BassBuzz App? (Your Input Needed)

An app would be good for the iPad for sure. Streaming would be good too. And the attraction for younger prospective learners would no doubt be an advantage in the long run.
A metronome or drum tracks would be cool as would a tuner.
The second coarse would be wonderful but I do get how much time that would involve even with my limited knowledge of it all. Perhaps one day :crossed_fingers:

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I would probably not use it and stick to a browser on the tablet or PC.

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One feature that I’ve seen requested highly on the forum and in the lesson comments is an ability to favorite or bookmark lessons to quickly find them again

+1 to metronome, tuner, forum integration, Chromecast, practice notes, and practice loops

Practice reminder is good as long as it can be turned off, or ideally setup your own practice schedule.

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App would be great! My list would mimick many already posted

  1. Cast video
    2 Track progress
  2. Metronome/drum track option
  3. BassBuzz forums

I am 52 did the course using browser on my andriod and chromecast screen mirror feature. Loved it but an app would be so much easier to cast and navigate course. Also very portable could even use line in on my headphone amp for coursewhile using headphones if necessary. I used my headphone amp to practice on the road driving a semi(when stopped for the day of course :rofl:). That’s my 2 cents!

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I would personally not use it - that said, a nicer interface to the forums than the current mobile browser support might be nice.

As a professional iOS developer I do have one bit of advice though: one thing you need to watch out for is that a lot of the canned app developers that put together apps for people with web sites make apps that are merely tabbed webviews showing the site content in an app. These usually suck badly at worst or add little at best. If you’re going to do an app, it should provide substantial benefits over just using a mobile web browser with the site.

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I would like top-level descriptions of each module (so I don’t have to expand anything to see them), and a way to go from an individual lesson back to the list of lessons for the module. I’d like that for the web-based course too :laughing:

It’d be good to have tabs below the video (similar to the Truefire site). It’d also be good to be able to play the backing tracks on loop.

Mark at Talking Bass has just put out a great app for his content. Take a look at that for some inspiration. I use that most of the time to view the courses there, since it came out.

Yes, please incorporate the forum in the app. The forum here is wonderful.

Make sure everything loads quickly. My main gripe with SBL is that it is so slow.

Please make sure the app works properly on a tablet too, and is available for both Android and iOS devices.

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I did the course on an iPad, and the browser was fine. I don’t think a tablet app would make it much more useful. I think some tweaks to navigation would be more useful, as expanding the courses was sometimes tedious. I think a set of “next up” courses would have been appreciated instead of having to go digging around for the next course.

I also liked the warm up exercises idea - I ended up bookmarking a few exercises and walked through them as warm ups before going to my next course…so having that built in would have been nice. (As a set of classes to do before the next ups…)

Better integration with your YouTube channel would also be good, to see related videos for each lesson. There is a lot of content there and I have trouble keeping up. And also to help me keep track of which videos I have or haven’t seen. Edit: Links from each video to their backing tracks would be helpful too. Just having those available at the time, reduces hurdles to practicing more (do a lesson, then spend several minutes in the backing track to hammer it home…vs going to search for the right lesson backing track and then getting into it…loses momentum.)

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My 2 cents (for what they are worth): I would not use B2B app for the course in any imaginable scenario and here’s why:

  1. if i wanted to listen to the course with a mobile device I would just use a browser in a tablet. On my Ipad’s browser it runs OK (but videos often stop for no reason) and I have taken some lessons by tablet with no issues (but video stopping as i already said). I would not take the course on a phone just because the screen is too small.

  2. maybe i’m biased by my earlier experience as a piano player but i feel like studying music, while obviously enjoying it and being amused by that, requires a tiny bit of commitment. It’s a sort of mental habit, if you prefer. So I think (but that’s just my personal opinion, ofc) that having to prepare the right setup for the course (e.g.: taking the bass, plugging into amp/audio, AND logging into B2B with something more substantial than a phone be it a PC or a tablet) would help the attitude to taking the course. A phone app would risk being just one of the many way of entertaining, like watching a video or playing some game, not really taking a course to bass.

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Just speaking for myself, but I would not have benefited from an app at all. Watching your lessons on a small screen might be ok for playing along, but for all the theory stuff and explanation sections I definately need a larger screen. Since I can take my notebook to any place I might play bass, I can hardly see any advantage by running lessons on a mobile.

