back to article Geeks play Guitar Hero without guitars

We’ve all been air-guitar gods at some point in our lives. But now a band of boffins have proven that you don’t need frets, a pick or even a controller to be a Guitar Hero. Nerds from Microsoft, the University of Washington and the University of Toronto have jointly developed a “muscle/computer interface” able to control the …


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  1. Admiral Grace Hopper

    "the traditional four-buttoned plastic guitar" ???????

    Shame on you sir, shame on you.

    Mines the one with 0.79mm picks in the pocket next to the Gibson Les Paul.

  2. Deckchair

    is required

    Ideal for the one handed typist.

  3. Rhys Vincent


    "Strumming, usually achieved on Guitar Hero by flexing the plastic guitar’s strummer switch, is now replicated when the gamer uses their left arm to strum an invisible guitar."

    ...unless you're a rightie, in which case surely that'll be the right arm...or must one be ambidextrous?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try again

    "We’ve all been air-guitar gods at some point in our lives."

    No, we haven't.

  5. ben 29

    Computer/muscle interface

    Surely I cannot be the only one to see how this could be applicable to the pr0n industry?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What happens when... have to play the Orange note, which involves shifting your hand up the "fret board", and you would often do this with your pinky (which also normally plays the blue note)? And what happens when players rest their index finger on the red note, not the green note, as is common in the higher difficulty levels?

    This is one of those "hey, look at what we can do" gimmicks that will never actually be used by non-casual gamers.

  7. Nick Davey
    Thumb Up

    Nice to see...

    scientists are working on solving the world's most pressing problems.

  8. LuMan
    Thumb Down

    And for RIGHT HANDED guitarists?

    Any ful no that gitar is dun wiv over hans*!

    Actually, all that's happened here is the controller has changed. Part of the fun of Guitar Hero is weilding the plastic axe and jumping around the place like those scantily-dressed birds off the adverts (stolen from Risky Business, no less). Having a 'different' controller that straps to your arm and removes the tangible-ness of anything fun is more an investigation into something else that an 'proper' solution.

    Thumbs down, I'm afraid...

    *Yeah, yeah, I know, Jimi Hendrix and all that...

  9. Elmer Phud

    at last

    Guitar Hero for left-handers.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Without using the traditional four-buttoned plastic guitar"

    The guitars have got five buttons. The Guitar Grip for the DS version of the game has four, though.

  11. matthew maclean


    I'm fairly sure he's playing Guitar Hero - Virgin Edition

  12. Def Silver badge

    Air Guitar Hero

    Was the genius game concept I came up with when I first heard about Microsoft's Project Natal.

    Then (about 10 seconds later) I realised how completely and utterly retarded people look when air guitaring and promptly dropped the idea. I suspect someone somewhere is working on it though.

  13. Valerion
    Thumb Up

    Left handed

    Hendrix was left-handed, I guess they're moddelling it on the best.

    Although how you set fire to a guitar that isn't there I don't know.

  14. MartinLee

    Re: What happens when...

    Did you look at the video? It doesn't work how you think it works.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Def

    You are, I think, a tad too fast to dismiss the concept: the existing Air Championships would be greatly enlivened by forcing contestants to actually do something musical, rather than just prance about in poodle-rock frightwigs and Spandex with the knees gone through

  16. Drew24x7

    At last Air Guitar hero!

  17. Andus McCoatover

    Coming to my city, Oulu, soon???

    The "Annual Air Guitar World Championship Contest" is held at Oulu, Finland.

    Fitting, nach. There's fuc*k all else here. Except Nokia, for awhile. Maybe next year they'll be held in Mumbai?

    (Oh, and it's often windy here. Nowt like Chicago, but keep the windows closed when removing it from the case. Still, looking like someone who's about to go through a triple-bypass, what with all them wires anchored to an amplifier, I assume the '(piss-)artist' won't be wafted off the stage. )

  18. Graham Bartlett

    "to actually do something musical"

    No-one playing Guitar Hero (or its imitators) is doing anything musical. Just because the game of Simon is put onto a guitar-shaped bit of plastic, it doesn't mean you're doing anything musical. At least DDR had some relevance to dancing - Guitar Hero doesn't even have that justification.

    Honestly, I really don't see why anyone buys it. There are plenty more interesting games, and many with better in-game music. And if you are delusional enough to think that Guitar Hero involves "doing something musical", you can buy a second-hand real guitar for a tenth of a price of the game and platform, or a new real electric guitar and amp for under half the price, and get a damn sight more enjoyment out of it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chording keyboard

    I've always figured that you could combine sensors like this with a chording system to build a bluetooth armband keyboard - that way you could cut down on RSI and allow really fast typing without even letting go of the mouse. Plus you could connect to mobiles to save having to type on a restricted keypad. And most importantly you get one before anybody you know and pretend to be psychic. All of these are probably more useful than playing baby-mode on GH or some jogging computer.

    Hopefully they're working on making the gestures a lot less exaggerated than having to actually touch your thumb though, rather than wasting time on wireless tech that could be knocked together in a couple of hours by a semi-competent design shop in china.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    In the time that it takes to play the game well, you could learn to play a *real* guitar.


    "Hendrix was left-handed, I guess they're moddelling it on the best."

    So was Kobain, and Iommi is also lh.

    Most of the most-influential guitarists were/are left-handed.

    Paris - Cause she's probably done a guitarist.

  21. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    what a load of twat...

    Is this that what modern technology has reduced a beautiful hand crafted, mahogany/flamed maple alder/maple musical instrument into, a piece of plastic grot with 4/5 buttons for the instant gratification generation.

    Meh! I say

    Mines the one hanging from the corner of Marshal JCM900 sitting on top of 2 4x12 cabs with the Fender Strat plugged into it via a selection of Boss effects pedels.

  22. Piers

    Microsoft + Guitar Hero = FAIL

    Give me an SG and a Marshall Stack anyday... *pah*

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @Graham Bartlett

    DDR had only a tenuous grasp on the idea of dancing, but it did involve a great big f*ckoff bunch of exercise - which justifies its existence, at least in my book.

    I'd much rather spend the time to work on playing *real* instruments and making *real* music.

  24. J 3

    Muscle activity?

    What the hell, do they think I'm Arnie or something? This muscle talk thingy got me tired already. Where is the head band that reads my neuronal firings (hm, even that sounds like too much work), so I don't need to move a muscle.

    I need to go have a nap after all this typing, excuse me.

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