Music

Lights lead the way to rapid learning with the Poputar system

Lights lead the way to rapid l...
A mobile app turns learning into gamified fun, while LED lights in the neck show students where to place fretting fingers
A mobile app turns learning into gamified fun, while LED lights in the neck show students where to place fretting fingers
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The app-based learning games will show students when to strum or pick, while the LEDs on the neck show them where to fret
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The app-based learning games will show students when to strum or pick, while the LEDs on the neck show them where to fret
Once a song is learned, the LEDs can be set to dazzle while you play
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Once a song is learned, the LEDs can be set to dazzle while you play
The Poputar includes a built-in piezo pickup and instrument output jack for plugging into an amp
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The Poputar includes a built-in piezo pickup and instrument output jack for plugging into an amp
The Poputar comes with a spruce top and mahogany sides and back, and will be available in natural wood of black finishes
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The Poputar comes with a spruce top and mahogany sides and back, and will be available in natural wood of black finishes
A mobile app turns learning into gamified fun, while LED lights in the neck show students where to place fretting fingers
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A mobile app turns learning into gamified fun, while LED lights in the neck show students where to place fretting fingers
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PopuBand Music launched a learning ukulele on Indiegogo in 2017 that had students follow lights on the neck to master popular tunes. Now the company is crowdfunding an LED-packing acoustic guitar and app learning system called the Poputar.

Like the Populele, the Poputar is aimed at getting you playing in minutes and works with an app running on a Bluetooth-paired smartphone or tablet that teaches students to play through onscreen games and tutorials while 96 LEDs embedded in the ABS neck show them where to place their fretting fingers.

The teaching system is divided into four parts. The first gamified section deals with music theory, and is split into basic, intermediate and advanced levels, and is supported by tutorial videos. The second phase presents rearranged classic and modern pop songs, while the third has a follow mode to learn a song and a play mode that's graded for accuracy. Only when a student achieves a certain level of proficiency in a song will the next level be unlocked.

And the final mode opens up a smart guitar toolkit to the user, where the lights can be encouraged to dance as you play, a chord dictionary is available to show finger positions for "all kind of chords in all kinds of keys," there's a tuner, and a metronome, and more.

The Poputar comes with a spruce top and mahogany sides and back, and will be available in natural wood of black finishes
The Poputar comes with a spruce top and mahogany sides and back, and will be available in natural wood of black finishes

The 36-inch (914-mm)-long guitar features a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, Bluetooth 5.0 makes for app-prompted LED illumination in as little as 0.02 seconds, so you likely won't notice any lag, and it's powered by AA-sized batteries for up to 10 hours of playtime. There's a piezo bridge pickup and instrument output jack for plugging into an amp, but it's the microphone of the smart device running the app that's used for sound recognition, which incorporates noise reduction technology.

There seems to be a larger and more capable P1 version too, with a built-in power supply module, though this doesn't appear to be part of the crowdfunding campaign.

The Indiegogo page reckons that the system could have you "become a guitar master in 10 days." While we doubt you'd be able to hold your own with the likes of Adrian Legg, Leo Kottke or Christie Lenée after that time, based on our experiences with the Populele system, we'd say that fluidly strumming or even picking songs is certainly possible.

Pledges start at US$259 for a black model, which comes with a travel bag. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start from December.

Source: PopuBand

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2 comments
guzmanchinky
That looks cool, I might have to try that. I love Newatlas but it's bad for my pocketbook...
Brian M
Unfortunately there is only one way to master the guitar (or any instrument for that matter) and that is hard work and studying! Ten days isn't even long enough to get those callouses tough enough to be a master!

The lights might help a little, but money might be better spent on just buying a better sounding guitar and one that is easier to play!