Forming a Bachido App Team!


Calling all Bachido geeks!

Over the past 3-ish years, technologically savvy Bachido members have offered to help make a Bachido app. However, it’s been very difficult to actually get something off the ground.

I just realized that just like playing shamisen alone, making an app all by yourself can be difficult and not all that inspiring. The Bachido community has a team spirit which encourages us all to keep playing and get better. Well, with this feeling in mind, I propose that we form a Bachido App Team!

Working as a team would make the process a fun group project, inspiring and encouraging each other while making something great! It’s also a way to bond members together.

If you have coding skills and thinking working on a Bachido app team would be cool, voice your thoughts below! :slight_smile:


I’m in. I’m getting an Android phone next week and will start working with it at work so I’m getting into it.


Just some suggestions/ideas off the top of my head:

  • Centralize development with GitHub
    • Kyle, I think you have an account?)
  • Brainstorm features, then pick a small core list of “minimum viable product” features for version 1
    • Small, incremental releases = visible progress = high morale
  • Use a framework to simplify and unify cross-platform development
    • PhoneGap (aka Apache Cordova) is the leader here
    • Allows you to build with HTML/CSS/JavaScript instead of native languages for each platform
    • Don’t worry about “oh, but it’s not as high-performance” stuff.


Small, incremental releases = visible progress = high morale
-Story of my life right here.

GitHubs a definite. Or equivalent (like bitbucket). Never used Cordova but it looks a lot better than doing it from scratch in Java.

If someone could spearhead and setup Github we can start roadmapping and jotting stuff down there. Finals week coming up for me so next week I’ll be going dark.


I could be the beta tester for using the app on crappy phones and/or cheap networks … Should it work on mine it could be advertised as a robust app.


I will create a GitHub repo/workspace. Shall I give it a cool codename or just call it “bachido_mobile”? Kyle?

Also, it seems pretty obvious that this is going to be an open-source project. Based on this list, I guess I’d either go for the Apache license, the Artistic license, or the Mozilla license. All are very permissive in terms of distribution, modification, and all the other good open-source stuff, while protecting the Bachido trademark.

After I get answers, I will initialize the repository on GitHub. However, I don’t think there’s any point for anyone to start development until there is some idea of what the v1 roadmap is. I guess one could use the GitHub wiki for that… or a Google Doc… or just this forum…


We also want to assemble a team for this. Who’s got the coding skills, mobile development experience/knowledge, design skills, organizational skills, time/enthusiasm, hardware to test on, etc? Team members need not have all these attributes! However, it would probably be good to identify the “leaders” in this project. Kyle and I can cover some of those bases, but Kyle lacks general coding know-how and I lack both mobile-dev knowledge, and we both lack time (me especially)…


Depending on the roadmap, coding might not even be necessary with a service like

This project needs a plan.


Whoa nellie! This is the most input I’ve seen Luke have in the forum! (besides… you know, designing the whole thing) Perhaps the team leader has already presented himself! :slight_smile:


I’ve been lurking the site and forums for a while now so I’ll throw my hat in the ring. I’m a developer who’s worked on server and client side applications along with HTML5/Javascript sites and apps. I’ve dabbled around enough with mobile apps on my own to feel pretty comfortable with that end too. If there’s something I can do it sounds like a fun worthwhile cause.

My first question is what does a Bachido app do? Are you thinking just an app front end for the site or something with tools like a tuner or sheet music reader/writer?


definitely a tuner is the one thing agreed upon and fixed in stone that the app should have … additional features could be added over time and whether the app should also encompass an alternative way of accessing the bachido site is i think still open for debate … as for my opinion i would set up a general design and general framework that allows for whatever extensions over time … start it off with at least featuring a shamisen tuner i would already download it and enjoy extensions via updates over time …


It strikes me that developing a tuner app would be one of the more difficult things to tackle. Such an app would probably have to be written in native code (Java for Android, Objective-C for iOS). I don’t know if crazy math is involved (FFT and whatnot) or if that’s handled behind the scenes. I had thought so, but I did see this sample project that doesn’t appear to have crazy math, at least after looking for 10 seconds at the Android version.

