PC Music tutor from US Music / Disney
One of the criticisms I’ve heard about Guitar Hero and the like is that you’re not actually learning to play an instrument, so you’re spending a lot of time and effort which is essentially wasted if you ever want to learn the real thing.
The idea of using a computer for assisted learning has obviously caught on though. Roland are doing it with drums and now US Music are collaborating with Disney to bring out a range of instrument / software packages.
The instrument part of the package will be a keyboard or electric guitar which looks pretty standard apart from some minor customisation (colour coding on the keys/strings, Disney branding etc). There’s a custom electronic module to connect the instrument to the PC via USB.
The software is what makes it stand out though and it looks really good – starting from first principles giving a “guitar hero” style layout it moves the player in stages through to actually reading and playing sheet music.
You can control the speed and complexity to learn at your own pace but the end goal is the same – once you master the high levels you’re playing the instrument for real.
A prototype of the keyboard is pictured, there’ll also be a guitar version and the end product will ship with a selection of Disney licensed tunes from popular TV shows and films. Look for it in the shops later this year.
The only downside from this bloggers’ perspective is that I’ll feel every so slightly foolish learning to play the keyboard to the sounds of Hannah Montana… so guys, get a grown-up branded version together and you’ve got a sale!
edit: Video of the guitar version here at Gizmodo, via Wired