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Missing basic aspects (duration, loudness, pedal)

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:04 am
by Laurensss
Dear David, Sean or colleague,

I have had a lot of fun and (re)learned a lot playing with PGS. I have* finished the Rookie level and am working through Intermediate with some songs on the side. As far as timing, note reading, hand gymnastics, some theory, and just having fun playing go, those are covered nicely. I sincerely want to thank you for that!

There are, however, aspects that I'm really missing and that I know would be a very important part of any "human" lesson. Some things would be hard to impossible to address (e.g. back, arm, hand posture) but others should be doable IMHO.

The most important ones:
  • Note duration played. Other than for tied notes the program does not check how long we hold notes, in both directions (too long or too short). This is essential and something a piano teacher would correct immediately. There is a mention of this over one year ago by Sean that this is a planned addition so I hope it will be added soon.
  • (Relative) loudness (Forte, Piano, etc and difference between voices) evaluation. Maybe this is part of the more advanced lessons but I have not seen it while looking for it. Again, really important, something that is measurable and could / should be evaluated by the software. No human teacher would ignore this aspect, starting from early on.
  • Pedal use. Maybe not quite as important as the first two points, and again maybe you address it in the more advanced lessons, but I really would have expected his to be part of the intermediate courses. Again something that could quite readily be evaluated by software.
It would be really nice to see some of these features added soon (sorry if they are there and I missed them). I know you don't have a huge army of programmers working on PGS but I hope your success is such that you can accelerate in this respect. That would truly cement you as the best app option for learning the piano!

Cheers! -Laurens

* had! happy to see you keep adding lessons!

Re: Missing basic aspects (duration, loudness, pedal)

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:13 pm
by davidsides
Hi Laurens,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll forward this all to the team. Keep sending us your feedback.

Re: Missing basic aspects (duration, loudness, pedal)

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:51 pm
by Laurensss
davidsides wrote:Hi Laurens,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll forward this all to the team. Keep sending us your feedback.
Thanks David, good to know. Can I ask for your opinion on these feature requests? Do you as 'our' teacher identify them as really missing, or do you trust PGS students to just pick these up by ear?

Genuinely curious about this. Cheers!

Corrected sorry to really

Re: Missing basic aspects (duration, loudness, pedal)

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:43 pm
by Russ1409
That's a pretty unfair question. David is the face of PGS, and you put him in a difficult position asking him to express his personal opinion on the program's possible deficiencies.

This is not to say I disagree with you at all. The request to fix the duration of held notes has been mentioned multiple times in the forum, and unfortunately it's one of those things that hasn't been addressed. It's a huge deficiency. The pedal use, and the played volume could also use some lesson attention, but honestly, anyone just using PGS as their sole piano instruction is going to find holes in their coursework. I live in the middle of nowhere, literally...the closest town is two hours away and AFAIK there's not piano instruction there. But I've found a lot of lessons on the internet and books and DVDs that address these and other issues for the basic pianist. One day, I'll outgrow it all (I hope) and have to find a teacher to look over my work and answer questions. Until then, there's plenty of instruction out there.

I use multiple self teaching lesson plans, including some of PGS's competitors, and by far the best, despite some deficiencies, is PGS.

Re: Missing basic aspects (duration, loudness, pedal)

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:43 am
by Laurensss
Ok first of I don't know where the word sorry came from in my second post. Think I meant to write really, maybe (dutch) auto correct interfered.

I really don't think this is an unfair question. First off yes of course David is the face of pgs and for good reason; I think from the pgs team he would probably be best qualified to comment on this. Second I think it is quite clear this is about his professional opinion, I don't even know what the "personal" qualifier would mean in this context.

Maybe in my non native English I formulated the question in an unwieldy manner that prompted your reply? Otherwise I'm really baffled as to why you would come and paint my question as unfair.

My (time) investment in this course is quite hefty and I think I'm well within my rights to try and find out if its creators share my ideas about where it should eventually take me. They are, of course, free to choose whether or not to answer my question.

Re: Missing basic aspects (duration, loudness, pedal)

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:38 am
by Russ1409
No, your english is fine. I never even considered that it wasn't your native language. I wish I were as fluent in another language.

We will just disagree here. I think if I wanted as direct an answer as you are asking for, I would have done it privately, rather than on a public forum.

As you say, it's up to David if and how he answers the question.

Re: Missing basic aspects (duration, loudness, pedal)

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:34 am
by thowa
Politeness aside (and I also didn't see anything wrong in Laureness asking):
The duration of notes is a key feature missing and shouldn't be hard to implement.
One difficulty will be to chose an appropriate tolerance (obviously there will have to be some lag allowed between certain notes). But tolerance could be a user setting too.
Bottom line: I support this request, especially the duration of notes played.