A common sight and sound back in my “man cave/guitar room,” is me sitting at my computer desk with iTunes blaring, playing one of my six string beauties. One of my favorite ways to relax is to fire up iTunes, place it on shuffle and see what songs I can play along with on my guitar.
After playing for 25 years, I have learned and forgotten many songs. Often a song plays that I want to strum along with but do not remember the chords. What most guitarists do is pull up a tablature or the word and chords on a separate web site, then play along. This may sound strange if you are not a guitarist, but I do this any evening I have the time to help me relax. This is actually a multitasking extravaganza. While sitting at a desk with guitar in lap, the computer has two windows open. A click of the mouse to play iTunes, then a click to pull up the chords, then grab your guitar and catch up. Personally, I have become very quick in my ability to click and strum, but it is an annoying task.
A recent conversation with Quincy Carroll, iPlayMusic’s CEO (& avid guitar player) brought me to realize that this problem was not unique to my guitar room. Mr. Carroll developed Chords for iTunes to make this a much easier process. The premise is quite simple. A song is chosen from the service then searches the iTunes library to sync the song with the chord video. If you do not have the song there is an option to purchase in iTunes. When multiple songs with that title are available a manual search must be executed. When choosing a song, make sure it is the album version. It is best to check the time on the video and the song to make sure the correct version syncs. If the incorrect version is synced, there is a simple process to resync to the correct song.
Once a song is synced, that song, along with the chord video will play from the iPlayMusic interface. As seen in the screen shots, the chords are large and easy to see. The current chord played as well as the next chord are visible. The words to the song are visible along the bottom of the video. The minimal amount of information included in the video makes the chords and words simple to follow. There is an option to speed up or slow down the music without losing the key. Beginning guitarists might find this feature useful while learning strum patterns. The videos also let the user know when a capo is needed and on which fret. All of the songs I have tried were spot on with the chords as well as the words. Mr. Carroll has created a patent pending method of synchronizing the chords and words to the songs. The current library consists of 26 songs of many styles and genres. These 26 songs will be free to use until September 30. You really must try the service to understand how easy it is to use and how well it works. Here is the full press release.
iPlayMusic Launches Chords for iTunes Featuring Free Videos to
Learn and Jam To Your Favorite iTunes Songs on Mac, iPod or iPhone
Mac Beta Delivers 26 Free Chord Videos for Songs from Green Day, James Taylor,
White Stripes and More; Each Presents Animated Music and Lyrics
For a Fun Play-Along Experience
Mountain View, Calif. – June 30, 2009 – iPlayMusic, providers of music learning and entertainment products, today launched Chords for iTunes, the first service of its kind to synchronize the chords, music and lyrics to your favorite iTunes songs and present them on video for easy playback and learning. During its beta phase, which begins today and runs through September, 26 chord videos are available for free on the Mac for popular songs from artists including Green Day, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, Matchbox 20, White Stripes and more. An expanded selection of videos will be introduced this Fall.
“For most music hobbyists and musicians, the only thing that beats listening to their favorite music on iTunes is being able to play along with it,” said Quincy Carroll, chief executive officer at iPlayMusic. “Whether you are learning to play an instrument for the first time, trying to advance your musical skills, or just looking for new songs to enjoy with family and friends, our chord videos can be both fun and instructional.”
Powered by patent-pending technology, the iPlayMusic software perfectly synchronizes each video with a select song that can be slowed down or sped up while maintaining pitch for learning at any pace. To ensure the legal use of all music featured in Chords for iTunes videos, consumers must already have purchased and stored one of the 26 songs in their iTunes library or on their computer.
Through proprietary production techniques, videos can be added quickly to the iPlayMusic Download Store as users request more songs. In addition, all chord videos are optimized for mobile devices and are extremely portable in their visual display of animated chords and lyrics. Easy export features within the software allow for viewing on Apple TV and mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPod for use anywhere, anytime.
To access Chords for iTunes, simply install the Mac version of iPlayMusic’s software (at www.iplaymusic.com/download), click on the Shop button and start browsing. If a selected song is not already present in your iTunes library, the iPlayMusic software will prompt you to purchase it from the iTunes Music Store. Once the song is in place, simply click the playback button and let the jamming begin.
In addition to chord videos, iPlayMusic offers a variety of guitar learning and entertainment products on DVD or for download, and features guitars and accessories for musicians of any age or skill level.
iPlayMusic, Inc. was formed in 2003 to create innovative products for people to interact with music. Our educational products are designed for families interested in learning to play popular songs on guitar quickly and easily while having fun. Using the most advanced techniques for DVD authoring and leveraging the power of today’s Macs, PCs, and iPods, our guitar lesson products are best-in-class. For information email email@example.com or visit www.iplaymusic.com.