The latest startup trying to sell app-enabled guitars is Magic Instruments.
The company has launched a $299 device that it’s describing as a “digital rhythm” guitar, which aims to get people playing music – even if they’re not learning how to play a real guitar.
It looks like a more complicated version of a GuitarHero controller – think lots of buttons on the fret – powered by eight AA batteries.
Its iOS and Android app provides lyrics to accompany the user’s playing, with popular songs sold for $0.99 each as in-app purchases, or a $6 monthly subscription giving people access to the entire catalogue.
According to Engadget, Magic Instruments CEO Brian Fan says that “music publishers have been surprisingly open to letting Magic Instruments sell their stuff. After all, the overlap between people who buy sheet music and the people who’ll buy digital files to jam with on a plastic guitar is probably close to nil”.
The first units are due to go on sale in early 2017, after an Indiegogo pre-orders campaign.