January 13, 2013 7:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for feedback on a guitar learning website I've been working on. First of all, it turns guitar tabs you find on the internet into music. Second, it's a general scratchpad for playing around with chords or scales and learning the fretboard. Third, you can share music and lessons with your friends.

Here's an example of a song I tapped out the rhythm for (I didn't tab it out, thanks to whoever did!).

Playback is choppy in Firefox, but Chrome works well. I haven't tried any other browsers.

Hopefully some mefi music people will read this! This is really just a proof of concept, so there are bugs, don't worry about THAT. The tab parsing is really crappy, among other things. What I want to find out is whether or not I should keep working on it or just call it good - I'm probably not going to spend much more time on it if nobody has a use for it, but I think there are some really cool ideas here.

Future plans include super useful music analysis tools - right now there's not much, so if you have ideas for how to possibly visualize intervals or chord relationships, I'd be really interested. Otherwise, just let me know what you think!
Role: programmer
posted by big friendly giant (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Thank you hades. By the way, sound should now work in Safari.
posted by big friendly giant at 8:08 PM on January 14, 2013

This is really great looking. How difficult would it be to add a tab-to-sheet-notation feature? I don't play guitar but sometimes I want to learn a song and all that's out there is guitar tabs for it. There are a few sites to do a conversion but they're generally ugly and awkward to use.
posted by curious nu at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2013

That's a cool idea. I'm assuming you mean to piano sheet music? I think it depends on your expectations. It would be pretty easy to convert to the notes directly over, but hard to get the timing or other notation accurate. I just tried this converter at 8notes and it actually seemed to work pretty well. I'm not sure I could do much better than them in terms of the results, honestly.
posted by big friendly giant at 9:37 AM on January 15, 2013

big friendly giant: yeah, that. I just really like the interface you have for GROKTAR (is it HTML5?), everything seems very smooth.
posted by curious nu at 4:14 PM on January 15, 2013

Thanks curious nu. It's pretty HTML5-ey. The guitar is made out of SVG (vectors), which is why it can do smooth effects. I'm using bonsai.js to draw and animate it.
posted by big friendly giant at 11:01 PM on January 15, 2013

Groktar is amazing!
posted by hamandcheese at 12:42 AM on January 18, 2013

I really think this is amazing!

An interesting next step would be to bypass the bookmark interface by turning this into a .js library which, for example, looks for <div class="GROKTAR"/>, and adds all this functionality to those chunks. It looks like you have a registration model, but you could retain that control with registration-bound API keys if you wanted.
posted by hanoixan at 11:07 AM on January 18, 2013

Cool, thank you. That's a good idea too. Or even a Chrome extension that made any random tab you come across playable without the original site having to do anything. Hmm...

I do think one of Groktar's main features is that after you register, you can easily share tab and lessons with other people by just sharing the URL. Plus you can build up a library of stuff you want to come back to. I'm not sure if anybody is reading to the end of the instructions text though. Did you guys know it would do that? :)
posted by big friendly giant at 6:25 PM on January 18, 2013

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