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Good point, @akos . . . :slight_smile:

I plead guilty to thinking of apps as only being on smartphones!

Cheers
Joe

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….in both landscape and portrait. TalkingBass app is only portrait, my iPad stands up in landscape.

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Backing track/practice loops

Scales

Progress bar

Metronome

—That ssid, i’m not a big app person. Web browser works fine for me

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What would I like in a BassBuzz app?

  1. Ultimate groove workout functionality. Set it on, input from the phone to the amp, play on and on till you become an ultimate groove machine;

  2. Advanced ultimate groove workout functionality: pick a loop and decide how many bar will be played out loud and how many will be quiet;

  3. Community advanced ultimate groove workout functionality: Forum users pick “the groove of the week”

  4. Ear-training exercises: while commuting/far from the bass

  5. Scroll along pentagrams/tabs: like pdf but… integrated in the app

  6. Did I mention ultimate groove workout functionality?

Also: +1 to t-shirts/gadgets
Also: +1,000 to a follow-up course!

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I would prefer bassbuzz vol. 2 over and app!!!

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It would be nice to have all the lessons accessible on an iphone or ipad app. My son watches your lessons on his ipad but it works fine in the browser too so I’m not really sure if adds much value. Creating an app with a lot of extra features won’t work imo because you will be competing against apps that are most likely a lot better in that department. My advice would be to focus your app on your core business. I also firmly believe that apps that do one thing really good are more likely to be used. Just my 2 cents.

Another idea is to fully translate the Bassbuzz handout/reference booklet into an app.

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I think this is a great idea!

This is hard to say without having the app to compare it to. I am pretty solidly in the hearing/vision loss older category. It would depend on what the functionality of the app was.

For instance, there are applications that will take what you say in a recording (video) and create a text document with the transcription of the recording. If the app offered a link to the transcription of the video, I would have used, and would probably still use, that quite a bit. Sometimes it’s easier for me to read something than listen to someone say it.

Video Transcriptions

  • Transcription expands from a link on the lesson page.
  • Transcriptions searchable. Not just each one but all of them together in case you’re looking for particular information.
  • Ability to add notes or modify the transcription for personal use and a restore button that gets rid of all your notes and modifications.
  • Having the ability to read along with the video, pause the video, make a note, would be pretty helpful.

Some completely unScientific research.
Question: Would you rather use a computer or a phone app if you wanted to learn how to play an instrument?
Test Group: Six 23-30 year old people. (3 female/3 male)
Response:

  • (2 male/ 1 female) Said they would not do a course if they had to use a computer instead of their phone.
  • (2 female/ 1 male) Said they would rather use a computer because of the bigger screen.
  • All of them laughed at the idea of using a tablet. They joked around saying no one their age uses a tablet, tablets are for either the very old or very young.

My impression:

  • I didn’t know people in that age group had such a low opinion of tablets. Little shits. Just wait till they get too old to see a phone.
  • I didn’t expect the strong push-back from three of them over having to use a computer instead of a phone. They treated it like creating a phone app was the obvious choice and having a website was for old people.

You’ve opened the floodgates now! I’m just going to start spit balling and see what sticks.

Ultimate Groove Workout Metronome

  • The coolest metronome features you would want to have.
  • Metronome mode acts like a regular metronome.
  • UGW mode gives presets and options.
  • Multiple sounds to choose from. (That tock tock tock sound always hurts my ears. Probably because I’m old.)
  • Integrating it into the UGW lessons so you can access it from the lesson pages.

Digital Learning Schedules

  • With boxes to check off.
  • An option to set a start date that will fill in the schedule with dates.
  • Ability to modify dates for actual completion.
  • Ability to block off practice days and no practice days.
  • Ability to clear it and start over.
  • Practice Reminder notification based on the modifiable schedule and start times.

Tuner

  • There are lots of options for tuners but including one in the app does help to make it a one stop shop. One more reason to use the app rather go somewhere else.

Forum Integration

  • I have the forum open in the background on both my laptop and phone almost all the time and I use my phone about half the time for looking at the Forum.
  • The handy little icon the Android phone creates for you already looks like an app. Do iPhone users have this? (I know it’s not an app. It’s just a link.)
  • I think I would rather have the forum separate so I can shut it off while I’m working on something using whatever features are in the app.
  • Or integrated but doesn’t give notifications while I’m practicing. That would be distracting.

