If you “wanna rock” like Quiet Riot but you don’t know how to do it on an actual guitar, here’s a starter axe for you: the gTar is a digital guitar that sports rows of interactive LEDs along the fretboard and an iPhone dock carved into the body. Powered by a matching iPhone app, the gTar can teach you the basics or – if you already have that down pat – give you a note-for-note guide on how to play your favorite songs.
Unlike a real guitar that takes its notes from the vibration of the strings, this one doesn’t have any pickups. Instead, it relies on a set of sensors that detect the notes you’re playing and send the data to the connected iPhone, which then comes up with the sound. Because it’s digital and doesn’t rely on a pickup to produce sound, it’s always tuned perfectly; as long as you keep a bit of tension on the strings for the sensors. It’s not an instrument for the purist, but this instrument has some potential if you’re into experimentation.
Because the sound is produced digitally, the iPhone can be set to produce a number of other sounds, ranging from a number of guitar models to other instruments that include keyboards, synth and even drums. The device’s Free Play mode also comes with a feature that’ll let you add a number of effects (such as chorus, reverb and distortion), so you can skip on spending more money on stomp-boxes.
For beginners, the learning mode comes with three levels of difficulty to get you started, and a Smart Play feature that mutes the wrong notes so you don’t sound horrible from the get-go.
It’s currently listed on Kickstarter for funding, but since they already reached their $100,000 goal (with more than a month to go), this project will be pushing through. Pledges start at $450, but there are still a few early bird slots left if you want to get a gTar for $399.
Check out the gTar’s preview video by Incident Tech on YouTube to see how it works.