MI Guitar

A new type of guitar that you can pick up & play, instantly.

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Discussion

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Jordan Finnigan
Jordan Finnigan@jadojodo · Developer @ Dealer Inspire
I'm all for convenience products, but when they encroach on the art domain, I just don't see the point. This product is the equivalent of a paint-by-the-numbers book. Except the paint-by-the-numbers book doesn't pretend the user can be a great artist by using it. I would've liked to have seen this product be something closer to a portable Rocksmith/guitar combo. There is absolutely a market for 'Learn To Do X' for those with limited time and I think it would've been a homerun had the focus been on teaching you to (actually) play the guitar. But there are simply better, cheaper ways to *look* like you're playing a guitar. Namely, learning to play the guitar.
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
Hey @jadojodo thanks for the feedback! Based off your comment it sounds like you're a traditional guitarist yourself. I'm sure it was wasn't easy and took a lot of time and effort, so kudos to you! Please share your learning journey, we would love to hear it. We're making guitars for people who don't have the time, but still want to be musically expressive. According to Fender, 90% of people who try to learn the guitar, quit in the first year, we're trying to change that so that anyone can express themselves musically. The issue with Rocksmith/guitar combo is still dictated by the physics of vibrating strings and that's why people quit. It doesn't matter if it's cheaper if you can't play it. Our approach is different, think of us as the camera in your pocket. It takes photos, but will it make you into a professional? Highly doubtful. However, more photos have been taken with a smartphone that all the years combined in the history of film photography because at the end of the day people are capturing moments that they will cherish forever with their pocket super computers. There are very few use cases for the amateur shutterbug is going to lug around a DSLR. We're trying to make musical instruments accessible to everyone, just like the camera in your pocket, and we're starting with guitar. Take care, Andrew, Co-Founder of Magic Instruments
Jordan Finnigan
Jordan Finnigan@jadojodo · Developer @ Dealer Inspire
@asong408 I am not a guitarist, actually. I'm one of the quitters, having taken lessons for about 3-years before deciding that while I could do it, I didn't have the "passion". I'm confused as to your finding that people quit due to "the physics of vibrating strings". Perhaps you can expand on that some more. As to your photography analogy, I'm not sure that's the right fit. The top 24 devices on Flickr right now are all Apple iPhones. While one couldn't say that anyone who can take a photo with an iPhone is a photographer (any more than you could say someone who strums a guitar is a musician), they certainly could improve their skill and become one using only an iPhone. The same can't be said of the MI Guitar. Using this device, I will never "improve" to the point of becoming an actual guitar player. Judging by the MI Facebook page, I see the majority of those offended are real musicians or those who aspire to be. I think this is due to the fact that you guys market this device as "A new type of guitar that you can pick up and play, instantly". But it's not a guitar, any more than a Guitar Hero "guitar" is. If I were to market a Polaroid "camera" that spit out pre-determined images no matter what you're shooting and came packaged with the phrase "A new type of camera that you can pick up and be a photographer, instantly", I would run into the same pushback from the photography community. It simply isn't the same thing. Like I said: I appreciate that you guys are trying to hit the market for those with little time (I'm one of them). I know for damn certain that it exists, but unless you want to piss off a lot of people along the way, I would shy away from implying that this is anything close to playing an instrument.
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@jadojodo Thanks for your feedback, apologies for not being clear. As you know you need to press flesh to metal to produce sound. For some people that's painful, for others it's the motor skills of switching between chords. These are based on shortening the strings on the fretboard and having them vibrate at the right moment. What if you didn't have to do that? Does that mean it's not an instrument anymore? We don't think so.
Joshua Pinter
Joshua Pinter@joshuapinter · Product at CNTRAL. Maker of ntwrk.
And then when you go to a campfire and someone brought a guitar you can just pick it up and start playing... on wait.
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@joshuapinter That's why you bring our guitar! It has a detachable neck and takes 8 x AA batteries with it's own built in speaker, so you don't have to lug around an awkward bag all the time. Cheers!
orliesaurus
orliesaurus@orliesaurus · Lasers handler
Should be dubbed "The colouring book of guitar playing"
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@orliesaurus Why do you think that? Would love to hear your feedback.
orliesaurus
orliesaurus@orliesaurus · Lasers handler
@asong408 isnt it pretty obvious? think of the metaphor...Not really drawing <-> not really playing guitar
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@orliesaurus I dunno man, this looks like art to me: http://www.boredpanda.com/colori... Also, I don't get the wizard dancing and having the books shrink into a bag reference. I remember it had something to do with the sword and the stone and a crazy owl, but you lost me with the gif.
