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> Modular Thinking, A possible way to group lessons?
Tank
post Apr 25 2007, 07:56 PM
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Hello!

I've been doing my weekly catch up on the GMC, (busy, busy!) and have noticed a trend in the types of questions that are being asked (and the lessons that are being referred to). This has occurred to me, mainly because of a similar situation that's been personally arising to me, outside of music.

It seems that a lot of students have issues with:
A) Knowing what to study (i.e "In what order should I tackle such and such")
B ) Staying power. ("When do I know I've got this? Should I move on to a new thing?").

I see that Pavel has noticed that people try a lesson, and then quickly move on. I'm not sure whether the reason is that they've mastered it though! From experience, I might suggest that some people perhaps pick and mix a lot of stuff, but not really focus long enough to really nail a technique, to full performance standard.

Recently, I've been involved in making a syllabus of study for another non musical project, but perhaps all the material on the GMC could be indexed in the same way. And then you'd have to work through the module, for the best benefit. For instance:

Module 1 (Beginner) (Study time 15 hours)
Alt Picking lesson 1 (to 60 bpm)
Am Pentatonic (Boxes 1 and 2) (+ 3 if necessary)
Theory - CAGED part 1
Solo 1
Improv - Applied Alt picking to small pentatonic patterns using boxes 1 and 2.

Then you should complete this module before moving onto Module 2 which would be slightly more advanced. (Perhaps a small test somewhere to either prove that you've acquired the skills to move on?).

Obviously, the example above isn't brilliant (it's just off the top of my head). But perhaps if the information was grouped in this way somewhere, it would mean that a student who took the "course" would force themselves to work through the material, rather than flit from one thing to the next without giving it their full attention.

I don't mean to pile more work ontop of Kris blink.gif (he's busy enough as it is!!). To be fair, this approach is incredibly complex to compile, and takes a long time to develop in the correct way. I'm just interested in whether people think that this would be of benefit to them, (does it suit your learning style?) I know I usually work much better when I have a list of stuff to do, and once I've completed it, I can then strike it from the list and move onto the next bit. Perhaps in the future the GMC would become one of the world standards for guitar courses!!??

This post has been edited by Tank: Apr 26 2007, 11:36 AM
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moorkop
post Apr 25 2007, 08:46 PM
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This is a very good idea!

I myself don't do all the lessons and just pick the stuff i like, and just click random things. Those modules would be awesome, also because the homepage is getting full of lessons. It could become more like a course to GREATNESS laugh.gif

I understand its probably not easy to reasile, but as you make such a course, its also easy to discover which kind of lessons are missing

great input tank!


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Fsgdjv
post Apr 25 2007, 10:46 PM
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That would definetly be good, since it's sometimes hard to know what to do next and everything, and then you won't forget some tecniques if you have to make sure you don't miss anything in the module, just like moorkop said.


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mattacuk
post Apr 25 2007, 11:20 PM
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QUOTE (Tank @ Apr 25 2007, 07:56 PM) *
Hello!

I've been doing my weekly catch up on the GMC, (busy, busy!) and have noticed a trend in the types of questions that are being asked (and the lessons that are being referred to). This has occurred to me, mainly because of a similar situation that's been personally arising to me, outside of music.

It seems that a lot of students have issues with:
A) Knowing what to study (i.e "In what order should I tackle such and such")
B ) Staying power. ("When do I know I've got this? Should I move on to a new thing?").

I see that Pavel has noticed that people try a lesson, and then quickly move on. I'm not sure whether the reason is that they've mastered it though! From experience, I might suggest that some people perhaps pick and mix a lot of stuff, but not really focus long enough to really nail a technique, to full performance standard.

Recently, I've been involved in making a syllabus of study for another non musical project, but perhaps all the material on the GMC could be indexed in the same way. And then you'd have to work through the module, for the best benefit. For instance:

Module 1 (Beginner) (Study time 15 hours)
Alt Picking lesson 1 (to 60 bpm)
Am Pentatonic (Boxes 1 and 2) (+ 3 if necessary)
Theory - CAGED part 1
Solo 1
Improv - Applied Alt picking to small pentatonic patterns using boxes 1 and 2.

