Guitar Lesson Progress Report

So I have been using Yousician (my last post of guitar lesson) for a while, and I wanted to share how this app works. I had the Yousician app downloaded on my laptop, and I thought I can screencast it. But, this app did not run smoothly on my laptop. The screen froze, and I could not actually use it.

Then, I thought about screen-share my iPad screen while I practice.  Alec showed us how easy it is to screen-share his iPhone using Quicktime. However, it only works on Mac. I didn’t realize that until I tried it. Then, I google how to screen-share iPad screen on PC. I found an easy way to record iOS screen: Apowersoft Phone Manager. The tutorial of this program looked pretty simple, so I downloaded this program. I can connect my iPad by tapping “AirPlay” on my iPad and then open the “Mirroring” function. In a matter of a second, my iPad screen was on my PC screen, and I clicked record.

My laptop screen shot

And here is my first recording.

Well, the recording was easy enough, but the video feed on my PC was delayed, and although the sound on iPad was recorded it was off from the recorded screen… on top of being off timing, my guitar sound was not being recorded. Oh, Peach FUZZ!! (a phrase from my daughter’s favorite cartoon Paw Patrol.)

Now, I needed another way to document my progress, and I chose Screencastify (Chrome extension) to record both screen and my voice and guitar sound. I was kind of pumped about problem-solving this issue by myself (meaning did not need to Google to come up with this idea) but it did not work, again!

I did not consider the fact that the iOS recorder was still recording off timing meaning my laptop capacity for video recording (or something heavy duty) is terrible. My 10 years old PC just cannot handle it. Moreover, my voice and guitar sound were not audible (PC microphone did not catch the sound) and there was ringing due to having two devices too close by. Can I salvage this video? Should I try recording a voice-over and edit it? I am actually spending more time problem solving this recording issue over my guitar practice… But if I overcome this, I will be able to screencast the iPad screen to create tutorials or just share it with my colleagues and students.

I am seriously considering purchasing Mac… if I had Mac, I wouldn’t have this issue.


My learning project has been kind of slow going, but I just started to use Yousician app on my iPad. I saw this advertised when I started my project watching YouTube videos and I thought I would give it a try. It’s been 2 weeks since I downloaded the app and I only practiced 3-4 times with this; however, I do like it and here are some positive point:

  1. It’s free. You get 20 minutes practice daily for free. If you want to practice more, you can upgrade to Premium. (I don’t think I will though, because 20 minutes practice is just enough for me right now.img_5427
  2. You can choose different instruments such as Bass, Ukulele, and Piano. I might want to try Ukulele next. I watched James’ learning project and I really liked the sound of the ukulele.
  3. Yousician has the guitar tuner which is much easier than clip-on type. It tells if the sound is too low or high with easy to read indicator. It also tells the correct code for each string on the screen and I don’t need to memorize them all. (or perhaps I should memorize them all… well, eventually I will.) img_5430
  4. You can practice skills in the game-like settings. First, you can start with tutorial video about what will be covered in the section, then you can start practice what you are working on. I am working on frets: which are those thin metal bars on the guitar neck. I really like this practice because I only need to focus on one string at a time. img_5428
  5. This game like setting gives you instant feedback on whether you going too slow or fast. You can change the tempo to slower in the beginning of practice, then, you can speed up the tempo as you get comfortable with finger placements.
  6. This app is downloadable to PC as well. I might try PC version so I can record my learning project using iPad.

So far, Yousician has been a pretty good companion for my learning project.

Smoke on the Water

...smoke on the water...//
by Fernando J. Toucedo Urban …smoke on the water…

My learning project has been put off for a while due to my work schedule and caring for a sick child. However, I was able to do a quick review of Lesson-2A video from Andrew’s Kids Guitar and learn a song to play using one string. Great thing about this lesson was the instant gratification; I felt very proud being able to play a song (opening) of ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple. This song (opening) is easy enough that I could memorize and I was able to practice when I found time (like 5 minutes) here and there.

Now, I have a big plan now to try utilizing ‘green screen’ video technique Alec talked about in Feb. 8th’s class, so it will look like I am playing with Deep Purple in the video. I am very excited about trying this ‘green/blue screen’ video technique and sharing the technique with my students in my animation after school program at school. (If you are interested in trying Stop Motion animation using iPad with your students, check my Padlet page: Animation Unit. I have posted learning tasks for students to go through.)


Tuning up

Finally, I started my learning project and I decided to learn how to tune my guitar using a clip-on tuner. I viewed the tutorial videos (lesson 1A to 1E) by Andrew Keppie (Kids Guitar today. His videos are short and sweet, easy to follow (and yes, it is for kids), I was able to learn the basics under one hour. As Andrew said in the last video, I think I really need to find 15 min everyday to try practicing my guitar for sure. Because I had hard time remembering the codes (E, A, G, D, C, and E) for each strings even right after I finished tuning guitar and tried to videolog myself. So I needed to go back to videos few times to take some notes.

During I was viewing the video tutorials, an advertisement for music App, called Yousician. This app looks like something I can try easily and it is free to download on my iPad. I hope I can post a review about this app next time.

My Learning Project: Guitar

Yes, I have decided! I am going to become a guitar player. I have always had strong admiration for guitar players since I was little, but I had never really tried to play guitar as young person. I had talked about it to my husband (when I saw the Chordbuddy on Shark Tank, 2012) and he gave me a kid sized guitar (because my hands are small) for Christmas that year. I was very excited about my guitar but I just did not get into it. I thought about taking a guitar lesson in town then, but I was reluctant to do so. Perhaps because I HATED practicing piano when I took it (age 6-11).

I, now, can analyze my reluctance toward practicing piano better…

  1. Practicing the basic skills were boring and I just wanted to learn how to play popular songs.
  2. I did not practice enough to master the basic skills necessary, so the teacher did not approve for playing popular songs.
  3. Teacher wouldn’t let me move on so I wouldn’t want to practice, so I never improved.

Bad cycle… (ahh… this is kind of familiar to some of my students during my internship last fall…) I know I have to practice the basic skills but I think I really need quick and tangible reward (like many young learners are…) So, I came up with my guitar lesson scheme.

  1. No cost = only using YouTube Videos. (Although it is tempting, I will not buy Chordbuddy.)
  2. Motivation 1: Practice songs that can be played with ONE chord at time. (Practicing the basic skills but I can play songs at the same time!)
  3. Motivation 2: I get sing and play with my daughter.
  4. Goal: Play guitar and sing Do Re Me with my daughter.

I found this YouTube channel called, ‘Kids Guitar‘ to start with and I plan to create a Padlet page to organize tasks (videos). I may try video diary but I am not sure how comfortable I will be yet.

Here is my ultimate goal!