So, I’m learning to play the guitar. The prior extent of my musical ability was playing “Hot Cross Buns” on the recorder in 4th grade. Needless to say I have a lot to learn. I am also a computer-dork, which makes me wonder why there isn’t the Dance-Dance Revolution of Music. Oh wait, there is, and it’s called “Guitar Hero”. The problem with Guitar Hero is that it’s about 0% related to actually playing music. Here follows my wish-list for a program that would help me learn to play the guitar or another instrument. If I were going to write it, I’d call it “Sheet Music Hero” (hereafter referred to as SMH).
- Integration with LilyPond
Lilypond is like HTML for music. If you can see it in Lilypond, I’d love to be able to push it over to SMH for learning / lessons. Or would MIDI be a better format?
- Rhythm practice
Since I’m still learning, I don’t have “rhythm” in my blood yet. Counting excercises, especially with metronome and/or integrated into aforementioned Lilypond music would be uber-helpful. Bonus points if it has a bouncing-ball, metronome, and microphone integration.
- Tone practice
As above, but integrated with normal guitar-tuner software that checks and makes sure you’re playing the right notes.
- Integrated practice
Good Rhythm + Good Notes == Good Music. With the above three items, it should be relatively straightforward to plug in an arbitrary piece of sheet music written in Lilypond and have the computer help you out while learning it.
- Record + Playback
It would also be nice to have the program record a certain number of lessons and allow you to play them back at a later date to see how you’ve improved, or perform some analysis and say: “This part is really difficult for you, practice it a few more times”.
- Slice + Dice
In some cases while I’m learning a piece of music, I learn too much by memory as to what comes next and not so much focusing on reading the music. To keep me on my toes, please mix in measures from a few different pieces of music, or mix around a few measures from the same piece of music.
The two most important things is that the program work with your real-live instrument (for me that’d be a non-electric, classical guitar) and also be interactive / corrective - that it can detect a mistake and give you some sort of percent-marker or crowd-feedback noise a-la Dance-Dance revolution when you lay down some smokin’ notes. :^)
It’d be wonderful if this was all free / open source (are the pieces all out there?), and if it worked on Mac / Linux at least. Even if I had to pay for it has anyone seen software out there that meets a significant portion of these requirements? Something like “Mavis Beacon Teaches Classical Acoustic Guitar”? Let me know.