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Mobile App Design Update

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Apologies for being out of touch the last few months. We’ve been heads down on a number of fronts - finalizing and locking down the product design, getting a fully-costed Bill of Materials (aka BOM, or a comprehensive list of every single part in the guitar, with a full cost quote), and finalizing business arrangements with our manufacturing partners and suppliers. 

Today’s update is focused on the improvements we’ve made to the mobile app, which is how most of you will learn how to play the guitar. (We’ll have another update in a week regarding where we are in manufacturing and shipping times so please hold those types of questions until then.) 

We’ve continued to test our app with users, and the main feedback we received is that just seeing lyrics and chord numbers is not enough for users to understand how to find the right button/chord, strum, and play in rhythm. We’ve decided to add videos to the app, so you can now

  1. play along to an instructor
  2. play along to a music video
  3. play along with a band

The videos will be framed within our app, and there will be a dashboard that provides feedback and scores how well you played.

Here is an example of one of our instructors, Allegra, teaching you how to play Adele’s Someone Like You in Magic Mode (we’ll also have videos showing you how to play in Traditional Mode):

As you can see, once you get to the 40th second in the video a control panel on the right hand side appears with four different panels which shows you how well you’re doing while playing the song:

Overall Score - an aggregate score of your Chord, Strumming, and Rhythm Scores

Chord Fingering Accuracy - measures if you are pushing the correct buttons both in Magic or Traditional chords

Strumming - measures your strum pattern and velocity of the strings depending on the chord

Rhythm - measures the timing of when you play a chord in relation to the actual song via a gauge

Once you are oriented with your guitar with the instructional video, you can play along to a music video! (We’re working on getting the rights to display videos from the music publishers.) Here is an example of the original video for Adele’s Someone Like You:

This is perfect for the guitarist who does not prefer singing, but still wants to play along with their favorite artists.

Finally, we’re also planning on making videos with our house band, so you can have the experience of “playing along” in a music jam with our band.

While the design of the mobile app is not finalized, we’ve tested this on a number of people and the feedback has been great! Now people know when to to play the right chord in relation to the lyrics with interactive metrics.

That’s it for now, we’ll have an update in a week regarding manufacturing and shipping times. Thanks for reading and watching. As always, if you have any questions please send them to support@magicinstruments.com

Rock on!

Magic Instruments

February Update

Music is magic. It can speak without words. Create connections between strangers. And unleash deep emotions in a few simple notes. All throughout history, people have made music together. Whether with rudimentary instruments, or the most technologically advanced, we gathered to tell stories, to share feelings, ideas, and wisdom — in the moment, and across generations. This musical exchange is our shared heritage. But in recent generations, music-making has been segregated. Between those who create, and those who consume. Leaving so many of us without important tools for self-expression and connection. Magic Instruments believes it’s time to regain our confidence, and tap back into the pure joy of musical expression. We invite you, and everyone, to play along.​

Magic Instruments at CES

It’s been 50 years since the first US Consumer Electronics Show in New York City, with just 14 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees. This year at least 170,000 people were expected to attend, with more than 3,800 companies displaying showing their products. We were just a tiny 10’ x 10’ booth in the Sands Expo Centre, but that didn’t matter, we sang till voices gave out and demonstrated the guitar to over 400 people.

We attended CES in Las Vegas with the main objective to meet potential distributors and retailers. We had multiple buyers that represent some of the biggest brick and mortar retailers in the world try the MI Guitar. The result? They were floored by how quickly they were playing their first song and suggested that we should be selling it for $499 once we are in retail! That being said, we are 100% committed on fulfilling our backers and pre-orders before a single guitar goes on a retail shelf.

Here is just a taste of what people experienced at CES. We can't wait to ship your guitars to you!

Photos

People demoing the MI Guitar at CES

People demoing the MI Guitar at CES

People demoing the MI Guitar at CES

People demoing the MI Guitar at CES

People demoing the MI Guitar at CES

Videos

First rocker playing some "Let It Be" - The Beatles with Magic Mode

Tom’s Guide | Magic Instruments Digital Guitar

"Hey Jude" - The Beatles using Magic Mode

WeBlogTheWorld | Learning Guitar the Easy Way With Magic Instruments

"99 Red Balloons" - Nena using Magic Mode

Players putting the MI Guitar through it's paces in Traditional Mode.

Press

Entrepreneur | 4 Amazing Products From CES I Can't Wait to Use

Tom’s Guide | Top 5 Startups to Watch in 2017

We Blog The World | Top 25 Picks at CES 2017

MI Pro | 11 innovative instruments and musical gadgets from CES 2017

BBC | CES 2017: Tech preview of Las Vegas's biggest launches (bottom of the page)

Toronto Sun | Highlights from CES 2017 (Slide 74)

Linkedin | Tales from the CES 2017 startup crypt

Testimonials

"I was introduced to the MI Guitar at CES. To be honest, the concept sold itself, but you sealed the deal. You took the time to walk me through the experience and explain the why and how you developed the product. You also have a terrific grasp of your target audience and their needs (empathy.) When asked, "what was the coolest thing you saw at CES?" The response is the MI Guitar. Okay... it was Micheal Phelps and Aisha Tyler!" - Jeff W.

Thanks Jeff! Here is one that touched our hearts:

"I had a great experience with it at CES. In the few minutes you all sat me down I felt like I actually learned something. My brother passed over 8 years ago and I have had his acoustic guitar since then, but have never learned to play. I am highly technical with no musical talent. To be able to pick that up and learn something in just a few minutes is pretty amazing to me. I have tried to learn on my brother's guitar, but I find it difficult to learn how to hold the strings while trying to read the sheet music. The iPad app and easy use of your guitar was really nice. It felt very intuitive given that I'm more a techie. I am excited to learn to play and then to translate that into using my real guitar." - Alan W. 

From a non-guitar playing musician:

"Even though your product has nothing to do with my business (home theater installations), I like spending a half day or so at CES exploring the Eureka Park section of the show to see what new stuff people are creating. As a musician,  I was intrigued with your guitar and Brian showed me all (or a lot) of what it can do and I was sold. I would have bought it on the spot. As a non-guitar-playing musician, this will come in handy when I need to lay down rhythm guitar tracks and, as is often the case, I can't get any of my guitar playing friends to come over due to scheduling issues. I LOVE this thing and can't wait to put it to use!" - Michael M.

Pre-Order