Jul 16, 2023Liked by Damian Counsell

Lovely piece. I have the opposite experience. When I learnt music as a child (Saturday music school violin and later piano) I always got top marks for sight reading (in the strict sense) but usually failed the aural/oral and then there were the "tuning flat!!" comments on my violin playing!! And I don't think there's any chance I'll ever come up with any tunes of my own.

I still play piano though and enjoy it and I notice that flow state - you play best when you are not thinking about it - in fact sometimes my best version is first time through before I've had time to think! In my case anyway my eyes still need to follow the music, it's like a kind of prompt that I need, again best not to think about what you're doing, get distracted and you fumble the notes if you lose your visual place.

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Jul 16, 2023·edited Jul 16, 2023Liked by Damian Counsell

I feel the bloke who introduced you to Rocksmith may also have pointed you at Yousician. I could be wrong? Bostin article, as usual. Makes me wanna pick up the guitar more often, too.

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Jul 15, 2023Liked by Damian Counsell

Typically insightful piece, thanks. I’m not sure what you mean by sight-reading though - do you mean playing/singing at first sight (the conventional meaning), or playing from written music? The first (as I’m sure you know) is much harder than the second, especially on chordal instruments such as the piano or guitar.

The tuning system video you linked to is very good on the physics of sound, but not so hot on the musicology of tuning systems. For example, the most important tuning system in renaissance Europe (quarter comma meantone) was left out, and the assumption that equal temperament took over western music wholesale in the 16th century is just wrong (Bach would have been horrified by it and there are plenty of people, including me, who think modern pianos are just out of tune).

You are right to praise Yousician - the feedback is instant and it is a fun way to learn the basics.

Also you are right about learning to play/sing. Anyone can and everyone should.

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Thanks for this, Terence. Such a good comment you made me rewrite my post.

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