Music Technology

MiKord handles fret fingering to make guitar playing a strum idea

The Premise. Though the guitar is one of the easiest instruments out there to learn, the hardest part of playing it well is coordinating chord changes with rhythm. When a person is just learning, there is a lot of stopping, looking at finger placement, and then playing is resumed. With persistence and patience, the instrument is eventually learned if a person has any musical ability at all. But for those who don’t really have any musical propensity and wish that they did, a potential solution is in the works.

The Product. MiKord is a learning aid/connected assistant for those who’d like to be able to play guitar chords, but would rather skip to the part where the glamour and riches ensue. The product gets strapped to the neck and makes the actual chords as the user presses down on it, while the digital readout tells a person what strings to play and what chords are being used via preprogrammed music downloadable from the MiKord website. Unfortunately, there’s no missing its white, brick-like protuberance from the fretboard for anyone hoping to pass as a calloused guitar deity.

The Pitch. The video for the $65,000 campaign demonstrates placement of the product on the guitar neck and the digital music readout, but it seems strange that the campaign doesn’t include a person actually playing a song while using the product. The background music used suggests that a person could potentially play just as well, but there is no clear indication that the background music is provided by someone who is actually using the product.

The Perks. There are eight tiers from which a backer may choose. For $165, a backer gets one product with an expected delivery of November 2014. An additional $20 needs to be included for shipping.

The Potential. For those who have a disability in their left hand or fingers, have severe arthritis, or just aren’t musically gifted but wish they were, something like this product may be of benefit. A sense of rhythm is still required to make this product work, as well as a good enough ear to know when the chord changes need to happen. Picking patterns will still require agility and dexterity in the right hand. There will also still be a certain amount or coordination required for the flow of the song as chord changes and rhythm take place, but it may not require as much effort as if one actually had to form the chords on their own. This item will not actually help a person to learn to play the guitar, but it may help them to make music. There is no substitute for an actual teacher and being patient enough with oneself to just learn to play the instrument and practice, not even with something like ChordBuddy.

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