/// Guitar Teaching App Instinct Rocks Your Browser (Video)

October 14, 2011  |  All Things Digital


The road to rock stardom used to begin with a pawn shop window, a beat-up six string, and mom’s garage — or at least that’s how the song goes. But Instinct , a stealthy start-up based in New York, is hoping to add “Web browser” to the list of future-rockstar prerequisites. That’s because the company is building a full-fledged instrument training tool that runs entirely in a browser window. The company’s first Web app, Instinct for guitar, has been designed to be very simple, at least for the budding musician. Users log in, pull out their own guitar and play along with the digital lessons presented on screen. The whole thing is very visual, with deftly simple animations of fingers, strings and fretboard, all designed to take a potential player through the motions of learning a new riff. The kicker is that Instinct is one of very few teaching tools that can also listen to what’s being played and provide live feedback. Founders Blake Jenelle and Brian Stoner started building the project about six months ago, hoping for a tool that was not complex. “Anyone could open up and shortly be playing guitar,” Jenelle said. Today, Instinct is far enough along to be raising a seed round of capital and counts Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, among its early investors. If the concept behind Instinct’s app sounds vaguely familiar, it may be because of an Apple iOS app AllThingsD covered called Rock Prodigy , that used a sort of Guitar Hero-like interface for teaching similar skills. Instinct is similar in that its developers have also solved the pitch detection problem, Jenelle said. Pitch detection is what makes these teaching tools smart, and lets them listen to and differentiate among the various notes a guitar can play. But just as Instinct’s similarities to Rock Prodigy may make it a viable competitor, there is a key difference. “We’re looking to tackle the problem of listening to [a user] play, and creating a lesson from that,” said Jenelle. “That way users will be able to take any audio and have Instinct create a lesson for them.” This is a difficult problem in computing.

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Guitar Teaching App Instinct Rocks Your Browser (Video)


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