Hello my friends. I am in the process of working up an app (for iphone and android), which would be a sort of "lesson player." It would help you work through lessons, step-by-step, with suggestions along the way, and where you can repeat the hard parts and move on with the easy parts. It would have a metronome and mp3 and midi players. There would likely be a sizable you tube component as well. It's in the early planning stages, which is why I am posting this. I would really appreciate any feedback on what you would like to see featured. Also, I'd like to know just how much interest there is in any app at all. So please, step up and be heard. Thanks.
I have been toying with the idea of trying a kickstarter campaign which would result in a free basic app with complimentary lessons. Any thoughts or advice on that would be greatly appreciated, too.
By the way, initially I wouldn't be able to include the actual lessons from the HL books (copyright issues, you know). Maybe if it gets going they'd be interested in some kind of a deal. But I have dozens (hundreds?) of lessons ready, and unlimited possibilities.
A kickstarter campaign sounds ideal for something like what you suggest. I am not familiar with the required technology, but perhaps it's possible to develop an app that runs on both iOS, Android and a PC without tripling the effort - something to think about. I think many (myself included) still use a PC or laptop for most things.
I am sure anything related to your lesson material would be great and very much appreciated. One area I where I would love some lectures or advice is improvisation. How to get started, how to practice it and how much. Should you just practice different licks over a backing track, or is there a more methodical way to get started? I know that Band in a Box has some sort of exercise mode that first plays a lick, and then user should respond with a matching phrase or lick.
And perhaps a progressive compilation of technique exercises targeted at playing blues guitar is something to think about. Similar to how the lectures in BUCY are progressively laid out. For those not having a good teacher technique exercises are probably a random choice from searching youtube, and it's difficult to assess how important they are, and to keep a progressive study plan. Or perhaps the exercises in BUCY and MBUCY are what you mostly recommend?
Thank you for the great lecture material and hosting this helpful forum. Joachim
It sounds like a pretty cool idea. I would suggest to include some adjustable "slow downer" capability - where you can play back audio at less than full speed for learning. This, of course, wouldn't be a problem with midi. I'd also suggest some grading system for difficulty of lessons - I personally don't want "this is a standard 12 bar progression" or "this is how you make an open G chord", but there's people who do need that - so maybe classifying them in some fashion ("never picked up a guitar", "have completed BYCU", etc). Or maybe you're envisioning a series of progressive lessons somewhat like BYCU? At my stage, what would be really cool would be a Youtube video of you and a band playing a song (could certainly be an original to avoid copyright issues), with a lesson for sale "teaching" the song - solos, rhythm parts, maybe even discussion of the bass and drum parts or other instruments (this could broaden the sales market beyond just guitarists).
I do think you'd have to start with either a free or very low priced app and a couple of basic lessons to let people "try it out" and see whether they like the technology.
I very much welcome the second edition of BYCU. I'll make sure to get my copy asap and am looking forward to work through those lessons again with some added and refined information and the guiding of some video clips which might help to clarify some technical issues that felt challenging before.
That being said, I feel there's enough content in the BYCU series for a lifetime. The whole series is very well laid out and contains clearcut lessons which provide a lot of in-depth information. However, someimes I find it rather hard to digest if whatever I learn is not put into context or there is some feedback provided on the progress. So, at least in my opinion, rather than having more input in form of additional lessons provided by an app, I'd prefer some reinforcement of the learning process on the lessons that are already out there in book form.
Regarding additional lessons in general (which is a subject we already touched in another thread), there are still things that could be covered, e.g. how to further develop skills like proper phrasing techniques, how to develop motives, how to use the lick repertoire stylistically correct by weaving licks into a Call and Response pattern, etc.
The discussions on the forum, however, leave me with the impression that sometimes questions pop up on how to best progress through the books to get the most of it, how to build up a repertoire that goes well along with the learning curve of the lessons content, which gear best to use, band stand ettiquette etc. I believe that the discussions led by the active forum members (you know who you are) show that further examination of those topics and thereby expanding on the lessons already out there prove most helpful to progress (music is a form of communication, so especially when you're a bedroom musician you might benefit from such a form of exchange)
Personally, I always got a lot out of the Input and Feedback on the forum in the past - this was especially the case when you joined the one or the other discussion and enlighted us with a qualified comment (well-informed opinions can only get you so far). Therefore I'd rather prefer more of your participation in the forum to another app with more lessons for the time being. Of course I understand that this would be very time consuming for you and could only be done in, let's say a closed member section for those who're willing tp pay a small fee, but I really think this is something which you might to want to give a thought. In a closed section you could aid the students with some additional Input and Feedback in the form of comments, additional (video?) lessons or other content such as Joachim suggested (e.g. I very much like the 'Lick of the Week' series of lessons, and I very much regret that the TABS for the accompaniement of the BYCU tune were never provided in full).
These days there's a lot out there in terms of guitar lesson videos, apps, tutorials, learning software and such, and I'd like to believe there's a good reason why BYCU stands it's ground against all the competition - it's because it's so well done. Besides, I'm very much with Bruce who says you'd probably have to start with either a free or very low priced app. Further developping the webpage probably might be much cheaper and would attract the same people ready to pay some money for your further lessons.
Well, as this thread lies dormant for a few days already, I wonder whether this is because of my reply to the initial post. As I understood it, the question was whether there would be interest in a BYCU mobile app, and if so, what kind of lessons or lesson formats could be featured in there. All I tried to say was if there are already dozens of lessons ready, I think it`d be easier to access or purchase them via the website. If I shot over the mark with my comment, I'm sorry - I didn't intend to come across as a spoilsport, I just wanted to give some constructive feedback.
If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you make it compatible with PC as well? Personally I don't have a smart phone and although I know app's are all the rage these days, whenever I practice guitar I'm always sitting in front of my PC and the mouse, keyboard and much larger screen makes more sense for me.
As far as lesson material, I'd LOVE some info about how you're able to get your guitar sounds on all the Blues You Can Use CD's. What amps do you use, and if they're vintage stuff that's not readily available and prohibitively expensive these days, what modern alternatives would you recommend, and for those of us on a limited budget, what lower priced alternatives would you recommend? Also are there certain pedals you prefer (specific brands etc.) and how do you go about setting up the amp for a Strat vs. Les Paul vs. ES-335 sound and that sort of thing.
Songwriting info would be fantastic as well. You provide a wealth of information on the subject in your various books, but a step-by-step walkthrough taking us from "spark of an idea" to expanding on it to adding the finishing touches would be great.
You can't buy love But you can pay heavily for it.
John, First of all I love your book. I bought an iTunes copy for myself plus a paper copy and I've bought about 3 paper copies for friends.
You are on the right track, a lot of people, especially younger, don't have CD players anymore and computers are starting to not even come with them. The digital route is definitely the way. I like your iBook for iPad best. I've always enjoyed the Guitar Aerobics app which is a big more spiced up than the book. You could do it that way too at not a huge cost. It's basically a book that comes with the backing tracks at various speeds at the push of a button.
Perhaps tracks of the chords being played and a scale practice track? I've found those parts get overshadowed by the solos and then I end up going back 5 lessons ago to learn the scales. Maybe the solos are just too cool