My StudyBass

Testing and the New StudyBass Quiz App

by Andrew Pouska

What is the key to playing music? Confidence!


Confidence is when you know what will come out of your instrument every time. It’s trusting yourself. Confidence is the real thing you are developing when you learn and practice. That is the pursuit.

You won’t experience the true free flow of making music until you have confidence in your abilities. After you have proven to yourself ‘every time I play this major triad it sounds the same’ you trust yourself. No more attention needs to be paid. Whenever you need that major triad, it flows freely from your mind and fingers.

Every technique, every song, every piece of music theory, goes through this confidence developing process.

Now, don’t worry. I’m not telling you it will be years before you really make music. Your confidence starts building on the first day. Every day you practice, your confidence inches forward a little. And, it keeps adding up.

What is it precisely that gives you confidence? Testing.

Every practice, every run-through, every time you play with others, every time your knowledge is questioned, is a test. You test yourself, experience it as right or wrong, good or bad, and your level of trust in your abilities adjusts itself.

Every new thing you do, play or learn is a test until it is so deeply learned testing it would feel absurd. You no longer need to test yourself on “What is 2+2?” With commitment and focus your musical skills will slip into that same zone of unconscious competence.

The New StudyBass Quiz App

As an educator, I know the importance of testing to build your confidence. And, I’m excited to show you the new quiz app I’ve developed for StudyBass. I soft-launched this a couple of months ago and have been working out bugs. You may have noticed a few changes, but you haven’t seen its full glory yet.

The original quiz app was only text questions. I always wanted the quizzes to do more than that. So, I’ve coded a much more sophisticated quiz app. In addition to text-based questions, the new app can present questions with images, audio, and fretboards.

That means you will now be tested on identifying visual elements of music such as music notation symbols, identifying musical elements such as rhythms and note patterns by listening to audio clips, and identifying note patterns on the bass fretboard using the interactive StudyBass fretboards.

Here are links to a few examples of the new quiz app:

If you want to take a quiz without disturbing anyone nearby, you can select to take a silent quiz which will exclude any audio questions.

And, yes supporters, you can include these new quizzes into your My Practice practice routines!

Creating the Quizzes

Now, bear with me. These quizzes are not easy to make. I will be adding these new, richer quizzes a few at a time. For each quiz I make a pool of 20 to 30 questions with answers and supporting details. Depending on the type of question and its answers, each can take 2 to 30 minutes to create. For the existing lessons I estimate about 500 more hours of work. And, naturally, everything always takes twice as long as I expect–please don’t be a thousand!

You can’t imagine how much work goes on behind the scenes, but I will be adding this quiz development task to all of the other hours I work on StudyBass. I have several other exciting projects I’m working on, too.

I hope these new quizzes lead to the development of your confidence and our ultimate goal: to make music!