Then you should complete this module before moving onto Module 2 which would be slightly more advanced. (Perhaps a small test somewhere to either prove that you've acquired the skills to move on?).

Obviously, the example above isn't brilliant (it's just off the top of my head). But perhaps if the information was grouped in this way somewhere, it would mean that a student who took the "course" would force themselves to work through the material, rather than flit from one thing to the next without giving it their full attention.

I don't mean to pile more work ontop of Kris blink.gif (he's busy enough as it is!!). To be fair, this approach is incredibly to compile, and takes a long time to develop in the correct way. I'm just interested in whether people think that this would be of benefit to them, (does it suit your learning style?) I know I usually work much better when I have a list of stuff to do, and once I've completed it, I can then strike it from the list and move onto the next bit. Perhaps in the future the GMC would become one of the world standards for guitar courses!!??


I really like the idea, and the logic behind it. I do something similair in my mind, i choose groups of vaious things to practice and then carry them out untill i have nailed it!!!


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Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 26 2007, 12:30 AM
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Great idea Tank - it might work as a group activity to figure out how we would order the stuff ... also, I suspect that as you get to the higher levels you might need 2 - 3 different paths - we don't all want to be shredders.

Having said that, every guitarist should at least have an appreciation of as many styles as possible, so maybe I am off base here, and once you have completed module 20 or whatever, that is when you should think about your individual style a lot more.


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wheeler
post Apr 26 2007, 12:38 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Apr 25 2007, 06:30 PM) *
Great idea Tank - it might work as a group activity to figure out how we would order the stuff ... also, I suspect that as you get to the higher levels you might need 2 - 3 different paths - we don't all want to be shredders.

Having said that, every guitarist should at least have an appreciation of as many styles as possible, so maybe I am off base here, and once you have completed module 20 or whatever, that is when you should think about your individual style a lot more.


I agree. Excellent idea....but like Andrew said (or at least my interpretation smile.gif ) I think to use it to its fullest potential, we would need to branch out into different paths (shred, blues, whatever) after completing the....let's call them the "General Education" requirements. Finish your Gen Ed's, then pick your major. biggrin.gif But all in all I think it's an idea that should definitely be pursued.
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Ron
post Apr 26 2007, 12:40 AM
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Excellent idea Tank.

I also think your addition is good too Andrew.
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Lurgen
post Apr 26 2007, 02:20 AM
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Definitely a good idea - I'm flicking through the lessons that interest me, skipping many that probably should be done first. A syllabus would definitely help me structure my studies here.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 26 2007, 08:55 AM
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Great input Tank!

With out a doubt we are in need of structuring the dynamic content we got - to suit different skill levels, musical tastes and goals people might have...! Which isn't an easy task.However I believe this kind of modular thinking could work well for people who need a "learning plan".

How do you suggest we go about this? Start with 10 different modules, and then add more and more as we grow?

smile.gif


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Tank
post Apr 26 2007, 11:30 AM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Apr 26 2007, 08:55 AM) *
How do you suggest we go about this? Start with 10 different modules, and then add more and more as we grow?

smile.gif


I think we'd need to be pro-active rather than reactive. Rather than looking at all the material we have, and then saying "Right, learn this first, this second.. etc", the modules could be built to "What does a guitarist need?", and package the modules to suit. That way, you can see if there are any gaps in the information, which can be filled by creating a new lesson.

Andrews idea of having 2 or 3 final paths would be a brilliant way of finishing off, however, we'd need to work out some sort of process, or flow chart to ensure that the fundamental techniques are being covered, before a student gets to that point. Perhaps in the earlier modules, you can bundle the modules with a target solo (the final objective/test would be to complete that solo to a certain standard). However, rather than one solo, select 2 (or 3) from different genres which contain similar basic techniques. That way the student can select which style they want to study, but they'd all have to work through the same techniques and theory to get to that point.