Video Casting

  • This isn’t something I’m in a position to do but everybody here has made it sound really cool.

Key Finder Tool

  • I saw a paper version of this once
  • Select a key and it tells what notes to use.
  • Select notes and it tells you what key/keys those notes belong to.

Jam-Along Tracks

  • Linked to lessons.
  • Pitch shifted, speed adjustable, and loopable.
  • With a link to the tab and the option to print.

Warm UP and Practice Follow-A-Longs

  • Warm Up exercises
  • One and Two Octave Scales
  • The Beast

50 First Songs Pack

  • Official BassBuzz backing tracks.
  • Pitch shifted, speed adjustable, and loopable.
  • Downloadable for use in a DAW
  • With a link to the tab and the option to print.

Book Marking for Lessons

  • User defined like the option for book marking individual posts in the forum.

Ear Training Tools

  • I don’t know what those should be but I needed to put something on this bullet point and Ear Training Tools would be a good fit for an app.

Paid versus Free App

  • A free app with in-app purchases seems to make sense to me.
  • It would allow you to release the app for access to the Forum while in-app purchases can open up additional content as it becomes available.
  • The suggestion is also based on some of the things above being expensive to develop (i.e., anything to do with the 50 First Songs Pack).
  • I would rather have a really cool BassBuzz app that I have to pay for than a free app that just has the forum.

Lastly

  • I want all of these features to be reflected on both the website and the app and for changes, bookmarks, course scheduling, etc. to be reflected between them so that I get the same information regardless of which I use.

Good luck Josh. I know none of this will be cheap, easy, or quick and I look forward to seeing what comes out of this.

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Scale reference, chord tone reference, metronome, drum pack, forum, course material (in landscape mode for iPad), exercise material, music reading reference.

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I love the idea of an app. I can understand why folks would prefer the browser too, but as far as screen size goes, the ability to cast videos to a TV or any larger screen makes it a moot point. Of course that requires the technical know-how to do it too, but if you have both then it just means you have the ability to reach that many more people.

I find the idea of an app particularly interesting as a supplement to the course or to help go beyond the course. Everything eric.kiser mentioned in his post would be great. I love the idea of including things like ear training and a metronome geared specifically for bassists (like intervals with bass notes). As a former drummer I’ve always been looking for similar functionality in a metronome as I’ve seen in some electric drum-sets. For example, it would be amazing to have a metronome that can guide you through rhythmic exercises like slow speed up/slow down, listening through a mike (or vibration with accelerameter?) to evaluate how on beat you are, etc.

Tracking your progress would be a big benefit too. Duolingo does a great job of that for language learning. They also do a great job of making practice fun, and gameifying it to build up streaks, get rewards, etc.

However, what I would really like to see - and as a software engineer myself this is something that I’ve had a dream of building for some time - is a platform for 1-on-1 music education. Ideally it would help connect students to teachers as well as serve as lesson management tool for teachers, and a one-stop practice shop for students (including all the aforementioned tools, gameification, and such). Then you could have new students follow the course first and then seamlessly transition them into a real student-teacher relationship. If you want to get really crazy you could try to include stuff like AR/VR, AI, and any other tech abbreviation you can think of :slight_smile:

This would be a pretty serious, long-term project of course. Much more so than creating another avenue to consume the current course. BUT if it ever got serious, we’re talking career goals for me here (if you need an engineer :wink: ).

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Couldn’t help it @JoshFossgreen, but your “Two Questions” with three listed reminded me of this scene from the old Shrek movie when the guard holds up two fingers and says “Pick number three”…:rofl::rofl::rofl:

As for me and apps, although I’ve tried a bunch of different ones I find that most of them are all useless. I would not have taken B2B on an app, and as for other aspects of playing music (tuners, loopers, metronome’s, etc). There are a ton of them out there that I’ve tried and eventually canned…

If however the B2B course was offered on a “Virtual Reality” platform, I’d probably pay again to retake the course even though I already completed it just for the experience.

Good Luck!!
Lanny

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The only benefit I’d get from an app would be all the things you mentioned in #3 Josh.

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