Guitar Teacher? – There’s an app for that.


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Will the guitar teachers soon be replaced by the Apple gizmo? The people at Incident, running the gTar Kickstarter campaign are hoping so. Or, at least, they want to create a guitar that anyone can play.

It basically involves docking in your iPhone and letting you play by pressing the frets that light up and show you where to do so. There’s also a “free play” mode, where you can play it like a regular guitar – but with a variety of instruments and effects available. Kinda like a keyboard version of the guitar! There’s also what I’m calling Baby mode where you just play the string without pressing the frets – it’s like easy on Guitar Hero – booring.

Here’s a video introducing and explaining the gTar:

To me, this seems pretty cool. It’s like a funky way to get the app-obsessed back out of the cyber realm and into the real world to toy with physical things once again. And, you have to admit, learning the guitar can be really challenging and if this helps, then why not right?

Unfortunately, $350 pledges have been sold out. You can still pledge $399 or more, however, to get a white gTar – which will eventually retail for $449. They’ve already blown through their goal of $100,000 so you’re pretty much guaranteed at this point a shiny gTar – and they’ve estimated that you could get it as early as Sep 2012.

What do you think? Terrible bastardisation of music, or pretty funky gadget?

[gTar Kickstarter | Via AppAdvice]





7 Responses to Guitar Teacher? – There’s an app for that.

  1. IMHO, this is more of a "Hmmm, I have an iPhone and a guitar" type project than a real good way of teaching guitar. Similar systems have existed for 20 years with light up frets, etc… And none of them are worth spit.

    "Knowing where to put your fingers" is the least challenging part of learning guitar. The challenging part is the muscle memory, music theory, scale patterns… These are all things you're going to memorize in 5 minutes and then have to play 1,000's of times to get it down. After the 20th time you play a sliding pentatonic, are you still going to need that lil' gizmo?

    To hurt you, this device takes away the most fundamental thing that music does… Train your ears. This has always been a problem for players who even rely too much on Tab or Sheet Music. I started playing classical with Sheet Music, and once I got out and started playing more free-form, I realized that I never really "heard" the notes… I just did the right motions to make the notes come out of my Tuba.

    To the non-musician, I can only think to compare this with learning to write using only the little magnetic poetry words. It works fine up until a point, but as you get more advanced, you start to realize how limited your vocabulary is.

    Maybe aside from just plugging in a tab machine into a guitar, this guy has a whole new way of teaching… But I doubt it. He'd be rolling in some Hal Leonard publishing if he managed to overcome the biggest drawbacks to learning music from a book.

    Playing for 35 years, performing for 25 of those.

  2. Nothing beats playing a real guitar. You can't emulate the feeling of playing a real guitar with real strings / tension/ pick and fret resistance etc.

  3. I'm not sure why they're bothering. Rock Band III's Squire Stratocaster already does everything you'd want for learning guitar, and you can get it PLUS Rock Band for significantly less than they're suggesting.

  4. I've gotta go with "bastardisation of music" for this one. I play the Saxophone, primarily by ear, and I have been learning guitar on and off for about ten years or so. I agree with above comment that this system would seem to do away with ear training, and that completely kills the point of learning an instrument at all.

    Might as well teach people to start one-finger-pecking on a keyboard, because that's the closest comparison I can think of to describe the step backwards.