Earlier today I got a live demo of Ovelin's WildChords [Free], an edutainment musical game that never really had much reason to be on my radar. But using nothing more than an iPad, any kind of guitar, and some technical wizardry on their end, WildChords can teach you how to play the guitar. There are a number of fairly exhaustive overview videos on YouTube, and something like this is really better to just see in action, so check this out:

The crazy thing about WildChords, is that it really works exactly like it shows in the video. Watching someone play a guitar in front of the iPad, along to a game, that is able to recognize what chords you're playing and slowly ramp up to teach you actual songs flat out feels like a mixture of magic and something you'd see in a sci-fi movie. Better yet, it's totally free to try. You can download the app and get access to all of the early lessons, which will give you a great idea of just how well it works. It's worth repeating that you seriously don't need anything but an iPad, and a guitar. There's no wires, accessories, or anything else.

After you complete the free content, additional lessons are purchased for $2.99 a pop via in-app purchase, and they have plans to roll out all sorts of additional IAP packages. The music recognition technology they're using apparently has the potential to be stupidly exact with future possibilities of detecting whether you're strumming with an upstroke or a downstroke, as well as all sorts of other nuances that flew right over my non-musical head.

I think there's tons of potential in these kind of real-world musical instrument games. Imagine if instead of spending a cumulative week of your life playing Guitar Hero you invested your time in WildChords. You'd know how to actually play an instrument instead of just being especially proficient on pressing buttons. The cost savings are incredible too, as even if you bought every piece of IAP in WildChords, you'd likely still have spent less money than a single guitar lesson.

If you don't have an iPad, or a guitar, but just want to see more of WildChords in action, check out the Ovelin YouTube channel. If you do have an iPad and a guitar, you really need to download WildChords.

  • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

    Thanks for this info! This looks really interesting. I'm downloading it while I'm posting here. I'll try this out when I get home. Hope it's as good as the video looks...

  • Anonymous

    That does look pretty compelling. I can play decently, but it looks like it's right up my wife and kids alley!

  • Anonymous

    Can I play this with smart guitar from GrarageBand? :D

    • http://twitter.com/MikkoKaipainen Mikko Kaipainen

      Hi Linuxuser1! You can always try but at least we noticed that after latest updates to algorithm smart guitar or other virtual guitars did not work so well. Why not go for real one? ;-)

  • http://linuxuser1.myopenid.com/ Linuxuser1

    I'd like to try the concept before getting a real guitar :). It sounds great but I can't say if the variety in "gameplay" is big enought. So I'd like to try it with a much cheaper virtual guitar just to try how fine it works out.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      You are aware that you can quite literally buy a beginner's acoustic guitar kit for under $30, right? If WildChords doesn't do it for you, you could always learn the instrument the old fashioned way...

      • Anonymous

        Don't get me wrong. I think the App and the idea is great! I just tried to explain why I asked for virtual guitars :).

      • Ivo van Heel

        Would this work with an electric guitar with or without an amp? I'm missing my bottom string and I'm hoping that's the reason I can't get much done in the app.

      • Anonymous

        It works better with an acoustic as its using the mic to pick up the sound and analyse it. Having said that it did work pretty well with my Les Paul without an amp. It would probably work fine with an amp on your electric, just place the iPad reasonably near the amp.

  • http://twitter.com/cowgba cowgba

    I hope there's an iPhone version on the way, really want to try this but it's not something I would buy an iPad for.

    • http://twitter.com/MikkoKaipainen Mikko Kaipainen

      We are playing it with our iPhones already so coming soon :-)

  • Jeff Strong

    Very good idea.

  • http://twitter.com/spongefile Tina Aspiala

    Finland in da iOS haaaaus again! :D

  • Timothy Churchill

    I would definitely do this if it was available for iPhone.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davepicardi Dave Picardi

    This is very cool, but I'm at a loss for why this is iPAD only. They would quintuple their sales if it was universal and so far I'm not seeing any reason why it could not be.