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Introducing practice lists

Big news today: we’ve launched a new suite of practice tools, all focused on helping you make the most of the music you have in Soundslice.

We’ve been working for nearly 10 years now on perfecting our player — the core Soundslice experience, combining sheet music with audio/video for multi-dimensional learning. In our opinion, it’s the single best tool for learning and practicing any piece of music.

But beyond specific pieces of music, what about the bigger picture? How do you manage what you’re practicing, how do you stay motivated, and what tools can we provide to help your practice in a broader sense? We’re interested in zooming out — providing more connective tissue for your music-learning life.

Our new practice tools are the first step in addressing this. Here’s an overview of what’s new.

Practice lists

There are many parts to Soundslice, and you as a student can access content in many ways — from a teacher, from our store, from our friendly community or by transcribing or creating sheet music yourself.

Alas, up until now, these areas have been relatively segregated. When you log into your Soundslice account, there are separate sections for courses you’ve purchased, slices shared privately by your teacher, posts from the community and slices you’ve created yourself.

Now there’s a way to organize it all in one place.

Practice lists are a way to bundle slices together, in a specific order, for your own benefit. For example, a practice list could contain a handful of slices you created yourself, plus an Antoine Boyer etude you bought, plus an arrangement from Jake Estner’s channel.

It’s totally open-ended, and you can have multiple lists. You could have a “Warmup routine” practice list, plus a “Working on” list, plus a “Tunes for March 15 gig” list.

You’ll now see a “Practice lists” button at the top of every slice page (assuming you’re logged in). This is how you can add a slice to one of your practice lists, and it looks like this:

Screenshot

Every Soundslice account gets a free practice list called “Bookmarks” by default. Our previous bookmarks system has been migrated to this and retired. If you used that system, your bookmarks have been automatically imported into your “Bookmarks” practice list.

The ability to create custom practice lists is now available for any Soundslice user in a paid plan. (The Plus plan is the cheapest, at 5 bucks a month — a good deal.) For more on practice lists, see our new help section.

Practicing slices

Organizing slices into lists is all well and good, but we’re launching more than just that today. When you view a slice in context of a practice list, you’ll get all of the Soundslice features you know and love — but you’ll also get some additional functionality.

The first thing you might notice is the left part of the page — it’s a special sidebar only visible for slices in practice lists:

Screenshot

On smaller screens such as phones, you won’t see this sidebar by default. Open the sidebar by tapping this icon at the top of the page:

Screenshot

The practice sidebar has three sections, each of which is a brand new Soundslice feature launched today.

Practice log

The practice log is a lightweight way to track your practice history. It’s super simple and (in our experience) provides an extra bit of motivation. Don’t break the streak!

Screenshot

These circles represent the last seven calendar days, including today. (Today is always on the right.) For each day you practiced this piece of music, the circle is green. This quickly shows you your practice streak.

When you’ve practiced the slice for the day, just click that button to mark it as practiced:

Screenshot

Man, that’s satisfying.

The practice log on an individual slice only shows seven days, for simplicity. But you can access your full practice history (at least since you started using Soundslice’s practice tools) to dive deeper.

For more info, see the new help page on practice tracking.

Private notes

The second new thing you’ll see on slice practice pages is called private notes. This is a way for you to write down reflections on what you’re learning, breakthroughs on technique, your current best BPM, etc.

These notes are completely private to you. Nobody else can see them, even if the slice is technically owned by somebody else (for example, if you’ve added a community post to your practice list).

It’s a simple and intuitive system, and you can read more about it here.

Saved loops

This one is my favorite! Remember how we launched focus mode back in November? It’s the feature that lets you select an arbitrary section of music and hide everything else, helping you focus.

You can now save a focus mode section, so that you can return to it quickly any time. Essentially this is a way to bookmark a “slice of a slice.”

For any slice in a practice list, simply drag across any part of your notation to create a loop. Then click the “...” button at the upper right of the selection and choose “Save loop.”

Screenshot

We’ll automatically enter focus mode for your selected section of music, and you’ll be prompted to give the saved loop a name. By default we’ll use the bar range you’ve selected.

When you’ve done that, the newly created saved loop will appear in the sidebar:

Screenshot

Once you’ve created saved loops, it’s very fast and easy to access them. Just click any of the names in the saved loops section of the practice sidebar, and your notation will instantly enter focus mode with the specific loop selected:

Screenshot

Playback will automatically loop, and all other notation will magically be hidden — removing distraction and letting you focus on the subset of music.

See our new help page on saved loops for more, and enjoy!

