The gTar by Incident is disruption defined. It takes the guitar, an instrument with a steep learning curve, and adds a bit of digital wizardry in the form of an embedded iPhone to make learning dramatically easier. The company brags that their modern take on the guitar allows for three levels of difficulty, rather than the traditional single really difficult one. But thanks to the iPhone and a clever app, this $450 electronic guitar essentially teaches users the ins and outs of the instrument.
The startup recently turned to Kickstarter to raise $100,000. However today they gave the crowd at Disrupt a musical treat — a demonstration at Startup Alley. And the device seemed to work as advertised.
After docking an iPhone in the guitar’s body and loading the app, the neck comes alive with a series of interactive LEDs along the fretboard. In Easy Mode, these lights illuminate in sequence with the teaching app, showing the user which string to play. Medium takes it up a level by forcing the player to use the frets and the strings. However, the gTar’s Smart Play function only plays the correct string.
Thanks to sensors rather than traditional pickups, the guitar will only play the appropriate string. But, as the user improves, the guitar does away with some of the nanny features, allowing the user to have, for better or worse, full access to the guitar’s musical capabilities. The Free Play mode allows for even more options, letting the player turn the guitar into a wide-range of instruments thanks to its iPhone core.
The gTar seems to have all the right goods to disrupt a space as old as string instruments. This could be the high of Disrupt NYC talking, but it feels as if this could be, or perhaps lead to, the guitars for the Guitar Hero generation.