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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two local youths launch online program for learning guitar

Jack Ross and Brian Abod in the studio.

Two local youths have invented a new way to learn how to play the guitar. Their online company, Pickup Guitar Club, makes the learning process fun,  “like the videogame Guitar Hero but with a real guitar,” says Brian Abod.

Abod focuses on the musical side of the business, while his partner, Jack Ross, works on the technical aspects. 

The Pickup Guitar Club website launched a few weeks ago. Subscribers play a guitar in front of their computer, while the program uses polyphonic note recognition to tell them whether they are playing the right notes.

Their approach is more fun than traditional guitar lessons, Abod says, because beginners learn to play popular songs right away instead of concentrating on learning the basics.

Subscriptions to access the service are $10 a month or $20 for three months. “Our goal is to let people play for cheap to see if they enjoy it,” Abod says.

Abod, a resident of the Wakefield Chapel area in Annandale, just finished his freshman year at Virginia Tech, where he is majoring in electrical engineering. He started playing guitar in the seventh grade at Frost Middle School. He met Ross, a resident of Alexandria, when they were students at Gonzaga High School and formed a band, the Whethermen.

Ross, a self-taught programmer, developed a couple of iPhone apps while still in middle school.  He is studying computer engineering at the University of Virginia.

When Abod and Ross launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter a year ago, while seniors in high school, they raised $32,000 in 30 days, says Abod, becoming the highest-funded teenagers on Kickstarter at the time.

1 comment:

  1. Impressive effort, and sounds really cool and fun. Good luck, Whethermen!