We loved Guitar Hero back in the heady days of 2008, with its simple gameplay dynamic of colored buttons to press on your guitar-controller, which corresponded with colored “notes” on screen.
But as fun as it was, we all knew deep down that this wasn’t actually turning us into tomorrow’s leather pant-wearing rock gods.
A variation on this idea forms the basis of a new Kickstarter campaign, however — and it promises to genuinely teach guitar, as the kids say, “fo’ realz.” Called Fret Zeppelin, it’s a state-of-the-art LED accessory for your guitar, which fits just above the frets and shows you exactly where to put your fingers to play any song you want.
“It also syncs wirelessly to an app that lets you customize and simplify your learning experience,” CEO Shaun Masavage told Digital Trends.
Masavage said that Fret Zeppelin’s versatility can be seen by the way it’s used by different members of the development team — all of whom have experience learning guitar. Masavage describes himself as a “tab rocker,” who looks up songs and tries to play them: The difficulty being that by the time he has his fingers lined up, he’s forgotten the melody.
Another member of the team is a music theorist and believes in playing guitar how the musician intended it, with Fret Zeppelin letting him concentrate on technique, with note and chord positions conveniently displayed as reference.
A third teammate loves to improvise and uses Fret Zeppelin to display progressive scales so he can “jam” up and down note lines and know it will sound OK since it’s in the same scale.
According to Masavage, Fret Zeppelin is designed to help players of every level — whether you’re just starting out with basic songs and chords, are an intermediate learner wanting to practice key changes and improvisation, or an advanced player hoping to create new songs and custom tune chord displays.
Currently you can pre-order Fret Zeppelin on Kickstarter, where it’ll set you back $199 for a single unit. Shipping is set to take place in October 2017.
Just remember that you’ll have to provide your own guitar. Too-tight leather pants, hair spray, and dry ice are optional.