Yes, by some miracle, I am still working with the free version of Yousician. No, I will not be investing in the paid version. My opinion of the program overall hasn’t changed, but there’s enough there that, while I can’t make myself work with the program daily, I do spend a few days a week crossing my fingers that I don’t run into any glitches. Lately, it’s been on pretty good behavior on that front. (Okay, it is constantly telling me to check my tuning, but I’m pretty sure that has more to do with me being a shitty guitarist than anything else. If you miss more than 5 notes in a row it assumes that your guitar is the problem. Nope, just me sucking at this particular lesson.)

I’ve spent a good amount of time going backward to lessons I’ve cleared but not achieved a star in, and have, over the past week or two, been gaining stars in the lessons behind me. Gold stars? No, not always, but still, it was affirming to see that enough improvement is happening that I’m progressing through some missions that were almost impossible for me before, which is proof that even when we don’t notice it, progress is being made.

That said, tonight’s lesson was pretty abysmal, and as I look at the melody section, it seems to me that they’ve got two of the lesson blocks backwards. Maybe I’m nuts, but, personally, it seems absolutely insane to teach picking up and down before string skipping (owing in huge part to the fact that you are heavily using string skipping in all of the picking up and down lessons, before you unlock the lesson block that covers the subject. Wtf is that about?)  So, you’re bumbling through string skipping for huge chunks of lessons before Yousician ever feels inclined to discuss it. By that point, either you’ve figured it out, or if you’re like me, are still pretty horrible at it, and have bungled your way on sheer dedication and dumb luck through the last block of lessons on the understanding this is just something that is going to require WAY more practice before you’re able to do it respectably.

So, you go through these picking up and down lessons (many of which, for the record, you can get through rather easily without actually picking up and down, at all.), and then you unlock the next lesson about string skipping, and I won’t even joke: it feels like the program is mocking you, or at least doing it to spite you. If the picking up and down lessons didn’t utilize string skipping so heavily, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but there are some fairly quick switches and some fairly significant jumps in the picking up and down lesson set, so to follow that by saying ‘oh, that thing you’ve been doing that we didn’t feel like discussing with you – for no reason – I guess we can talk about that now’ is nonsensical.  I’ll have to see how the lesson set evolves, but at a glance? Choosing to put these two lesson sets in this order just makes no sense.

Until Next Time, still have a Hate/Almost Vaguely Like relationship with Yousician. The drills are handy, but beyond that, I’m really not convinced the people who write the lessons actually know how to play any musical instruments, let alone the guitar.

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