February 10, 2009 Guitar Hero and Rock Band have allowed masses of people without the time or patience to learn the guitar to become Rock Gods in their own living rooms. For those looking to take the next step and pick up a real guitar, this concept for a guitar learning aid from designer Eugene Cheong promises a faster transistion. The “Maestro” would attach to any guitar and get budding guitarists jamming in record time by using lasers to guide their fingers.

MP3s could be input to the device via SD card and the songs converted to guitar tablature. The resultant tablature is then sequentially projected onto the neck of the guitar with laser lights to indicate which note should be played.

Being a design concept Cheong has focused not only on the function of the proposed device, but also on its aesthetics to ensure the device complements the guitar with its organic visual styling. While existing guitarists who have put in the hard yards mastering their art might deride the concept, it is not aimed at them. Instead Cheong claims his main aim with the project was to, “create a device that bridges the gap between beginners and their fear “that music pedagogy is an elitist discipline.”

While a few posters commenting on the concept have already pointed out some possible flaws, (fingers on the fret board blocking the lasers for example), this ‘outside –the-box’ thinking is exactly what design concepts are for.

Darren Quick

View gallery - 4 images