Article in Interview category.

Learn Guitar by Instinct

Jimi Hendrix could play the guitar with his teeth; I can barely play it with both hands. Some people pick one up and just strum…

Jimi Hendrix could play the guitar with his teeth; I can barely play it with both hands. Some people pick one up and just strum away, but the rest of us have to suffer through newly callused fingertips. You know how it is — you get a guitar, promise yourself that you’re going to practice every day, and you do, you really do, at least for the first week or so. Then you have other things to do. Missing one practice won’t do anything, and one day without practice becomes seven in a row. Before you know it, your guitar is snug in its case in the corner, slowly gathering dust, until you dredge it out to repeat the process six months later.
Instinct, the new, free guitar-teaching website founded by Blake Jennelle and Brian Stoner, aims to help us escape the cycle with intuitive, interactive lessons. The web app is not meant to replace real-life guitar teachers. Instead, it is a supplement, with easy to follow instructions and performance tracking to keep fledgling musicians motivated.
The interface is best described as scrolling guitar tab. The website uses your mic to read exactly which notes you play, as well as correct you when you make a mistake. For more on upcoming features and what the scoring system looks like, check out the interview below:

Some choice excerpts from the interview:

Q: Where did you get the idea for Instinct?

Blake: I actually got into music as an adult. Guitar was the first instrument I ever tried to learn and I failed, uh, three times as a kid because it’s so hard to learn on your own. And then as an adult I’m more into the piano, but in the process of trying to learn the guitar it was a real struggle. This was like the fourth time I was trying to learn the guitar and I asked Brian, because he’s been playing since he was five, you know, is there anything out there that can help? I’m playing, am I playing the right note? Is my rhythm off? Like all these sort of basic things. Is there a computer program that would tell me that? There wasn’t, so that’s how we started Instinct.
Q: Do you need any special equipment?

Brian: No. The whole premise for starting this was there’s a lot of people who’ve tried to do it and they’ve built these elaborate controllers, MIDI translators and sensors and you’ve seen things like the gTar and other things out there. We just want to use the regular laptop, the regular microphone people already have, and the regular guitar that’s sitting in their closet, and you pull it all together and it just kind of works. No new purchases.
Q: When can we learn Call me Maybe?

Blake: If we wanted to post those songs on our site, we would obviously want to have licensing in place. Right now all of our songs are in the public domain. We’re very collaborative in our mindset in general, and we’d certainly like to license the popular content. Basically the songs that you listen to every day on your iPod.
Brian: We’re really early on, we just want to kind of put it out there with some basic content, show people what it is, and then kinda take it from there.

Instinct is expecting an open beta soon. For now you can sign up for the closed beta here.

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