While the books were usable at the start of last school year, this year they will be "polished" and print ready. I completed the tedious job of going through each book and standardizing the format and spacing of each selection- you may have noticed before that spacing was a bit "off" in certain parts of certain books.
We now have our own, professional printer "in house" and are capable of shipping out print copies of the books if it would be more convenient for your school district. Books are modestly priced at $5 which mainly covers printing and higher quality paper cost so they will hold up.
Phew! I almost gave up on this...
The books are made in Adobe InDesign and the program includes a "Publish Online" feature that hosts the books on Adobe servers for you. Several of you commented that QR codes appeared to not be working or would only work if you hovered your mouse over one specific spot on the code. Went back and forth with customer support with very little help.
But I found a solution! It's possible to create pdfs with "interactive elements" including links! So those are now uploaded and hosted directly from the site and the links should be working much better! (Only book I'm still having a hard time with is the mallet book) They should also be alot easier to print.
There's now also an option to download all the books at once as a .zip file.
Thanks again to everyone testing these books for me. Keep those comments coming!
At this point all the books and the conductor's score for the Let's Play Band Method have been completed. Play along videos are also completed with the exception of a handful of percussion videos which will be going live soon. Many fellow teachers have reached out when they have come across bugs or typos. Please continue to do so!
From here, I will likely go back and "flesh out" many of the concepts discussed in the books so they appear more frequently in the books. (For example, when accents are introduced in the percussion book, accents should appear in the music more often from then on)
The Electric Bass book is finished and progress is continuing on the Conductor's Score! You can follow along on the progress on the "Play" portion of this website. Up through #27 is completed and the "C" Part is left for the remainder of the score as a placeholder.
Found several typos along the way and thanks to other teachers!
-An incorrect key signature was listed for #27 Mary Had A Little Lamb
-Several QR Codes were not working correctly in the digital version of the Clarinet book
-#35 "Bonjour Mes Amis" was changed in the books to match the video version
Thanks a million to the several teachers that have been using these books and reporting back different bugs and typos. For a one man crew the feedback is priceless!
Thanks again and let me know if any of you need anything!
All books on the "Play" portion of the site, including Percussion, are done. I'm not promising they are free of typos however. Please let me know if you notice something that doesn't seem quite right.
Some QR Codes still may need updating. If you notice a broken link let me know and then try searching for the video on YouTube. Many of the Percussion videos I still need to make and they will be online in the coming weeks. Plan on updating your copy of that book next month.
Coming up after that will be a Full Conductor's Score and a book for Bass Guitar!
Honored that anyone is using these books in the classroom. Please let me know if you need anything, I could potentially send you a fixed pdf within the day.
I'm also a band director and things are starting to ramp back up for us again. Today was my first day of regular marching band practice. Even though my family and I got to do a lot of traveling this summer, I still worked through and completed all the YouTube playalong videos for the books. (This was more work than it might seem as each tune in the book requires EIGHT separate videos to accommodate for the different transposing instruments) Phew!
I set a goal of July 31 as a "full release" date and I think I'm going to hit that goal for the DIGITAL version of the book. I have a long list of typos, bugs and other things I want to go back and correct before I would provide print services for anyone. I don't feel good sending any of you a book full of mistakes (AND we leave for band camp on Sunday!)
So what can you do?
Most print shops including Staples, Kinkos etc. can print pdfs for you in booklet form. Or you can just print single page packets from your school printer. My suggestion would be to wait as close as you can to when you need them so you have the most up to date version. I'm going to continue to make updates and fixes through August and into September.
After I feel the book is ready and free of typos, I am going to shoot to provide print copies for $5 per book through a much more streamlined section of the website.
Thanks again for all your interest and support! Please reach out anytime with questions or comments. I really want this to be something that people can use in their classrooms.
Have caught several typos as I work through and create the videos. "Stodola Pumpa" had an extra measure of rest in it and there was a wrong note in "Go Tell Aunt Rhody"
Please help me catch mistakes by reporting them using the "request" tab at the top of the page!
So there's a pretty crazy formatting error if you try hitting Control-P to print after selecting a book on the "Play" page of the website. I think it may be a problem with Adobe's "Publish Online" feature. To print, click the download button (pictured below) in the bottom right of the screen after opening a book. Then, open the file separately on your computer and hit print.
Hey, you found the blog for the Let's Play Band Method!
I'm going to use this for more lengthy, detailed updates about the progress of the books so it doesn't clog up the social media feeds.
Right now, the last major thing to finish is the Snare/Percussion book. I waited to do that last because I wanted to make sure the parts I wrote did not clash with any background percussion happening in the play along videos. Right now I'm working on Hot Cross Buns.
You can follow my progress with the play along videos because I'm updating the QR codes as I finish the videos.
I did get a request for a Bass Guitar book so I will post that after I finish the snare book.
In terms of a conductor's "full score" I will probably do that last. Since, at this point, there are no full band arrangements, a flute or oboe book work fine as a "condensed score" for now.
Right now the books are hosted on Adobe's servers. Adobe InDesign has a really convenient built in feature called "Publish Online" that works well for my purposes, at least currently. But I've noticed some graphical errors when viewing the books in browser, versus viewing as a downloaded pdf. You can notice it if you look at the green "music theory" block on page 2. It looks like it's shifted down a pixel on the right side but if you view it as a pdf it looks fine. Chalk it up to an error in Adobe's "publish online" service.
That's it for now. You can help by reporting any bugs or typos you notice at the "Request" tab above. I've been blown away by the initial excitement and support for this project.