Guitar Practiced Perfectly is a piece of software that helps a guitarist manage and plan practice routines. It includes 300 or so practice routines out of the box. Routines can be organized into sessions. Sessions can be organized arbitrarily, but the software supports daily sessions. It’s written in Adobe Air so it will run on Mac and PC. I’m running on Windows 8 64-bit.
I’ve only used the software for one practice session so far. The overall effort is very good. As far as I know, it’s the only software of its kind. At $50 US, it’s a little pricey to buy without a trial.
- I should be able to create my own routines. This is a huge gap in the software. For example, I’d like a version of the C major pentatonic that includes the minor 3rd and the diminished 7th. Or I’d like a routine in which I play a scale through ascending keys.
- When I drag/drop an element between tree elements, I should be able to choose "Copy" or "Move."
- In addition to being able to create a new routine, I’d like to be able to clone an existing routine and modify it.
- I’ve noticed that if I’m playing an exercise and change the tempo then it stops playing sound. I have to close/reopen the software to get it to play sound again.
- Drag/Drop a routine within a session doesn’t work. This makes changing the order of the routines hard.
- The use of accordion style controls for the session menus makes it hard to understand that you can drag/drop exercises between accordion tabs. In general, accordions should not be used when data is shared across panels.
- The fact that the screen elements are static is irritating. It would be nicer if I could move things around. The best UI I’ve seen for this sort of thing is in Microsoft Visual Studio. Each panel is draggable and dockable on its own. I don’t know if Adobe Air gives you this kind of flexibility, but it would be nice, and it would make the drag/drop operations easier to manage as "Session by Weekday" could be docked to a different screen area than "Session by Skill Level."
- The user should be able to drag/drop more than one exercise at a time. I found this annoying when I was trying to drag all of a certain category of exercise to my Sunday routine. I had to do them one at a time.
- The labels that control Tempo, Lead In, Repeat, etc react to the mouse as if they were buttons. Clicking them doesn’t do anything. This is confusing. They should either just be labels, or open some kind of advanced editing screen.
- Having to choose between Music and Metronome is painful. They should have independent volume controls.The existing either-or functionality forces me to into a tricky volume balancing act with my amp.
- Help->About menu should include the software version. The fact that the software version is missing from the UI makes it hard to tell if you are running the latest.
- The main window should include a standard control box for changing screen size, minimize, and maximize functionality.
- I think it should be impossible to delete system-defined routines and sessions. This is scary functionality as I could get rid of something very useful.
I like Guitar Practiced Perfectly very much and I’ll get a lot of use out of it. However, it’s not the software I was hoping it was. The lack of routine-creation and editing functionality means it misses the mark by quite a large margin. Some of the UI constraints make working with sessions very hard. For an intermediate player such as myself, it will definitely help me take my playing to the next level. However, I’ll not be able to use it to integrate my teacher’s lessons into my daily practice.