Instinct Aims to Disrupt Traditional Guitar Lessons with Interactive Web Platform

WHAT: A virtual music teacher in your web browser. Anyone can create an interactive guitar lesson with instant feedback that uses animations to show where your hand goes, what notes to play and provides pitch detection. While practicing, Instinct tells you how quickly you're picking it up, ensuring you're especially practicing the things that are hard for you, to get you playing a recognizable tune within 10 minutes.

Its polyphonic pitch detection software -- built in-house -- can detect if users are playing the right chord, which consists of several notes.

Social integration is in the works to let users see what lessons other people are taking and compete with their friends. Mobile apps and support for other instruments will also eventually come.

LAUNCHERS: Blake Jennelle and Brian Stoner, co-founders. Blake and Brian co-founded MyDunkTank, a fundraising site for fun challenges, in 2010. 

WHY: When you are alone with your instrument, you don't always know if you're playing the notes correctly, how the song is supposed to sound or where your fingers should go.

WHEN/WHERE: New York / Launching Spring 2012. 

BACKSTORY: "I started studying guitar as an adult and was becoming aware of where I was struggling and why and how, but I was just kind of working through it the old-fashioned way," Instinct co-founder Blake Jennelle tells LAUNCH. "Even with a great teacher like I had, learning was a struggle. Most of the week I was alone with my guitar. As I was struggling to learn and as Brian (the other Instinct co-founder) was helping me, we realized there was a much better way to be teaching this stuff."

BUSINESS MODEL: Blake says they plan to partner with video music lesson providers, such as, to let video publishers add Instinct on top of existing video lessons as an interactive layer.  The website is free to use.

COMPETITION: Rock Prodigy, web based and mobile guitar lessons.  

ON COMPETITION: "The user interface is difficult on them and also, only they can create lessons and if you have existing video content," Blake says. "You cant connect the two."

CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: 200 people have tested it while in private beta.

GOAL: "To power all of online music learning," Blake says. "I see Instinct really radically changing the way people learn music online," Blake says. "I think the way we’re teaching is dramatically easier for the user than what’s out there. It will be the interactive platform that becomes universal."

ON IN-PERSON GUITAR LESSONS: "Instinct is fine by yourself, but it’s even better if you have a weekly private lesson with somebody," Blake says. "It’s an additional tool if you’ve dropped the idea of a private lesson. People can use it on their own very successfully but its better with human support."

WHO BACKED IT:  Not disclosing.

TOTAL RAISED: Not disclosing.




Blake Jennelle
Email: blake at getinstinct dot com

Twitter: @bjennelle  

Brian Stoner
Email: brian at getinstinct dot com
Twitter: @bstoner 

Twitter: @getinstinct