orliesaurus
orliesaurus@orliesaurus · Lasers handler
@asong408 the author is clearly the artist, but the person purchasing it.. ?? The gif is a simple reference to magic - do you believe in magic Andrew?
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
Hey Everyone! I'm one of the Co-Founders of Magic Instruments, would love to answer questions. We're launch our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo at 8AM PST or 11AM EST today! There are a limited amount of PH specials if you use the link. Happy hunting!
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
Here is an article on TC: http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/19... with more explainer on how it works!
Guy Malachi
Guy Malachi@guy · Product/UX focused serial entrepreneur
@asong408 Cool product, good luck!
Martin Kessler
Martin Kessler@kesslerio · Founder & COO of Shape. I ❤️ Hardware.
@asong408 Awesome to see you guys launch. Will make sure to share!
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@guy dude, how did you get that handle?
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@kesslerio Thanks Martin! Can't wait for Shape myself!
Greig Cranfield
Greig Cranfield@greigcranfield · Co-founder @Pendle.io
Look, I hate this idea and everything it represents. I'm passionate about music as art. THAT BEING SAID - I think you've just positioned this wrong. It's not a 'new kind of guitar'. You've actually mentioned in a comment here 'for people that don't have time to learn but still want to be musically expressive'. The first part of this statement is terrible as it's like saying 'liposuction is for people that don't have time for the gym' or 'squarespace is for people too busy to learn how to code' - those are bullshit statements making people think it's acceptable to use excuses to shortcut their way to what they desire. But the second part of that statement is how you should be positioning it. 'Everyone should be able to be musically expressive' - that's a powerful vision. You should be marketing this and rallying people behind it. Positioning it as a lazy person's guitar is not how you should be framing it. Sorry if that's a bit of a rant.
Greig Cranfield
Greig Cranfield@greigcranfield · Co-founder @Pendle.io
Disclaimer: I am a guitar player :-) and I do wish you guys success, the design is super slick and there is a strong market for it. Music creation and the artist role continue to be disrupted and we need to empower more people to create their own music on whatever platform they chose to do that. I just feel you should reposition it slightly. Honest feedback.
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@1greigcranfield I really appreciate the feedback, it's a lot of things to a lot of people and we're still figuring that out. I completely agree with "Everyone should be able to be musically expressive." We think the world will be a better place if everyone can play an instrument and connect with one another. But for now, we need to differentiate ourselves from our competitors that offer an easier way to play the guitar (EZ-AG, Fretlight, gTar, etc). It's an interesting problem because we know that our instrument brings joy to people and how anyone can quickly play their first song. Just because they didn't put in the hours, does that make them less of a person to get the same result? What about people who have a crazy fast metabolism? Are they considered cheats because they won the genetic lottery? But to give you some other perspectives. To some it's a great outlet to just relax and play their favorite songs. To singers (people in our video above), it's an instrument that they can use to accompany themselves and turn into T. Swift:
Why would you hate this? Because he doesn't want to put in the time? He's got a great voice, and he's augmenting it with our guitar. For songwriters that want to compose music, it's a chord encyclopedia where every button is a chord and you can string them together without going to the piano or looking up a chord book and try to figure out if you're playing it right and lose your inspiration in the process. For people with arthritis, it's a second chance at the guitar. For me it's a way to level the playing field to express yourself musically. Just because you suffered (I have, playing the violin), doesn't make you a great artist.
Greig Cranfield
Greig Cranfield@greigcranfield · Co-founder @Pendle.io
@asong408 It wouldn't make them less of a person or even a less enjoyable experience, it just isn't the same experience which is where I think you'll get backlash if you say it is. That's great that guy can sing and accompany his voice with backing instruments, I think the issue comes with calling it a guitar and positioning it as 'playing a guitar'. All the ways you've listed are novel ways to use the product and like I said I actually hope it does well. I hope it does bring enjoyment and people use this as a way to make more art. Or even if they just want to jam to some TaySwift, cool. I just personally don't like the idea of people thinking this is a substitute for the guitar.
Andrew Song
Andrew SongMaker@asong408 · Marketing, Magic Instruments
@1greigcranfield cool, glad your off the hate train. I think this gif sums up our conversation: http://giphy.com/gifs/same-but-d...
Greig Cranfield
Greig Cranfield@greigcranfield · Co-founder @Pendle.io
@asong408 Haha I wasn't trying to be a dick and I totally respect you fighting your corner. Let's just say it struck a chord http://giphy.com/gifs/laughing-d...