I think to begin with, you'd need to work out the progression of modules, and then perhaps put in one at each level. "First day beginners", "intermediate", and "advanced". This means that everyone, at each level can have a go, at completing a module. (I'm sure a lot of the more experienced players wouldn't appreciate having to go through learning barre chords again!! wink.gif tongue.gif )

Maybe if the idea takes off, you could set the forum to tag users names with the modules they've completed to the standard, as a "badge of honour". I don't know if this would be a good extra incentive, but you might find that students who have problems tackling the harder ones, might try to get more tags by going back and doing the easier ones (which would then sneakily prepare them for doing the hard ones!)

How's that sound?
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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 26 2007, 12:13 PM
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QUOTE (Tank @ Apr 26 2007, 12:30 PM) *
I think we'd need to be pro-active rather than reactive. Rather than looking at all the material we have, and then saying "Right, learn this first, this second.. etc", the modules could be built to "What does a guitarist need?", and package the modules to suit. That way, you can see if there are any gaps in the information, which can be filled by creating a new lesson.


I agree that this is the ideal way of doing it.

The human factor works against us however: If someone told me to do a specific set of 10 lessons because they form an excellent introduction to someone who wants to go in the this and that direction - I would not be able to produce nearly as high quality lessons as if I did one with the stuff I currently play/explain the best.

That is why we have agreed with the guest intsrcutors to chose the material they feel most comfortbale with and work our way from there, so the series we have got going are aimed at what the teacher do best. (while trying to explain it to the students a clear as possible)

The feedback I/we get occasionally gives me the feeling that people think we can do any lesson request - which is very flattering of course! biggrin.gif However, as mentioned - we are just guys like you who have sut down practcing different topics until we master them. Since we are between 20-30 years we naturally haven't covered everything yet...

I think reactive is the way to go until we have lots of teachers covering all the different topics there are.

Actually we are working on a very advanced solution to this problem - which involves a smart database gathering information from user activity on the site (no "personal" information of course) and categorizing lessons with this data. The goal of this application is to consider the dynamics of the lesson database (=the fact that there are constantly new lessons added) and create updated learning plans - taken musical style and level of skills into consideration... This solution requires a more advanced forum profile where users state the level of skills etc.

However, gmc can currently only afford paying a web developper 6 hours a week - with this rate we will have at least 10 times the content before we get the smart database going...

...so that is where this excellent modules idea comes in! biggrin.gif


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Pavel
post Apr 26 2007, 12:27 PM
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Ideas here are just awesome but than again from my point of view - all guitarists should be able to play many styles - not only blues or metal or soft rock or something. So in my opinion the best way is to devide lessons by their difficulty - Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced Plus and so on....

Because let's take Rock Rythm lessons - they are not only rock lessons - they are also shred lessons because there are lot's of shred runs there. Same goes for Metal lessons - it's not only riffing but also shred techniques included. So in the end we come to Mastering the guitar and being able to play everything you want and not only being a blues guy or total metalhead.

It's just my opinion, in the end it's up to Kris to decide how to manage the GMC but i am sure dividing it by difficulty is much better than dividing by styles. smile.gif

Btw. Tank's idea with "badges" is really great! And reading his posts i noticed he shares the same opinion of "difficulty" type of dividing.

This post has been edited by Pavel: Apr 26 2007, 12:33 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 26 2007, 01:31 PM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Apr 26 2007, 07:27 AM) *
Ideas here are just awesome but than again from my point of view - all guitarists should be able to play many styles - not only blues or metal or soft rock or something. So in my opinion the best way is to devide lessons by their difficulty - Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced Plus and so on....

Because let's take Rock Rythm lessons - they are not only rock lessons - they are also shred lessons because there are lot's of shred runs there. Same goes for Metal lessons - it's not only riffing but also shred techniques included. So in the end we come to Mastering the guitar and being able to play everything you want and not only being a blues guy or total metalhead.

It's just my opinion, in the end it's up to Kris to decide how to manage the GMC but i am sure dividing it by difficulty is much better than dividing by styles. smile.gif

Btw. Tank's idea with "badges" is really great! And reading his posts i noticed he shares the same opinion of "difficulty" type of dividing.


Hi Pavel,

I certainly agree that a well rounded guitarist should be the master of all styles,and you are an inspiration to us in that regard!

