March 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

Kickstarter Duel: Light-Up Guitar Fretboards Battle for Funding

tabber myalight learn guitar light up fretboard

Yes, we cover music apps here, which are software. But some of the most interesting educational apps these days pick up on what you’re playing with a real guitar and provide feedback to help you learn how to play. The next step will be guitars with fretboards that light up to show you where to put your fingers, the same way learning keyboards have worked for a while now.

Sometimes a piece of hardware — and even the occasional building — qualifies as a music app.

To build the first consumer-ready light-up fretboard for learning the guitar, two teams are competing for funding on Kickstarter: Tabber (pictured above), which we covered earlier after it appeared at a Music Hack Day event, and MusicALight, whose spokesman contacted us on Twitter this morning to let us know there’s a new kid in this particular town.

Right now, the newcomer is winning the Kickstarter race to get funding. Tabber’s Kickstarter page shows 20 backers kicking in $1,991 (with a goal of $45,000), while MusicALight’s page boasts $2,436 from 23 backers (with a goal of $50,000).

Which is better? The market should decide, battling it out on Kickstarter. Once one or both of these things launch, you’ll be able to learn guitar by merely putting your fingers where the lights are.

For a generation raised on Guitar Hero, this approach could be just the thing. And musically speaking, an infusion of new guitarists could be just what the beleaguered rock n’ roll genre needs. Who knows? Maybe the next Skrillex will play guitar.

Here’s a video demo of each light-up guitar-learning prototype in action.



  • Brandon @ TBE

    Ooh, nice! But peep this jam I saw at SXSW!!/JoelAlbers/status/180395280217284608

  • HotDogTony

    I hate the dumbing down of the arts. We’ll be stuck in G Major I-IV-V for the rest of our lives.

  • Chris

    looks awesome!