Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

I’m starting to build an ITM tune repertoire and have discovered a useful iOS app called Notability, which allows me to store information about each tune that I’m trying to master (audio clips, dots, web links, etc.) all in one place and easily add typed or handwritten notes to the page as I progress on each tune. A nice feature is the ability to list entries by reverse date modified, which means I can bring up tunes I haven’t practiced in awhile to the top of the list. You can create any number of lists (e.g. Tunes, Songs, Resources, Practice Logs, etc) and there’s full text search. The audio clip feature includes a 0.7x playback speed which is great during the learning process. Synch’ing via iCloud gives me access from any device, and there’s a separate Mac app as well.

I understand Notability is a popular app for note-takers in general, and I’m sure there are other tablet-oriented apps that share its features as well. And this is not to denigrate the tried-and-true method of a notebook, pencil and a recording device, but I have to say this ‘works for me’. Anyone else care to share their tools and methods for building a repertoire and tracking progress?

Re: Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

I was discussing using flash cards with my wife earlier. It seems like a good way to associate the names with the tunes, if nothing else.

Re: Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

I’ve thought of adding tunes to Anki (my preferred SRS), say, the name as the question and the ABC (at least a two-bar incipit) as the answer. Then there’s Alan Ng’s https://www.irishtune.info/ where you can add tunes to your tunebook, and get a reminder when the system thinks it’s time for you to review the tune.

Re: Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

Flash cards could be useful especially once my repertoire expands a bit more. And Alan Ng’s site is full of surprises, I wasn’t aware of that tunebook feature. Clearly we are in the golden age of musical self-teaching!

Re: Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

I use https://www.irishtune.info/ extensively for practicing and monitoring my progress. It is a great learning and memory training website. If TheSession.org is crowd-sourced and extensive, I guess Alan Ng’s site is more focussed on memorizing and practicing.

You can build a playlist, add notes, add tags, keep track of how frequently you play a tune, print them out, set up a second list for another instrument. As Jeff said, there are automatic features to help you schedule your practice.

I’ve come to the insight that I need to play much better the tunes I know, and avoid adding more tunes that I play marginally well. So, I have tagged my Tunes as New, Memorized and Session-Ready. Then I can focus on repeat training on (for example) just the Session Ready ones to push them to the next level, or frankly to not choke when it’s my turn to start a set. The next day, maybe just Memorized Jigs, or whatever, to get them to the next level.

Re: Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

Nice! I also tag my tunes as New and Memorized, and note my current optimum practice tempo for each (this will increase gradually if I can pass the Matchstick test). Sadly I don’t yet have any that could be tagged ‘Session Ready’ although that hasn’t stopped me from starting a tune or two at the local sessions and quickly retreating into backup mode…I am on bouzouki by the way…

Re: Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

I wrote an application that stores tunes, how well I do them and build a mini algorithm that takes into account: last played, how much I like the tune and how well I play it. Then when you ask for a tune, it tells you the name and starting notes for the tune, afterwards it prompts for feedback on your progress.

This is a windows application. It works, but it’s not very user friendly in its current state. I need to extend it with an ABC reader for instance but I havent had the time..

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Re: Note-taking aids for building repertoire and technique

I wonder how far off we are from the possibility of AI instruction and performance feedback.