REAL Guitar Hero

"Guitar Hero" using an actual guitar… I've looked around and can't find anyone that's released anything close to this – although it looks like there are a few projects started, none of them have any tangible results.

The idea: not so much a "guitar hero" game (although it could eventually be turned into one), but a guitar-hero-esque training program – using a computer program to display notes and chords and using a real guitar as the input device.

This seems like it would make great learning tool for beginners that want to learn guitar (ME!). The idea isn't exactly fully formed, and would need a lot of tweaking, but the display would basically be a few fret-boards displayed horizontally, and a moving indicator rather than notes moving off the screen. This approach allows more time for feedback to be viewed and would be less hectic to a beginning guitarist than "OMG! Here's another chord about to disappear off the screen!"

Hardware: a guitar and a pre-amp (maybe not needed?) to hook the guitar into the microphone input on the computer.

The software would analyze the input for frequency spikes, and determine which notes were played. It'd function much the way that a guitar tuner does… just looking for multiple peaks, rather than just one.

I don't believe it'd be very hard to hack out a quick and dirty proof-of-concept prototype. The real snag is that I've never done any work with audio processing, and that would probably be the most time consuming hurdle in this entire thing.

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  1. Cactus said,

    I'll help!!!

    I had this same idea back when this first came out.

    It would be really good for helping guitar players not look at the fingerboard when they are playing (Something I am guilty of, because my bass and guitar parts are so incredibly fabulous. See for proof).

    Basically, you would watch the screen and see where the notes were. Then try to hit them without looking. At first you'd suck. But really fast you'd develop muscle memory and pretty soon I'd bet you'd be rocking the guitar in no time.

    Let's put something together.


    October 2, 2009 @ 11:29 am

  2. sparx said,


    I'm still trying to figure out the best way to deal with analyzing the audio. There's a huge trade off between the programming being easy (relatively) and latency. A non-pro audio soundcard is going to introduce enough latency on its own, so anything I can do to avoid compounding that is a plus.
    I've come across a few different methods that MAY work.. but.. yeah. It's gonna be a lot of trial/error and *head-desk*ing.

    October 2, 2009 @ 11:34 am

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