Air Guitar- there’s an app for that

by Kaley Northcott

A good invention improves something that you hadn’t even realised needed improvement. This reigns true for most modern iPhone apps- making life a little bit easier by offering help for something we were perfectly happy to do on our own (unless, of course, you don’t have an iPhone, then you are positive your life could be better with the apps at your fingertips). My latest discovery of “there’s an app for that” fascination is the improvement of something participants might be hesitant to improve: the air guitar.

How could you possibly improve air guitar, you ask? You initial concern is perfectly understandable. The air guitar is an art and those who master the skill know full well they don’t need improving. Would the structure of an app not reveal the lack of physical guitar skill air guitarists hide by being the only person able to see their instrument? Unlike a physical guitar, the air guitar is a forgiving and flattering instrument. Experts are practiced in entertaining gestures and well executed windmill strums. Will the new app take away the appreciation of true air guitar, allowing every day players to believe they are experts, as Guitar Hero did to the physical guitar? (Come on, be honest, who thinks they have mastered the guitar thanks to the colourful plastic buttons?

Fear not, air guitar pros, as Yonac Software’s app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, Ghost Guitar, is a supportive teacher and only meant to help you hone your skills, not necessarily to take part in an air guitar championship. Using a device with a front-facing camera, place yourself in front of the screen so the app’s illustrated guitar is in the correct position. (The app will prompt you to sync your hand on the screen, unlike other versions of an air guitar app that only work if you are holding the device). From there, you can strum or pluck the strings and they will light up to indicate you’ve made contact. The app also boasts ghostly accompaniment and sounds effects to add to your otherwise traditional air guitar experience. Feeling confident? Use the record feature (which can also capture your voice if you want to sing along) and share with your friends.

So, air guitar amateurs, there is hope for you yet. You may have believed that there was nothing that would help you improve your air guitar skills, but as always (well, since 1997), there is an app for that.

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