Tabstrummer: A Guitar You Play By Pressing Buttons

People who are really into music have often been inspired to pick up a guitar or to. Unfortunately, playing one is a lot harder than looking cool holding one. The Tabstrummer is a digital guitar that works by mapping buttons to chords, which you then play by strumming.

You’ve probably seen guitar tablatures floating around, charts that show you where to place your fingers on a guitar fretboard in order to play your favorite tunes. While serious guitarists may scoff at the idea, it’s a dead-simple way to learn fingering on the guitar. This is the idea behind the Tabstrummer. It’s a MIDI-based instrument that lets you map the buttons to any chord imaginable. To actually play it, you just strum the conductor “strings” like you would on a real guitar. It works a bit like the “Guitar Hero” controller, but lets you actually play songs instead of just pressing buttons in time with somebody else’s music. The Tabstrummer is actually a lot closer to an autoharp than a guitar. At this stage, it looks more like a prototype than a real product, pretty much just a circuit board and some buttons.

Tabstrummer DIY Guitar

Since it’s that time of year, here’s a rendition of Wham’s “Last Christmas” on the Tabstrummer:

You can also program songs into Tabstrummer and play it back. It has a MIDI out, so you could use it to sequence songs on your computer using software like Logic or Pro Tools. The best part, at least for your roommates or your neighbors, may be the headphone jack, which lets you play without letting people know how terrible of a guitarist you are. The Tabstrummer doesn’t sound exactly like a real acoustic guitar, but the sound gets the point across. So rock on, geeks!

If you like this, you’ll want to check out our post on a 12-in-1 guitar design, as well as some cool guitar mods.

via: Hack A Day