Is this the highest ROI feature that can be provided? What would be the advantage to a Bachido tuner app over, say, PitchLab Guitar Tuner? (Which is a brilliant app for tuning all instruments, by the way…)

Furthermore, would a user not prefer to have their tuner app separate? I know I want my phone’s tuner to start working in as few taps/swipes as possible, in case I’m in a performance situation or whatnot.

And Kyle: Undibs. :slight_smile:


I think what the common shamisen player needs alone and with friends is tabs tabs tabs. There should be an online repository of songs that the app can access.

There should also be a way to connect with other people using the app so that private songs can be sent directly between the two devices. An example would be that I end up in Misawa and the group wants me to learn Ninja re ban ban. With a simple touch the song should be sent to my phone.

Other things I see as good to have features is some sort of encyclopedia of shamisen players. We often discuss different players and there is always someone who doesn’t know who it is. Using the app that person could get the homepage, pictures and youtube videos. Obviously this feature would not store information as that would probably be illegal unless given permission, but the idea is that it could perhaps search the internet or even make contact with the bachido website.


It sounds like a good deal of back end work may be needed as well. I think it’s time for a happy fun requirements and specs sheet. Someone had the idea of an open Google Doc which is a great place to start for online collaborations.


It seems to me that Karl’s ideas are really things that need to be implemented on, the main web server, by me:

  • An online repository of tabs/notation
  • A wiki
  • Sending songs through private messaging

The good news is that if such things are implemented through the main website, the mobile app developer(s) are left with the simple (?) task of putting together a nice mobile front-end and tying it in with the backend.

As many of you probably know, already has a slightly-optimized mobile version, shown when accessed through a mobile device’s web browser. I’m sure this could be taken much farther, even without an “app”. Of course, an app allows for even more features: easier navigation, push notifications…

Anyway, I started a Bachido Mobile App Google Doc, we’ll see if it takes hold…


Karl’s example of Ninjaribanban brings up an important point: copyrighted works cannot be hosted on, unless uploaded by the author.


Oh right!!

That’s an excellent point, gentlemen! The mobile Wiki!

As we may have noticed, newcomers to Bachido will post excellent questions on the forum (how many kinds of bachi are there? What’s the difference between nagauta and jiuta? Etc) to which many folks take incredible loads of time in crafting a well educated response. Unfortunately, because the forum is so hot, those well composed posts get lost in the multitudes of threads. Months later, another newcomer will ask the same question, and either a brand new response is composed, or we have to search the months of threads to find the specific post relating to the new question.

THUS! The recent idea was forming a user-updated wiki! For example, if a brilliant response was written about left-handed shamisen or history of Goze, the author/user could add their contribution to the wiki.

Very soon, a whole encyclopedia of shamisen knowledge could be formed simply by the compilation of forum responses. Then, when newcomers to shamisen arrive, we can suggest that they look there (or download the app) to learn everything they’ve ever wanted to know about shamisen and espresso. :slight_smile:

This would probably be an incredibly useful app/page for all members/newcomers.



Good one. I’ve added a note about including the Scale Viewer by converting it to the app format. More ranting in the actual document.


I think a wiki would be awesome. I would want to hear from potential contributors about what their preferred syntax would be. Two choices:

Markdown syntax would be extended to support tables and footnotes, like MediaWiki. I’m guessing having Markdown would be preferable, especially with the thought I just had now that it would make it easy to copy from one’s forum post to the wiki. So nevermind I guess, Markdown is probably the way to go…


Any modern wiki will have a good REST API for reading/writing from so that would be easy to implement. Does the current site and the scale viewer have any sort of API that the app could talk to?

Something else to consider is a balance between having the app hit a server for information (requiring a constant connection) and caching data locally for when you can’t reach the server.