An aspiring jazz trumpet player's blog about jazz improvisation and ear training.

June 29, 2011 Jazz Blog 9 Comments

Website rewrite and new server

If you're reading this, you're accessing the new website code on its new server. What does this mean to you? Nothing! Everything should be exactly the same. But please do let me know if you find any broken links or other bugs.


When I originally wrote the code for this site back in 2004, I had a dedicated server at Rackspace that I used for some other projects. At the time, it seemed like a worthwhile exercise to build this site with asp.net, since I hadn't yet used that technology to build an entire website. If this wasn't a family-friendly site, I'd follow that statement with some choice words that succinctly convey my present-day thoughts about that decision. But this is a family-friendly site, so let's just say that I've regretted that decision for the past seven years.

You're still reading? I guess you're waiting for a build to compile, or perhaps waiting for that Ubuntu download to finish.

Anyway, as you probably know, asp.net is a Microsoft technology. I also used SQLServer as my database, so I was even further entrenched with Windows, requiring an expensive dedicated server to host everything properly. As mentioned, I originally had a dedicated server for other stuff, so it wasn't a big deal back in 2004. But as time went on, those other projects ended, and for the past few years the dedicated server wasn't hosting anything except for this website. And since the technology wasn't very portable, I couldn't easily move to a shared host or some other cheaper solution.

If it wasn't clear above, I hate asp.net (yes, I'm intentionally not capitalizing it properly to show my contempt). Since I moved to a Mac development environment a few years ago, it's been extra painful to have to fire up Parallels and VisualStudio every time I want to make a change to the site code. Oh, and don't get me started about IIS. After dealing with all of that mess for years, I knew that whatever decision I'd make going forward wasn't going to include .net, IIS, or Windows. So what did I use for the rewrite?

I know the suspense is killing you, so I'll just cut to the chase. This new site was totally rewritten in Java, with the Spring framework, Tomcat 7 as the application server, and Apache as the web server. MySQL is the database, and it's all running on a Linux CentOS virtual private server. Exciting stuff, eh?

If you made it all the way to the end of this post, please post a comment that includes the instrument that you play. Trumpet geeks, don't let me down!

Comment by Steven Stewart-Gallus

So your asking about geeks who play instruments?

Firstly I sing.

Secondly I play guitar and, harmonica.

I'm a beginner at guitar and worse at harmonica.

I still have trouble playing things by ear.

Once I can sing a phrase I can sing it slowly, fast or whatever and that helps me learn a tune easier but it's not possible to sing a tune that was played lightning fast at a really low pitch.

Comment by EElke

I don't now if I fit in the Geek category, but I do play trumpet and I read the post to the end!

Any update on the Android version of your iPhone app?

Ironic that I am in the middle of a web site overhaul as well... but I'm still using asp.net... just the more current version. I'd love to move to Mac development as well but my job is still a Microsoft shop and to take the time to learn a new language/environment would take away from my horn time which is already pretty tight.

Looks good. Well... it looks the same which I guess is the point of the exercise. Nice job.

Comment by chris

Hi Rick,

I LOVE your site and I must confess I am a total geek and a trumpet player ...and struggling jazz improviser. I swear its the hardest thing I've ever undertaken but your site keeps me grounded whenever I head off on playing tangents or worse ...start to lose hope and motivation! (like you I played all through school and quit for about 10 years before taking it back up again about 5 years) For the geeky stuff I'm a web designer at a university in Sydney Australia ie - total web geek :$ ...yes i read your post right through to the end and some of it even made sense ...especially the stuff about windoze ;)

Comment by Subin Kim

I'm writing this comment because I did read your post to the end though I don't fit in the geek category. (but I want to study one of the geek language, Java for example.)

I used to play guitar when I was a highschooler. Now I've been focusing on piano because I want to expand my musical skill to be enough to be a composer. Ear training is top priority among the skills for a composer IMO. Ron Gorow's book and this website did help me a lot. Thank you.

Subin Kim

from Seoul, South Korea

Comment by clark Aboud

I play guitar, and use your site everyday.

For some reason, I shamefully started off guitar with tabs, so I wasn't really developing my ears,

But as I moved on to jazz guitar, I found your website, and ,my transcribing/learning licks/hearing and understanding has become much easier and faster.

Thanks for making an awesome site and an easy to use app.


P.S. In middle school I was both the smallest kid in my class & a trumpet player so I guess I qualify as a trumpet geek

Hi there, I found your blog searching for blogs by people learning/improving on instruments, especially trumpet. I'm a 40-year-old experienced amateur musician who started taking trumpet lessons at the start of this year. Because of my music background (and thanks to my teacher, and lots of practice) I am improving fast but prepared for the learning curve to level off substantially soon.

My background is in British and Irish traditional music (where the trumpet is practically non-existant) and in classical choral singing. But I'm keen to play jazz on my horn because it's a whole new world to me and I want to expand my horizons. My teacher is all classical all the time, though, and although I like him a lot and we're doing great together so far, I think I'll have to find someone new eventually.

I've started a blog called The Trumpet Student which is a practice log and a journal of my travails. It would make me happy if you popped by and said Hello!

Comment by Terry


I'm a sophomore music major in college. I am a trumpet player, and I have no idea what many of the terms in your post meant, but I read through it anyway. I would like to thank you for making such a stellar ear trainer and for making it downloadable. You have done the music community a great service.



Comment by Svetlana Shargorodskaya

Congratulations on making it out of Windows land!

I tried to learn music theory a few years ago and gave up on it...and now I've just started to learn the bayan (three row chromatic button accordion). My teacher is a big believer in sheet music, but at least I can learn the fingering from him and someday try to play more things by ear.

Thanks for the great site!


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