Connecting
music students and teachers
+
Sharing
interactive lessons
=
Online Learning Community
for "live music" in your community!

Three guitars

Introduction

Learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar can sometimes be a challenge for aspiring guitar players.  Playing music can also be an enjoyable life-long activity.  We don't want you to "give up too soon".  We want to help keep you "in the game" longer, so that you can continue to make progress and get to the next level.

C Major Improvement combines the best from traditional and online learning methods.  This will be a subscription service for both music students and music teachers.  This online learning platform will be available at different price points based on package of services and features selected per customer.  A free-mium model will be used to introduce some basic features to prospective customers for free, and then for additional services, there will be a monthly subscription fee.

C Major Improvement provides interactive guitar lessons that will not only help you learn guitar, but also improve your "musical literacy", for the long run.  While using guitar tablature or watching YouTube videos can be helpful, it's more fun to learn along with others.  You can also take online lessons from multiple guitar teachers, thereby getting broader exposure to different techniques and musical styles.

C Major Improvement will also provide social media features to help you find a local guitar teacher, someone to jam with, or a bandmate.

Test-drive Guitar Explorers / Lesson Demos (prototypes) ... hosted now on RonPulcer.com/music

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2019 Peak Pitch at Sugarbush Ski Resort

Ron Pulcer of C Major Improvement skied and gave chairlift pitches during the 2019 Peak Pitch on March 28.  The event took place at Sugarbush Ski Resort.  The event was sponsored and organized by Fresh Tracks Capital.

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2018 Vermont Road Pitch in Rutland

Ron Pulcer of C Major Improvement presented at the Vermont Road Pitch in Rutland on August 1, 2018.  The event took place at the Mint Makerspace.  The event was organized by Vermont Road Pitch sponsors, in conjunction with the local organizer in Rutland, the Mint Makerspace.  The Mint Makerspace is located at 112 Quality Lane.

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Challenges for Beginner Musicians / Guitarists

Fender Guitar reported a 90% drop out rate for beginner guitar players after one year, and created a free tuning app and Fender Play subscription service.  There are many ways to learn guitar, whether online or with traditional approaches.  All these digital and analog learning methods have their pros and cons.  You can view a comparison chart which shows how C Major Improvement will address the challenges faced by guitar students.

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Mission

The mission of C Major Improvement is to help reduce the "beginner guitar dropout rate" and improve "music literacy" for guitarists, while creating opportunities for students and teachers.  In some smaller towns and rural areas, there may not be a local music store or guitar teacher.  Or, a local teacher may want to reach out to more students.

Playing music can be a rewarding lifelong pursuit.  Learning music can help develop good study and practice habits, and improve cognitive abilities.  C Major Improvement will combine the best of analog and digital learning approaches, and use its online platform to help connect musicians in-person, to bring more local music to your community.

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Music Literacy

Many guitar learning sites today use video, fretboard dots, chord charts and tablature (play by number) notation.  C Major Improvement can provide these methods as well.  In addition, our goal is to also include standard music notation (notes, rests, time signature, rhythm and other symbols), in order to help improve "music literacy".  Initially, this will be done by uploading image files containing standard music notation, and also in conjunction with guitar tablature.  Later, this will be done more dynamically based on the results from the Music Theory Web Service.  This will be handled using JavaScript libraries that provide "music engraving" rendering. This will allow for dynamic creation of standard music notation in the browser via SVG (Standard Vector Graphics).  These software tools were not available when the initial Capstone Project was being developed.

The goal is to provide the best of both traditional and online learning methods to help you learn not only how to play the guitar, but also get a better understanding of music that transcends a particular instrument. This will help you when you play with other musicians, whether they play guitar or another instrument.

If we can help students learn the basic skills for "reading music" as was done in traditional guitar learning methods up through the 1970s, then students can later learn to better "write" or "create" music and songs.  If guitar students can improve their overall "music literacy" (reading and writing), then they can communicate better with other musicians.  This would be helpful within a "band" of musicians.

Despite the convenience and early victories for students provided by tablature notation and YouTube videos, these methods can also result in an ongoing "dependency" on these learning methods.  Also, "play by number" tablature and "watch my fingers" videos can cause students to get stuck in playing or mimicking "patterns".  Music Literacy is having an understanding of the "language" of music.  This allows a musician to better "think" in musical terms, regardless of their chosen instrument, which can result in more "creative" musical expression.

Music Literacy in combination with being able to visualize the guitar fretboard allows a guitarist to learn music that was originally written out for other instruments.  For example, music that was written for piano or keyboard, as with a popular music book or hymnal, can then be adapted for guitar (instrumentally or for vocal accompaniments).  Another example would be playing classical music melodies on an electric guitar.

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Explore the Guitar Fretboard

Here are some of the Q&A music theory "explorer" prototypes for guitar that were developed as part of my Capstone Project at Marlboro Grad Center in 2007.  That original web application was titled, "Music Theory Web Service", and included a back-end web service that would answer music theory questions.  The web service could be considered a "Piano in the Cloud".  A given musical instrument's note range subset of the virtual piano keyboard is used to determine the range of notes for each response.  The questions are submitted via a virtual instrument interface inside a web browser (i.e. guitar or bass guitar).  In the case of guitar, the answers are rendered on the virtual guitar fretboard to help visualize the note mapping and help understand basic music theory concepts.

Virtual Guitar Interface for exploring scales and modes

Note: The current interfaces are "prototypes", so they are not what the actual application will look like. Rather, these are "dashboards" for testing all of the current features from the time of initial development. Also, this core functionality will be the basis for creating data-driven interactive lessons. Hopefully, these prototype interfaces will give you a sense of how the application will operate (interactive Q&A) in subsequent versions.

Later in 2013, I reworked the interface to create a tabbed interface prototype and added audio to hear the answers.  See Audio Help tab for more information.  These prototypes will be further developed into interactive music lesson interfaces.  In the Description tab, a music teacher could include text, embedded video and graphics (standard musical notation and tablature) to explain the lesson.

Lesson Description tab with music notation along with tablature

For an actual lesson, the various display options can be hidden on the interface, because the teacher would be pre-setting certain display options.  This would help reduce the number of screen elements, especially when viewed on a computer tablet or smart phone.  For example, for a beginner lesson the teacher could specify first position on the guitar (index finger at fret 1), and limit the length of the displayed fretboard.  If the lesson pertains to Standard Tuning (EADGBE), then the Tuning option would be preset and be hidden from view.  Also, once a student's preferences are known for left or right handed, and fretboard perspective, then these display options can also be hidden from view.

C Major Improvement has a list of ideas and enhancements for the core software components, and has begun working on further development of these guitar learning tools.

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Keep Picking and Strumming!

Ron Pulcer

ron.pulcer.tech [at] gmail.com
Ron Pulcer Tech

Ron Pulcer Music

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