I do think there is a little room for maneouvre here. Mastering all of the super advanced techniques doesn't necesarily make you a great guitarist, although it certainly helps a lot ... but if you apply that rule to guitarists we consider to be great, well, Hendrix never sweeped in his life, BB King played mostly 1 scale ... they would be average/intermediate guitarists in this scheme which doesn't seem quite right. Its a question of picking a style and then breadth vs depth.

Having said that, I think that a core set of modules should include ALL the styles that we can get material together on (I agree with Kris point about being reactive whilst looking forward to the time when we have enough lessons and instructors to be proactive as Tank said) - these could be the Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced that Pavel mentioned, then maybe a choice of a few "Advanced Plus" level modules that denote depth in a particular style.

I also think badges are a great idea, but I wonder how they would get assigned? Are we turning Kris and/or the other examiners into examiners now? Maybe we could post to the uploads board and have a poll on whether or not the recording is to the required standard? Or maybe it should just be done on the honour system.

Great thread Tank, I love the idea of a GMC "diploma" being the industry standard for guitar qualifications in a year or two smile.gif


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Pavel
post Apr 26 2007, 04:42 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Apr 26 2007, 02:31 PM) *
I do think there is a little room for maneouvre here. Mastering all of the super advanced techniques doesn't necesarily make you a great guitarist, although it certainly helps a lot ... but if you apply that rule to guitarists we consider to be great, well, Hendrix never sweeped in his life, BB King played mostly 1 scale ... they would be average/intermediate guitarists in this scheme which doesn't seem quite right.


I just want to try to point your view to a different angle - don't take is a an offend - just try to imagine this:

Hendrix and BB King - yeah ok they did a lot for playing. But they did to playing the same thing Intel Pentium I did for informatics. Does it mean we have to continue using Pentium I and forget about all the Core 2 Duo processors which kick ass?? The world is moving on - styles are developping, player skills are growing.

Read this improvised conversation and apply it to guitar in this situation:

... "Hey i can play Solitare on Pentium I!" - "Yeah ok i can hash 40GB of data in BitLord, unpack 20GB of files, render 600MB of video files and play BF2 at the same time using Core 2 Duo!" - "Nah, Core 2 sucks - Pentium I was a legendary processor - it started the whole new age for informatics!"

Does it mean we still have to use Pentium I?? --- i think there is only one answer!!


Hendrix started a new age in guitar playing - but does it mean we have to stop there???
I am sure when Hendrix was starting playing guitar there was noone on Earth doing things he did - but that didn't stopped him from starting a new age in playing. So why don't you become Hendrix of modern age, ha?


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Tank
post Apr 26 2007, 04:53 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Apr 26 2007, 12:13 PM) *
The human factor works against us however: If someone told me to do a specific set of 10 lessons because they form an excellent introduction to someone who wants to go in the this and that direction - I would not be able to produce nearly as high quality lessons as if I did one with the stuff I currently play/explain the best.

That is why we have agreed with the guest intsrcutors to chose the material they feel most comfortbale with and work our way from there, so the series we have got going are aimed at what the teacher do best. (while trying to explain it to the students a clear as possible)


I fully agree that you've got to play to your strengths when you teach, and that the instructors are given free reign to make the best lesson possible by using those strengths. However, where the GMC has an advantage is that all the instructors do have different strengths, so rather than posting a module that states "Kris takes you through a course of basic legato", you could post an outline on one of the boards, and the instructors could pick a bit out of it, say "I've got something that will fill that nicely", and once the lesson is up, you can change the lesson section to a link.

Ultimately, the aim for every guitarist in GMC would be for one of you guys to post a solo, and in a relatively short space of time, for the studying guitarist to nail it. How fast that the student is going to achieve that depends on how good their grasp and practice of the basic techniques are. And to be fair, a lot of the concepts are already covered in good detail in lessons. Really all that the module system does, is gather the lessons into groups, that have a small goal, leading into working towards a wider goal.

Andrew raises a very good point on how GMC would "verify" the completion of a course. I think that if you were going to make it ultimately useful, we would have to have an assessment of some sort. Obviously, the materials would be open to use by any member of the site to run through how, however, if you wanted to earn a badge, you'd need to post a recording for review of some sort. (Or else, badges would be worthless).

