It’s not just Fender with a way to teach music over an app, as the maker of the Epiphone and SG reveals an augmented reality approach to teaching.
Getting your head around musical instruments isn’t always as easy as it seems, try as we might. Instruments aren’t like an app or a phone, and learning to connect how you get notes out of an instrument with knowing that both hands are typically doing two different actions, and sometimes your mouth, well that can take some getting used to.
Some instruments are easier than others, though, but that doesn’t mean they’re not hard, so it’s always nice to see technology coming to the rescue of sorts. In many cases, that technology is your phone, and since we all have one of those, it tends to put the education firmly within reach of more of us, which is a good thing.
It’s that approach which has led to creation of many an app, though instrument maker Gibson has another that’s recently arrived that turns your phone into more of a listener intended to guide you through learning.
It comes in a Gibson app which includes something akin to augmented reality (AR), albeit in an audio-based way. Now audio augmented reality isn’t an entirely new thing, and Bose tried a variation of it with headphones including the Bose Frames back in 2019, incorporating tracking to let you hear audio as you moved about your space, and connecting it with an app.
Bose’s AR audio never really took off, but Gibson’s approach is a little bit different all the same. Rather than have the audio change or play as you move your head or walk about, Gibson’s AR audio is more about helping you play a song, and listening for the notes that you play, acting like a real-life guitar hero and telling you when you’ve struck the wrong note or chord, and then educating you.
In a way, Gibson’s approach to learning is more like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, except in real life, giving a guitar and a phone a meeting place in the middle, and helping explain what you might be doing wrong (or right) in the process. It’s the sort of educational approach which might just help you nail a song or chords, and includes tracks from the likes of The Beatles, Dolly Parton, Foo Fighters, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, and others.
Alongside that educational take on AR, there’s a guitar tuner built into the app plus videos where you can watch pros and learn from them, plus a one-on-one video consultation where yo can talk to guitar techs from the brand.
“Our focus over the past few years has been all about our obsession with guitars, our connection with artists, and on re-building our iconic brands of Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer,” said James Curleigh, President and CEO of Gibson Brands.
“Now it’s time to bring guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way,” he said.
The app feels focused on guitarists first and foremost, even though Gibson makes basses as well, but it’s worth noting that it is not free, asking for a monthly or yearly fee, which when we checked sat at a US price of $20 per month or $120 per year, both in US dollars.
That could make it a little exy for some learning to play, but if they’re not quite nailing learning to play and are keen to try a slightly different approach, this might be it.