TITLE: Learning to play the GuitarUsing Virtual Reality
PRESENTER: James Parra
AFFILIATION: AI Group, CS&E, UNSW
DATE: Friday, 17 November 2000 TIME: 12:00 - 13:00
PLACE: Meeting Room 1 Ground Floor Samuels Building
* All Welcome *
Enter through gate 11 in Botany Street for parking
For more information on the location see URL http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~aishare/finding/
Learning to play an instrument is something that most people would have considered at some stage in their life. Those who persevere and actually do it, usually find that it is a very rewarding skill. Many learning methods are available: Books, tapes and transcribing songs. However, few would argue that having a teacher is the best method. Unfortunately the latter can be quite expensive, given the long-term dedication it requires.
In recent years, computers have provided yet another alternative in learning to play an instrument. Several multimedia applications have emerged, with the cost of such software being a fraction of what is paid for private tuition.
Many of the multimedia packages to date have concentrated on the traditional reading of sheet music, providing a score which the student plays and listens to. This approach, just as printed sheet music, sometimes lacks the necessary detail for the correct-playing of music pieces. Several aspects, such as finger positioning cannot be determined from the score, and this can often lead the student to bad habits, or doubting whether the song can be played at all by a human hand.
This Thesis concentrates on learning to play the guitar, which has captivated the author for the past ten years. It attempts to utilize 3D graphics and MIDI sound to produce an application which focuses on the benefits of SEEING and HEARING someone perform a music piece. It hence provides a method in which a student learns by imitating a Virtual Guitar Tutor (represented by a guitar and human hands), as is done with music teachers, rather than merely reading a music score.
Input to the application comes in the form of MIDI files, providing a virtually endless repertoire. Several pieces were selected, featuring varying levels of difficulty in order to compare the similarity and effectiveness of the Virtual Guitar Tutor to that of a human player. The application demonstrates that it is feasible to utilize such an approach in learning to play the guitar.
Ways in which the application can be improved are also explored, as it is intended that this project will be continued by others who also strive to share their guitar knowledge, making it easier for the rest to learn to play this wonderful instrument.
BIOGRAPHY OF SPEAKER:
James Parra is a UNSW Computer Engineering undergraduate student. "Learning to play the guitar using Virtual Reality" is his 4th year undergraduate thesis, supervised by Tim Lambert.
School of Computer Science & Engineering, UNSW.