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  1. #1

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    So I wrote a little web app that lets you practice reading - either using your phone or playing your instrument with pitch detection. Check it out here:

    It has two main note modes, random and musicxml.

    With random (the default), its oriented around working on different parts of the fretboard. You can select a fretboard region and it'll generate random notes within that region. The randomness can be tweaked to be easy - up or down 1 note in the scale - to really hard, ie any random chromatic note, with lots of huge interval jumps. Your choice.

    Or you can load it up with a musicxml file and read that. So arbitrary melodies, like bach or scale etudes, etc. I make those files with musescore which is free, but it should work with whatever program can produce text format musicxml. It has no sense of time, ie all notes are whole notes. So if you do load up a musicxml file, the melody will be turned into all whole notes.

    The pitch detection feature lets you read with your actual instrument, but it can be finicky! There's a tab in Settings for tweaking it for your setup. You'll need to use the chrome web browser, firefox for sure doesn't work. Also, pitch detection isn't good on phones, or at least not on mine. If you can plug in with an audio cable, that's the most reliable. If you want to get into this and its too noisy or random, check out the help tab, there's a link to a video for setting it up.

    Anyway, hope you guys enjoy. Feedback is welcome too.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Feedback then.

    need roman numerals for the positions.
    ledger lines should be shorter with spaces between them.
    need more notes, longer staff.
    elliptical notes would look better.
    space key to refresh maybe?

  4. #3
    Thanks for the feedback. Have you tried clicking on the fretboards? The long one is for selecting the position you're reading at, and the short, fat one is where you click to read the staff notes. As you match the staff notes, they disappear and more notes are generated. So, you shouldn't have to refresh to get more notes, just keep matching them.

  5. #4
    BTW, is all that stuff yours? Looks interesting.

  6. #5
    Oh, and you shouldn't need to refresh to get more notes. For the leftmost note on the staff, click the corresponding location on the zoomed-in fretboard. I guess there's nothing to let you know what you're supposed to do at first glance. I'm trying to figure out what to do about that without having to put too much effort in. Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pr06lefs
    BTW, is all that stuff yours? Looks interesting.

  8. #7

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    Thanks, this is a nice idea. It seems to work fine on Firefox for me. I like the suggestion of elliptical notes Also would be nice if it allowed setting a starting fret rather than always open position, allowing a student to concentrate on a specific position.


  9. #8
    Elliptical notes are popular! Ok I'll look into that.

    Re saving the starting fret. Pretty much every setting goes into the url, so if you change starting fret and you want to use that again later, you can bookmark the url. Same thing with the different key signatures, randomness modes, clef, pitch detection settings, etc.

    The only thing that can't be saved in the url is when you load up a musicxml file from your local filesystem. The help talks about how to do that with a link, like if you uploaded a musicxml to dropbox.

  10. #9
    Ta-da, note are now slightly tilted ovals. Do those look right to you?

  11. #10

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    You have to put "nocache" in the html header.
    http - How to control web page caching, across all browsers? - Stack Overflow

    But yeah, its cool. Not sure if the notes should be colored at all but wont hurt anyone anyway

  12. #11

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    One more thing if you have time..

    I've been asked to put position numbers and also fingering numbers (to annoy the hell out of our students) to my own similar app. But I'm selfish and lazy and didn't feel like going through the pain..

    If you can do it, I'll guarantee 2 regular users for your app

  13. #12
    Hmmm... like at the top where it says "frets 0 to 3", have it say "1st position" instead?

    There's a little problem there since the position system doesn't distinguish between fret range 0 to 4 fret range 1 to 4. Position indicates only hand position, which is the same for each fret range. But for music-reader those are different - with frets 1 to 4 you won't get any open string notes on the staff.

    I could change it to have position in addition to fret range, like so:

    Guitar; random; frets 0 to 4; I
    Guitar; random; frets 1 to 5; I
    Guitar; random; frets 2 to 6; II
    Guitar; random; frets 3 to 7; III
    Guitar; random; frets 4 to 8; IV

    etc. So then starting on fret zero or fret 1 both result in the same position name.

    Then there's the issue of fiddle tuning - there I believe the positions are more named after diatonic intervals and not semitones as on the guitar. So second position is more like 4th position on guitar. It probably depends on what key you're in? Dunno. This mandolin position poster has a rule for converting from fret number to position:

    1,2 -> 1st position
    3,4 -> 2nd
    5,6 -> 3rd
    7 -> 4th
    8,9 -> 5th
    10,11 -> 6th
    12 -> 7th
    after that ???

    I'd have to check on cello, viola, and banjo too. Hopefully mando and violin are the same.

  14. #13
    Why the nocache? Just so people would see website changes right away?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pr06lefs
    Why the nocache? Just so people would see website changes right away?
    Yep, they don't see the updates until... I dunno..

  16. #15

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    The security certificate for has expired.

  17. #16
    Thanks for noticing! I renewed it.

    Also maybe some interesting new features coming soon, specifically scripting so you can make your own exercises and etc.

  18. #17

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    Splendid! It is a very useful thing.

  19. #18

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    I tried many methods to get decent at sight reading. I bought various educators' books and spent hours with them. They typically talk about not reading anything twice so that you don't learn it or play by memory. They tell you to keep your eyes moving. Blah, blah, blah. After hundreds of hours spent torturing myself with randomness, I was a slightly better reader.

    I then took a sight reading class with Bill Yeager of the L.A. Jazz Workshop. Here's what he did. He gave us a page of melodies to read. We all struggled thru them in class. Then another and another. He told us to go home and learn them. Yup: LEARN THEM. And come back and play them correctly next week. Then three more sheets, etc. Guess what? I became a MUCH better reader. Why? BECAUSE I WAS READING!!

    So, making an analogy to words, do we teach reading to people who are not great readers of the printed word by having them read random words? Of course not. We give them an easy book to read and assign them to read it. We meet with them, coach them, help them with words they don't recognize. But, mostly, we have reading students read and read. They learn phrases, idioms, colloquialisms, cliches, etc. They become better readers because that's what they do.

    Why are horn players better readers than guitarists? Because that's what they do. They live on the musical staff.

    So if you want to become a better reading guitarist, get a book of MUSIC. Real book, Beatles songs, Led Zepelin. Doesn't matter. Read it. Take time to figure out what the hell you're doing. Then do it some more. Then read each piece down without stopping. Just read. You'll get better, I promise.

  20. #19

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    I just tried opening it in both Firefox and Chrome. It claims the security/web certificate expired yesterday. Anyone else get this error?

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by IMadeYouReadThis
    I just tried opening it in both Firefox and Chrome. It claims the security/web certificate expired yesterday. Anyone else get this error?
    I'll get on it! I've been lazy and haven't set it up to automatically renew. Glad somebody out there is using it!

    BTW it is possible to read actual music with this, but its a bit of a hassle. You need a musicXML file, and then you can pick one of the parts to read. When you're on your phone dealing with files is kind of troublesome, and if you link to a file on a server a lot of times you run into CORS. I'd put a bunch of music directly on the site, but there's the intellectual property issues to worry about.

    Anyways, here's a example link which loads a fiddle tune from my dropbox, called Grand Picnic: iddle&sf=0&fc=7&notemode=nat&shownotename=1&showst ats=1&rmsth=0&minsc=1&atrns=0&playnote=0&limitstep son=0&minsteps=1&maxsteps=2&notesrc=fn&fileurl=htt ps://

    If you want to make your own links like this, there's info about that in the help tab.