[This post was reblogged from the original by Brenna Ehrlich on May 10 2011]
Guitar TV, created by Grammy Award-winning music artist Steve Vai and musician/and tech guy Andy Alt, was designed to inspire and educate everyone who has ever wielded or wanted to wield an ax.
“When I was a kid, the first time I saw a guitar it held this great mystique,” says Vai. “I was instantly attracted to it. I loved watching people play it.”
For years, Vai dreamed of creating a TV channel entirely devoted to the guitar, but seeing as how that would be a costly endeavor, the idea was tabled until he met Alt, who, in the past, had worked for Sun Microsystems, Paypal, Intel and Belkin (in addition to playing in bands).
Alt shared Vai’s dream of creating a station devoted to guitar players, to inspire musicians — “To move from the bedroom as a guitar player to a stage takes a lot,” he says. “I think there are a lot of amazing talents yet to be seen and I want to be a part of it as a big movement.”
Alt and Vai plan to have no shortage of content curated for aspiring musicians on the site; it will feature both on-demand videos (show footage, lessons, etc) ad well as live video events (via a partnership with Livestream).
While the content promises to be interesting enough, the format of the site is pretty slick. Designed to look like a guitar, you can click on any of the six strings next to the video to bring up even more content: 1). Artist info (via Wikipedia), 2). Links to buy tracks Amazon and iTunes, 2). The tablature of whatever song is playing (via Songster.com), 3). A link to buy concert tickets (via Ticketmaster), 4). Info about what guitar and amp s/he is playing, and a link to buy them (via MusiciansFriend.com). All of these features are made possible using an advertising platform called InEVO, and Guitar TV will take a cut of all sales executed through the site.
In addition, the site is also integrated with Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to chat about the videos and share them via social networks. Livestreams will feature that platform’s chat module as well. Users can’t comment on videos yet, but Vai and Alt plan to add these features. Bands can also submit their own videos for possible inclusion in the programming.
The site just launched, so there’s not a lot of content to play around with as of yet. Still, Steve Vai recently set the Guinness World Record for most massive online guitar lesson, so we already know he has pull in the online music realm. We’re interested to see how the site grows and changes as more videos are added.
“It fulfills that original dream that I had to watch one amazing guitar performance after another,” says Vai. “For a guitar player, that’s a really exciting thing.”
[This post was originally part of a series called Spark of Genius.]