Save loops separately for each hand

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cmplays
Posts: 58

Post by cmplays » 04-15-18 7:23 pm

When I'm trying to learn a piece hands separately, sometimes a hand gets tired before I get tired overall. So to give it a break, I'd love to jump to learning the other hand, but unfortunately it would mess up the current loop I have set. Moving loops around, especially in a long piece, isn't all that easy, so it would be nice if the app remembered loops separately for each hand, and also for both hands together, so I could practice different passages in different modes.

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 04-16-18 10:34 pm

So, this might throw a wrench in the gears a bit, but during the transition to per-measure progress tracking in Synthesia 12, the way will be paved to allow hand switching mid-song! That particular feature seems like big productivity improvement: imagine practicing a small loop and being able to practice left, right, then hands-together without exiting the song or losing your place.

And once you've got hand selection during the song, being able to choose it on the previous screen becomes superfluous. Today's nine buttons turn into three: Melody, Rhythm, and Recital (where hands-together is implied in Recital).

At that point I suppose Synthesia could keep track of separate Melody and Rhythm loops... but your feature request becomes unimplementable. (Well, unless when you changed hands mid-song, that could also make the loop switch around... but I'm afraid that might feel a bit counter-intuitive.)

In the face of mid-song hand selection, how would your workflow change? Is there still a way to work something like this in?

cmplays
Posts: 58

Post by cmplays » 04-17-18 12:55 am

To be honest, I don't think I'd use that feature often. I would prefer to complete one hand at a time for the entire piece. At least with the difficulty of the pieces I've played so far, that's how it's been working out. The other hand would play just so I do something while the first hand is resting, so there is no way I would be playing the same passage with either hand separately. That goes doubly so for playing hands together -- I wouldn't attempt it until I completed each hand separately.

The only time it would actually work out would be when playing hands together and failing to synchronize them, or finding that the fingering I assigned isn't working out anymore once both hands are in it. This would force me to go back to the same section and repeat hands separately at higher speed with improved fingering.

Nicholas
Posts: 12343

Post by Nicholas » 04-17-18 1:31 am

Hmm, I've heard the "change hands without exiting the song" request dozens of times from users coming from all different experience levels. This is a particularly well-articulated plea from a rather high-end (ABRSM grade 7 of 8) player that explains in some detail how the hand-switching feature could be used to great effect.

After reading through that rather frank tear-down of Synthesia's weaknesses, that feature seemed like a natural milestone to begin working toward (all the way back in 2012 when that post was written). I will admit that mid-song hand switching is nearly as big a part of the Synthesia 12 road-map as the new progress tracking. They are nearly corollaries of one another.

But now you've got me second-guessing. Hmm.

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jimhenry
Posts: 1800
Location: Illinois

Post by jimhenry » 04-17-18 3:21 am

I think we all agree that the use of loops, individual hand practice, and hands together practice are all important tools for learning a piece of music. But I don't think the enhancement of these features to address the best use of those, and other, practice techniques, is an easy task. I suggest that we table this discussion until after Synthesia 11 is released.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/

cmplays
Posts: 58

Post by cmplays » 04-17-18 9:59 pm

Well, it's possible I have to take another look at how I study pieces. I have mostly played using Synthesia, so it never really occurred to me to do the same measure all three ways before moving on just because it is in fact inconvenient with the current interface. But now that I think of it, whenever I tried outside of Synthesia and failed, thinking that I just don't have the talent for memorizing music, maybe if I used this method, I would have succeeded.

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jimhenry
Posts: 1800
Location: Illinois

Post by jimhenry » 04-18-18 1:05 am

A technique I learned for memorization which has worked pretty well for me is to start by learning the end of the song first. Then add the section in front of that and so on until you have everything memorized. The idea is that you can play from what you are learning through to the end. By the time you have the whole song memorized, the ending is the most practiced part. Then when you play the song you are progressing into more and more familiar material. It eliminates a lot of apprehension in playing from memory because things mostly are getting easier the further you go rather than harder as it would be if you had learned the song starting at the start.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/

cmplays
Posts: 58

Post by cmplays » 04-18-18 1:51 pm

Yes! Actually, I'm doing this with Synthesia. It's a very nice psychological trick. The further along you get, the stronger and more confident you are. On the other hand, if you do mess up toward the end, the frustration is that much higher.

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