Role System for Users

I want to preface this by saying that I understand that HookTheory is supposed to be a very accessible tool for the advanced music theorist and the beginning musician alike.

That being said, I believe that there should be some sort of role system in place to prevent extremely sub-par tabs or changes to preexisting tabs. I see this often, and usually from users who either have limited understanding of how to use the hookpad software itself, or who have very limited understanding of actual music theory.

Under a role system, the basic user who has just created an account would have the ability to browse all the tabs, and play with the hookpad software without publishing actual analyses as theorytabs.

Taking and passing a simple proficiency test pertaining to the use of the hookpad software could allow users to become “editors” or something to that effect. “Editors” would have the ability to make small changes, such as re-syncing a poorly synced YouTube video to a tab.

Taking and passing a slightly more in depth music theory proficiency test could award users with the role “Theorist” or again, something along those lines. “Theorists” would have complete access to edits, as well as publishing their own tabs of songs.

There is a reason why it is now much harder to make permanent edits to Wikipedia articles or to create your own. It makes for better, more reliable articles. I believe this would greatly increase the quality and reliability of the theorytabs going forward. It would limit the creation and editing of tabs to users who truly care about and are proficient in theory and analysis.


This model is pretty different from Wikipedia’s. Claiming it as prior art is a bit weak.

On Wikipedia, any user, even while logged out, can edit a page. Once an account has made 10 edits and existed for 4 days, it is autoconfirmed, and can then create new pages, upload files, move pages and files, and edit semiprotected pages. After 100 edits and 30 days, the user is extended-confirmed, and can edit extended-confirmed-protected pages. (Wow, is that ever unwieldy.)

On Hookpad, by contrast, any registered user may edit anything and post new tabs, but only administrators can move tabs. No form of tab protection exists.

Personally, I suggest a revised system:

  • Anybody logged in (this requirement could be lifted, but I won’t worry about that) can edit tabs.
  • After 4 days and 10 edits, a user is able to create tabs.
  • After 30 days and 100 edits, a user is able to move tabs.

I’m not really sure we need protection on tabs. I’m not aware of any vandalism on the site, which is what protection is for. It would be reasonably easy to add protection levels to this system anyway, so it can be done if necessary.

There’s a decent argument to be made that buying Plus, or the books, should allow some privileges in this system. I’m undecided on that, though, beyond that there shouldn’t be privileges available only for paying customers.

Actually, it might be handy to introduce songwriter verification in tandem. Verified songwriters could have control over all songs in their artist tag, or at least the ability to designate transcriptions as “blessed” – correct, and not in need of editing, which would effectively work like protection.

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Thanks for the good discussion and suggestions. Big picture, this is on our list of misc site features we want to do after Hookpad 2 is out.