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Turn your iPhone into a guitar

Turn your iPhone into a guitar

The software uses the multi-touch interface to create a touch-sensitive fretboard.

Programmer and iPhone fan Shinya Kasatani has finally produced what may be the killer app the iPhone has been crying out for: a virtual guitar.

Okay, so it's not a killer app: it is, however, a novel use of the multi-touch interface. Dubbed PocketGuitar, the software installs on all iPhone and iPod touch systems and turns the display into a guitar fretboard, allowing you to use Apple's much-vaunted multi-touch interface to play a kind-sorta guitar-ish thing.

Possibly the coolest feature of the package is the ability to play along with music stored on your iPhone/iPod – try to keep up with Clapton during the solos, or just strum along to your favourite tunes.

I can certainly see the attraction of a neat guitar-like toy that fits in your pocket, and as a guitar player myself I'm sorely tempted by the thought of an ultra-portable system for practising my fingering (no sniggering at the back there).

If you want to give the software a go, just add the repository http://podmap.net/apps to your Sources list in the Installer. The package will then appear under 'Toys' and be ready for installation. I'd recommend fitting a scratch-protect filter to the screen before you start bashing out The Ace of Spades, though.

Anybody with an iPhone or iPod touch willing to give the software a test-drive, or is it nothing more than a multi-touch tech-demo? Let us know over in the forums.

16 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
[WP@]WOLVERINE 21st January 2008, 10:12 Quote
seems kinda cool :) But hey the keeping up with Clapton in the solos thing isnt really a problem i mean the guy is nicknamed Slowhand :) Get some Dragonforce on there and try and keep up, now thats a challenge :D
Darkedge 21st January 2008, 10:47 Quote
so you can hold the strings down.. how do you strum? I thought the iphone/touch had a multi point touch that only coped with 2 at a time anyway.
Bauul 21st January 2008, 14:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [WP@
WOLVERINE]seems kinda cool :) But hey the keeping up with Clapton in the solos thing isnt really a problem i mean the guy is nicknamed Slowhand :) Get some Dragonforce on there and try and keep up, now thats a challenge :D

Ah come on Dragonforce isn't difficult, you just have to be quick. Clapton's far harder to emulate and sound remotely as impressive than some jumped up suedo power metal band.
[WP@]WOLVERINE 21st January 2008, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Quote:
Originally Posted by [WP@
WOLVERINE]seems kinda cool :) But hey the keeping up with Clapton in the solos thing isnt really a problem i mean the guy is nicknamed Slowhand :) Get some Dragonforce on there and try and keep up, now thats a challenge :D

Ah come on Dragonforce isn't difficult, you just have to be quick. Clapton's far harder to emulate and sound remotely as impressive than some jumped up suedo power metal band.

Yeah right the stuff the dragonforce guitarist do is easy suuuure. I have been playing guitar for 20+ years and i can nail a clapton song in 5 minutes but theres no way ill nail a dragonforce solo. Either way a dragonforce solo would be ALOT more difficult to do on the phone.
ChromeX 21st January 2008, 15:48 Quote
Yeah wolverine is right. You might not like dragonforce but you have to admit their stuff is far far far technically harder than claptons blue's scales songs
DougEdey 21st January 2008, 16:40 Quote
It's quite slow to react, but I think that's because of the touch pad itself. It's also extremely quiet sound wise.

Other then that I can see it being a useful teaching tool, if you're on the bus or something.
Josh88 21st January 2008, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [WP@
WOLVERINE]seems kinda cool :) But hey the keeping up with Clapton in the solos thing isnt really a problem i mean the guy is nicknamed Slowhand :) Get some Dragonforce on there and try and keep up, now thats a challenge :D


Dragonforce? Haha No, they really are lame.. if you want to hear real musicianship try listening to Dream Theater..John Petrucci owns Herman Li any day of the week, seriously
ArtificialHero 21st January 2008, 17:17 Quote
Frets are too close together for chords, which is all this is really useful for IMO. Halve the number of frets and put a slider so you can control where on the neck you are playing somewhere, and it would be a lot better. First 3/4 frets = win.

AH
ArtificialHero 21st January 2008, 17:18 Quote
clapton > dragonforce because good music != hard to play music. it still amazes me how many people don't seem to grasp that.
bahgger 21st January 2008, 17:31 Quote
Man, get a bunch of guitarists together and they can only seem to bicker about their idol being better or their skills destroying anyone elses.. Nice app there - I'll put it on my phone for a go but seeing as I attempted guitar for 3 months almost 5 years ago, and realised I sucked, I don't think much has changed :/
[WP@]WOLVERINE 21st January 2008, 18:37 Quote
Hey im not even a fan of dragonforce or clapton either for that matter all i said that the Herman li stuff is far more difficult to play than the clapton stuff. And Petrucci is a great guitarist aswell. My previous posts has nothing to do with who is better of not. The dragonforce reference just came from the fact that ive been slaving away in guitar hero with that damned dragonforce song :)
bumfluff 21st January 2008, 20:16 Quote
I have seen both Dream Theater and Dragonforce live, John Petrucci is a god and I have just bought his solo album but Dragonforce put on a very very good show live, although they don't have the same musicality and they are a completely different genre. Joe Satriani is awesome aswell, as are Paul Gilbert and Steve Vai. I'd say any guitarist who is famous enoughto be in an argument over who is better, is going to be bloody hard to play on an iphone.
mintedjo 22nd January 2008, 00:29 Quote
From the lack of interest here concerning the iPhone guitar thingy, I`m guessing its nothing to shout about.
I just registered to say, in general Dragonforce music sounds horrible, with one exception being through the fire and the flames. In my opinion, that particular song is more pleasant to listen to than anything by Clapton. Hence we reach the conclusion (which I'm sure we were already aware of) that who is "better" depends on what you like to listen to and whether you consider technical difficulty when rating a guitarists music.
Of course thats all nonsense and Herman pwns Eric.
thecrownles 22nd January 2008, 07:47 Quote
AC/DC F TW !!!

In reality though, I like Clapton more than Hard Rock... I just don't play guitar at all.
Luised76 22nd January 2008, 10:37 Quote
Hi - Where is it possible to download the "Turn your iPhone into a guitar" app? Thx.
DougEdey 22nd January 2008, 10:41 Quote
You need to have a jailbroken ipod touch/iphone and then load the source in the article.
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