We all have our own pace, rhythm and techniques of practice. When working with a teacher, repetition and alternation are two important ways to reinforce our learnings. The new “practice sets” facility of the Patantara player helps you set up such a repetition and alternation pattern of your choosing when you’re working on a composition.
What we call a “practice set” is a sequence of lines of notation that are to be played without interruption using the chosen audio track. A line may be played using the selected audio track or may be included in the practice set as a “silent” line, where only the tala track plays and you can play or sing along in that gap.
So, for example, you can play each line of a pallavi twice, or configure them to play the audio once and leave one avrtam for you to sing along, then the second line, and so on.
Building up your practice set
When you load a document with associated audio tracks, you’ll notice a couple of new widgets that show up as you move your mouse over the notation lines with associated audio tracks. These are for adding the line to your “practice set”. Each line added will be to the end of your current practice set, so you can move around and add multiple lines or even the same line multiple times for repetition.
The widget on the right will, as noted in the picture, add the line for “silent playback”, where it will play only the tala. The intention is for you to play or sing along with it. You can therefore make practice sets with you’re playing a line again and again, but leaving an avrtam for yourself to fill in.
Playing your practice set
The main player control has a few new controls at the end that are for playing your practice set. These are shown and described below.
Once you add a few lines, say 6 lines, to your practice set, the “– of –” text will change to “– of 6”. When you hit the play button, your practice set will begin playing and this text will update to show you the current line that is playing. The notation line will also be highlighted and automatically scrolled for your convenience.
Note: You will need to select a track type in order to play your practice set. By changing the track type, you can reuse your practice set for singing or vina, for example. We also recommend that you turn on the tala track if you’re going to use alternation as a practice pattern.
The tala, loop, slow down and pitch change control will also work with your practice set, in addition to track selection. So the full range of tools can be used with not just single lines, but with entire compositions.
We’re contemplating facilities for saving, loading and sharing practice sets. Let us know in the comments what you might want.