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Posts: 17

Post by offrhodes » 07-09-18 5:34 pm


thanks for Synthesia.This is a pretty deep program - it just "feels" right - and I guess we'll go a long way together.

Nicholas, you wrote at some point it gets increasingly difficult to see the program through the eyes of a new user.
Here's a quick reality check:
"If you aren't careful, you might develop muscle memory with the mistakes included!"
I can see where this is coming from and agree 100 % but this...
Always try for 100 % accuracy
... needs to go. You're sending beginners into a dead end. This is what Synthesia is getting flamed for, but it's not a fault with the program, just how people (ab)use it.

What should go there instead is a disclaimer, take the whole scoring system with a grain of salt and "make your own roads". At some point, you need to start "playing", get a feel for the song, understand the rhythm and how the hands fall in place together. But this doesn't go through 100 % accuracy. It's important to learn at different speeds. When I start to make progress, my score drops again to the bottom of the scoreboard, and I'm practicing intelligently (no virtuoso but hard rocker on stage since early 90ies).
Other than that, the design is brilliant. Single hand, slowing down, metronome (a bit hidden, should IMHO be on for the easy songs), it's all there...

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Post by Nicholas » 07-10-18 11:24 am

I suppose it's the wording there that hurts the sentiment. It's really supposed to be a continuation of the previous line. The full version of that sentence would be something like "Always try [to stick with a particular fingering] with 100% accuracy [to avoid developing sloppy/happenstance playing habits]". That is playing/fingering style accuracy; not Synthesia built-in scoring accuracy.

Of course your score will vary as you add/change hands or adjust the speed. You are right that reading the same text for years on end has a habit of introducing additional meaning.

Would it be better to omit that line altogether (and let the first one do the heavy lifting)? Or is there a way to adjust it a bit to make the real meaning plainer?

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Post by offrhodes » 07-13-18 3:17 pm


I'd leave it out because it can be horribly misunderstood.
The problem is, I don't yet have a punchy replacement. I'll think about it when going jogging the next time :-)
That said, I had a look at Chang's Fundamentals of Piano practice (not saying this is canon, but at least it's food for thought and free, too).

He writes on page 64:
"Bad habits are the worst time-wasters in piano practice because, once formed, they take such a long time to correct, whereas preventing them is much, much easier, if preventive measures are taken in time."

Maybe "Do not develop bad habits" is the main point, avoiding sloppy playing, being accurate and not memorizing mistakes by repetition are parts of that. But it sounds clumsy and generic.
Simply quoting the above line might be a way, start a thinking process for the reader how "not to develop bad habits". Possibly mix it also with other lines that cycle, as in "quote of the day".

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Post by jimhenry » 07-14-18 1:16 am

If the thought to be conveyed is "Always try to use the same fingering" then why not say just that. Using "100%" in the advice can cause one to think that there is a score being produced by Synthesia that one is aspiring to maximize.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ

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Post by Nicholas » 07-17-18 10:24 am

offrhodes wrote:I'd leave it out because it can be horribly misunderstood.
Done. "Always try for 100% accuracy." has been removed in all eleven languages. The first sentence was already strong/clear enough. This change will show up in the next development preview.

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