also. (Perhaps an upright bass player who could also accompany you as you learn.)

    Hopefully something here will be useful. Others might like to reply and give you further ideas.
    Best wishes, and always have fun!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2017


    Thank you all so much for this great advice! Iím also glad to know Iím not the only cellist that also plays Jazz!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Gboling View Post
    Thank you all so much for this great advice! I’m also glad to know I’m not the only cellist that also plays Jazz!
    I do not play cello myself, but love listening to cello. (Just this week I have been listening to Yo Yo Ma's Bach Trio CD (with mandolin and bass)).
    The ECM label often has cellists in improvisational or jazz settings (besides their classical series), for example David Darling, Anja Lechner, David Holland.
    A few other names are Eric Friedlander, Abdul Wadud, Matt Brubeck and you will come across many others.
    Also Ray Brown's album Jazz Cello might be of interest (bass player with Oscar Peterson).

    Thank you from Bob and myself, we are glad something here has helped you.
    Feel free to keep in touch at the forum or ask more questions


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