Hi guys and girls, I’m super excited to be on board full time now, me and Hayden have worked so hard over the past years to create invaluable content and revolutionise online music lessons. We have massive plans for the future and it wouldn’t be possible without your participation and input along the way.
If you have any video style/video layout/audio feedback please message or email me (email@example.com) and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you to make sure our service is the best available online. Much love and happiness
Nice to meet you. I recently joined PianoGroove and I’m loving all the content. The way I use it is I bring my iPad downstairs to my piano and watch the videos while sitting at my piano so I can play along. I find I often need to pause the video and rewind 10s to view a certain part a few times until I get it. The problem is that when I try to pause the video by touching the iPad screen, it often doesn’t register and keeps playing. It seems to pause or go black for a second and then go silent but the video continues playing. I also find it difficult to drag the little control at the bottom of the video player with my finger touching the screen of the iPad. It works fine on my desktop but is very finnicky and frustrating to use on the iPad. If there is anything you can do to make the pause/rewind control easier to use on the iPad, that would be awesome!
Thanks for your input, the issue you mention is a priority that we are developing currently.
Just to give you a bit of background, my role is video director/producer/editor. My focus and expertise is developing our video content to go above and beyond in terms of communicating the lessons in the best possible way.
The video player is more on the coding side of the site which is managed by a technical developer. Our goal is to make the player efficient and reliable across all devices. @Hayden will elaborate on this in more detail for you.
Hope your enjoying your piano journey so far and feel free to contact me anytime Scott.
So I did think this post would cause some confusion. What you are referring to is one of my current tasks - which is to find a suitable developer who can build us a robust video player solution… more on this below.
First, let me explain what Dan’s role is at PianoGroove"
1) Motion Graphics
This includes “pre-rolls” for the different styles of lessons we offer. Here’s an example:
2) Course Overview Videos
These videos involve elements of motion graphics, but also communicate the core essence of the course. You can find these at the top of each course page to give our students a general overview of the course. Here’s an example:
The 5 Minute Masterclass Overview:
3) Performance Videos
Here’s a performance that Dan did for me a while back, and he will also be filming all our teachers to promote their skills, talents, and music.
That was a few years ago (2015 I think). We also have another one which will be released soon of me playing “Embraceable You” in the same venue. It’s beautiful… Spielberg would be jealous
Anyhow, that’s what’s Dan’s core skills are. He’s a creative who knows how to deliver a message through the medium of video.
Both Dan and I understand web technologies. We’re both musical (Dan plays guitar and bass) and together we have all the skills to deliver the best format for online music lessons.
Now Onto The Video Player Issues You Mention…
This is something I am working on delivering ASAP.
My current plan is:
Add a ‘10-second rewind button’ which I think will be extremely useful to all students - such a fantastic suggestion.
Keep the speed controls
keep the lesson chapters
Remove the A/B loop bar, and instead, A/B loop can be controlled by pressing the keyboard letters ‘I’ and ‘O’ - @Yves highlighted how useful this can be, and it removes the need to touch and drag the A/B bar which most tablets are not suited to.
The problem with the A/B bar in its current state is that it’s not compatible or accurate with touchscreen devices such as iPads. On the contrary, a simple ‘click to rewind’ the lesson by 10 seconds would be perfect for our iPad users.
Our students who have a connected keyboard to their iPad, or our students who use a laptop, can simply press the ‘I’ and ‘O’ keys to trigger the A/B loop points.
I have communicated this to my developers - these are technical freelancers who code software as their main job - this is not Dan’s job.
We are running a bit behind schedule with the updated player but it will be completed and it will work flawlessly. One of the reasons I have not been making as many new lessons recently is exactly this task I’m working on.
Thanks to yourself and other members of our community, we now have the solution, and it’s my responsibility to deliver this.
I hope this helps give you some insight @Scott into the ‘challenges’ we currently face, and how I suggest we move forward to get the perfect learning platform for everyone.
Hi Dan, I’m a huge fan of your work and I’m THRILLED to get to work with you! So excited to see the wonderful things you and Hayden are cooking up for our community here. And you play guitar and bass as well? Fantastic. We’ll have to jam when you are here in NYC! Yay and Welcome! - Lyndol
Sorry for the misunderstanding. Now I understand Dan’s role much better!
The other minor nuisance I find on the ipad is when I’m done with one lesson, it allows me to navigate to view the other lessons in the course with a single touch. However, if I want to go to another course (I like to jump around a fair bit to review specific song lessons), then I have to touch the menu icon, then touch jazz piano lessons in the menu, then touch Intermediate (it always defaults to beginner), then scroll down to the course and touch the course.
Ideally, there would be a single touch icon that would take me to the jazz piano lessons home page and it would remember whether I was last in beginner, intermediate, or advance and default to that section I was in most recently.
Just a minor convenience to improve navigation.
Anyway, still loving all the lessons. I’ve been working on Here’s That Rainy Day recently. It’s a very nice arrangement.
Again great suggestions Scott - thanks for taking the time to provide this insight and input.
Firstly, you can always use the search bar in the top right of the header main navigation - just enter the jazz standard name, or a specific theory topic and any page that contains that standard name or theory topic will appear in the results:
Yes, it’s a nice idea, from a technical standpoint it’s tricky to implement. Certainly possible, but tricky to implement. This is because it would have to be specific to each user’s account which makes it a complex process to code and maintain.
We have a new feature coming soon which will help with this, it is the “Bookmarked Lessons” feature - see more here: Video Bookmarking Feature
I completely understand the logic behind this Scott. I’ve always specified to our designer that I want the layout to be simple and intuitive.
On desktop/laptop it’s fine, but I appreciate that the tablet experience is not as smooth.
I will forward on your message to him and get his insight/recommendations. He is a fantastic designer and UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) specialist. As so he will certainly have some ideas to improve this and make it easier for tablet users.
Thanks for all the feedback. The Alone album has been a favourite of mine for years. I learned the first chorus from a transcription of Here’s that Rainy Day a few year’s back. It was an exhausting effort. I recently started learning a transcription of A Time For Love which was a little more manageable. Just love his style! I find these transcriptions a little too advanced for me to apply the techniques in other songs whereas your lessons are at the perfect level for me to actually understand and start applying to my own arrangements which is my ultimate goal.
Yes, I have never used transcriptions in my own jazz studies.
I understand the benefits of transcriptions for new students (they can see the chord voicings quickly - particularly if they are classically trained), but… the most effective way to learn is to listen to every record of the song you are working on. Listen over and over, and then emulate and transcribe the parts you like.
This way you are developing your own personal style, and you are in control of the direction of ‘your sound’.
That makes me very happy to hear Scott… thank you.
Our goal is not to ‘prescribe’ a style but to inspire our students to discover their own style, taste, and musical personality.
Of course, our teachers can offer guidance and inspiration, but there is so much for each of us to experiment, explore, and discover. That is for me, the beauty of this music.