The Gtar ($399) is one of those things I knew I had to have the moment I saw it. For those still in the dark, Gtar is a smart electric guitar that teaches people how to play, you guessed it, the guitar.
I’ve always been interested in music. For awhile I was in a band back in high school where I played the drums. It was fun, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like to play the guitar.
The thing was I never really had the time to learn as I have always had other things to do. For those of is who aren’t professional musicians, playing guitar is a nice hobby, or maybe more like a luxury.
But that’s where the Gtar comes in. The Gtar connects to your iPhone to supercharge the experience of learning to pick and strum. The neck of the guitar (yes, it’s a real guitar) has dozens of different colored lights to show you where to place your fingers for a given song. The iPhone lets you choose a song to learn/play and then simultaneously shows you what notes to play on it’s screen as well as on the Gtar itself (via the colored lights).
I saw another Gtar review the other day that said that trying to learn to play on the Gtar wasn’t all that I helpful or useful. That person must have been high or something because I have found that the Gtar made learning to play the guitar much easier and more fun than getting old school music lessons or trying to watch a video on YouTube.
What’s awesome about the way Gtar teaches is that it’s completely up to you how you want to learn. You choose the songs and progress at the speed that works best for you.
There are different difficulty settings on the Gtar. In the easiest mode you basically can’t play the wrong note. For a total beginner, that’s really, really fun. You can sit there and strum out a real song the first time you pick the guitar up. I had a blast playing Blur’s Song 2 and Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust in this mode.
As you bump up the difficulty levels songs become less and less automated and forgiving. In other words, your skill must improve. Even the beginner mode is really helpful to a total noob like me because it lets you see what each different finger and note combination sounds like.
I don’t know about you, but I often like I to learn things in private. That way when you mess up reveres nobody there to say, “Ha ha,” like Nelson on the Simpsons.
Learning to play guitar with Gtar is also great because you can take things as leisurely or as seriously as you’d like without anyone else telling you what to do. For instance, any song you choose to play has a practice mode that won’t score you. No need to worry about mistakes there. When you’re ready to give it the old college try just tap the play button and get down to serious business.
The Gtar’s design is build is pretty straightforward. It looks like a regular ol Fender. In terms of construction it feels solid and you can tell a lot of care went into the craftsmanship. It feels premium, rather than toy-like.
When you purchase a Gtar you’ll get the guitar itself along with a nice carrying case and a shoulder strap.
I’d recommend picking up an aux cable (just like you’d use to hook up your iPhone to your car audio) so you can really crank it up we an external speaker rather than just listening to the sound coming out your iPhone’s speaker or having to wear of a pair of headphones.
Everyone has a different learning style, but if you’re a visual learner who I likes to learn things on your own, there’s no better way to learn the guitar than with a Gtar.