Innovation That Matters

Gamified learning guitar features iPhone dock and touch-enabled LED frets

Work & Lifestyle

The gTar is a modified digital guitar that physically integrates the iPhone to make learning easy.

Learning a new instrument isn’t an easy task, especially if you’re an adult. While Playground Sessions has brought real-time analysis and gamified teaching to piano practice via a desktop platform, the gTar is a modified digital guitar that physically integrates the iPhone to make learning an easier and less time-consuming task. Users begin by docking their iPhone – which acts as a display for instructions and also provides the instrument’s sound – into the front of the guitar. Through the accompanying app, they can then select a song they would like to learn. In Easy mode, the app first displays which strings players need to pluck as the song goes on. Once they’ve completed that task with enough accuracy, they can graduate to the Medium level, where they will need to use their fingering hand to press the correct notes on the fretboard, shown via color-coded LEDs on the neck which light up at the correct point in the song. If this level is mastered, Hard mode encourages students to use multiple fingers on the fret board, as seasoned guitarists do. Users can also load the ‘Free Play’ setting, which allows them to use the gTar as an instrument. Various voices and effects can be added by selecting them through the app. The video below explains more about the premise behind the product: Having successfully reached its funding target on Kickstarter, the USD 399.99 device could provide the Guitar Hero generation with the next step towards being able to play a real instrument, although there are rightly some concerns with learning in such a mechanical way. However, by quickly providing a sense of accomplishment, it may lead users to consider more serious education options. Are there other musical instruments – or even other tools – that could benefit from an intermediate digital alternative such as this?



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