Weekly Challenges have a huge amount of demands to meet.
Here’s a little breakdown for you:
2 exercises each
4 instruments per exercise
That makes 16 exercises in total.
From novice to advanced, a range of skill levels are covered in each exercise. We do this so every member of Yousician can take part in the challenge and stand a chance to rank in the coveted leaderboard. The most challenging part of putting together weekly challenges is finding suitable songs which cater to every skill level and instrument – usually we write them ourselves because it’s often easier! But sometimes we collaborate with guest artists.
When putting together a challenge for a guest artist, we’ll listen through their catalogue of music and think of which songs would make the best pair. We check what key the songs are in, which chords are used, how hard the riffs and melodies are, and the difficulty level in which the songs would naturally lend themselves to.
Usually when we collaborate with guest artists, the main challenges are to do with instruments (or lack there of). If the band has no keyboards, we have to think of which parts could be arranged for the keys, also some songs work way better for the ukulele than others. Since we’re dealing with a band’s own songs, often times we make compromises in order to respect their creative integrity.
There may be times in which ukulele doesn’t fit in a song as well as piano for example, but we always do our best to make work as well as possible. If there are certain songs which call for only a small amount of ukulele, we’ll prioritize uke-focused songs for next week.
Once we’ve browsed the artist’s songs and find a suitable pair, we transcribe and adapt them into exercises for our selection of instruments. We have specialists for each instrument who make sure that none are left out. Once everything’s transcribed made into exercises, our audio engineer ensures that the volume level and quality of the audio matches our standards.
Once everything on the music side is taken care of, it’s time to put the finishing touches on the Weekly Challenge. This means getting the the band’s cover art together and getting everything into the live version of the app!
We release a new weekly challenge every Thursday. It’s a lot of work, but extremely rewarding each time. Making sure that everything’s ready each Thursday is our own little weekly challenge.