As an idea, it obviously needs work, before we start trying to impliment anything. I can't believe I'm about to write this... Perhaps we need to form a comittee on this?
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Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 26 2007, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Apr 26 2007, 11:42 AM) *
I just want to try to point your view to a different angle - don't take is a an offend - just try to imagine this:


Hey, no offense taken Pavel smile.gif We're both just trying to make suggestions to make GMC better after all, and I actually agree with 95% of what you are saying.

Of course you are right about styles moving on that is a good point that we all need to be aware of - I guess the core of my point is that not all guitarists are alike and we should find a way to respect that at the same time as ensuring that anyone who gets a GMC badge is as well rounded and complete a musician as possible.

QUOTE (Tank @ Apr 26 2007, 11:53 AM) *
As an idea, it obviously needs work, before we start trying to impliment anything. I can't believe I'm about to write this... Perhaps we need to form a comittee on this?


laugh.gif - sounds like a nightmare but you are probably right, although Kris should have the final say of course.

Another point is that this should be optional ... people who come here and want to learn some new licks and progress at their own speed might be turned off by an exam driven ethos if it becomes to pervasive on the site - this should definately be available for the people who apreciate the structure and drive of this kind of framework, and I am sure people will be rightly proud of their badges, but at the same time I am sure there will be a number of people who don't want the formality and just want to hang out with like-minded people and learn some stuff at their own informal pace.

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Apr 26 2007, 06:02 PM


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Ryan
post Apr 27 2007, 08:40 AM
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When, and if you guys do this....DONT MAKE IT LIKE SCHOOL..i just finished..and yea..well i dont want to have to go back .....DO THIS DO THAT DO THIS THAT kinda thing...even though i would still come here maybe not so often, but yea i like my freedom when im trying to learn techiques, songs, or w/e!!


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Peevee
post Apr 27 2007, 09:41 AM
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Hey!
I was actually thinking of this same exact thing earlier. To have some sort of guide-line. I also had an idea about how to find out how long u should practice on a lesson. It would work with a poll I think. Everytime you're done with an excersice (meaning you know how to play it and u could play it in your sleep if you needed to) you would get to answer a quick poll with 2 questions. 1. How good do you consider yourself (Beginner, Ok, Advanced and Expert) 2. How long did it take you to fully learn the lesson (would work with a drop box with a number choice). That would be one easy way to do it. And it would get more accurate the more people answered the little poll. Then everyone would know how long that specific lesson takes to learn. Of course people learn faster and some learn slower but it would give us some kind of idea.
Hope its not too bad of an idea.

/Peevee
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Tank
post Apr 27 2007, 12:03 PM
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QUOTE (Ryan @ Apr 27 2007, 08:40 AM) *
When, and if you guys do this....DONT MAKE IT LIKE SCHOOL..i just finished..and yea..well i dont want to have to go back .....DO THIS DO THAT DO THIS THAT kinda thing...even though i would still come here maybe not so often, but yea i like my freedom when im trying to learn techiques, songs, or w/e!!


Don't worry.

A) It's just an idea, it's a structure to help motivate some people through the material on the site.
B ) Even if Kris did decide that it's worth pursuing, it's going to work best if it's used as a board, where people can use it if they want to. Other students, like yourself, who work better other ways, can continue to use the GMC whichever way you wish smile.gif

The common goals are to be able to confidently play just about anything that comes your way. How you go about achieving those goals is up to you. As long as we all get there in the end, it won't matter which path you took!

This post has been edited by Tank: Apr 27 2007, 12:05 PM
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post Apr 27 2007, 03:55 PM
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From: Wiltshire, England
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Good idea but as you say could take some time. I myself never know what i should practice i kind of rely on my guitar teacher to pick these things up and tell me what i need to do. But on this site i never know whether i should move on from that lesson or should stay and practice it more i think a test would be good so that you know whether you've mastered it or not. As you say maybe a group activity could be involved and perhaps recordings if people have a microphone that is.
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