The new practice homepage

And lastly: if you’re logged into your Soundslice account, you’ll now notice a new Practice link in the navigation:

Screenshot

This page is basically the command center for all of our new practice features. It lets you create (and access) practice lists, and it shows you your practice history.

Next steps

We’re excited about these new features and excited to hear your thoughts about them. Your feedback will help guide us: where should we take this next? Drop a comment below or contact us. Hope you enjoy the new features!

Comments

Wow this is super cool! Excited to try it! So anyone on a paid plan gets this automatically?
Sorry if I missed this, but can I as a teacher send a practice list to a student? (assuming they are a paid member)
Thanks! Yes, anyone on a paid plan gets this automatically. :)

There's no way for teachers to send practice lists to students, but we're definitely interested in exploring ideas here. This feedback is useful, so thanks!
Thank you for these updates. They will be very useful.

Is it possible to get an auto play feature please? I am thinking that if you purchased a course, it would play the videos sequentially so you don't have to click and load each one every time.
Thanks for the idea!
This is a great feature. As a teacher it would be cool to be able to assign practice pieces to students, share notes and view the practice log. It would also add value in that many teachers use additional platforms that already do this and then import soundslice links into those platforms. This would mean that we could get everything in one place. Thanks for your continued hard work in making such awesome improvements to the service. Chris
Excellent feedback — thank you. Yes, we're interested in exploring the interactions between practice lists, teachers and students. Need to figure out the right balance between giving the student privacy and giving the teacher opportunity to provide feedback and guidance. Really appreciate your thoughts here.
As a teacher who use Soundslice every day it's a great idea.
This is an excellent direction to go in. Soundslice has always been my go-to tool for transcription, but it has not been a major practice tool for me because it can be tedious moving from one slice to the next. These new practice features will help a lot.
Can you please add a "Unmark as practiced for today" button?
Thanks — we had people like you in mind when we built these new features!

For the "Unmark as practiced for today," yes, we will come up with a way to do this.
This is a really welcome set of features! Is there any way this functionality could be added to those of us that embed Soundslices in our own websites?
Thanks! It's a bit tricky to imagine how some of these things would work in the context of an embed, because Soundslice would need to store information about specific users of your website (to save loops, save practice lists, etc.). With that said, it's definitely something we want to investigate.
Another idea but it's out of the subject. Can you make an auto-pitch display for name note in Latin name ( do re mi fa sol la si do ). It's for English name.

Thanks for all these quality improvements !
Thanks for the suggestion. Would you want "relative do" or "absolute do" for this? Or the ability to choose between the two?
Hi there, thanks for the amazing work you are putting together. It makes the music studying more enjoyable. Any way you could think of a sort of balanced fee for teachers who have a number of students and want to use Soundslice as a practising log and platform? A sort of plan that could be either shared by the teacher and the students? I would love to recommend Soundslice to my students but I feel that some of them won't be happy to pay a large fee if they are beginners. Any idea? Thanks, M
Thanks for the thoughts here. Yes, we're interested in figuring out how to integrate these new practice tools into the Soundslice teacher-student relationship in a useful and fair way. If you have any more thoughts, please feel free to post a followup comment or email us (soundslice.com/contact).
Looks interesting thanks for the update and all the effort.

Can I arrange my courses in any order I want finally or are they always going to stay like they are?

Thanks,

Bob B.
Thanks Bob. Just to be clear, are you referring to courses you've purchased, or courses you've created? We can definitely consider adding the ability to reorder.
Thanks a lot to the Soundslice team for these great new features ! Will definitely use them.
Thanks for this great new features!
Students tracking their time on certain lessons we have like scales, ear training or theory would be useful to use when embedded in the site. Then they can know they've done 4 hours scales a month etc.
With the new emphasis on the practice experience, I'd like to add another feature suggestion. It would be great to be able to duplicate a public slice to your personal account for editing. I often see a great slice I'd like to improve upon, but to do that I would have to remake the whole slice from scratch (import a source recording, create sync points, add notation). Creators could opt-in like they currently do for the print option.
Thanks for the suggestion — yes, that would be really useful!
This is great and aligns very well with my own method which I developed after reading up on deliberate practise.

I would like to be able to see on the main list view when I last practised each slice. Even better would be an option to automatically sort the practise list so that the least-recently practised slice is at the top.

This would solve a couple of things for me: one being that I tend to over estimate what I can practise in a day, so I would like to be able to pick up on the neglected slices from previous days. Secondly, I like to come back to certain slices every couple of weeks as a form of spaced repetition. Having the last-practised date (or sort option) on the overview would help me pick which slices to practise.
That all makes sense, thanks for the idea. Are you using the "Mark as practiced" feature (www.soundslice.com/help…)?
Thanks for the plug!

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