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September 1, 2007

NowPlayIt.com — KT Tunstall gives a lesson


This new website features pop artists teaching you how to play some of their favorite songs.

John Jurgensen reviewed it in today's Wall Street Journal, as follows.

    At this site, pop stars are the music teachers

    On a new Web site, fans of Brit-pop band Blur or Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter KT Tunstall can learn how to play some of their favorite songs on guitar, bass or drums — from the artists themselves.

    The site, NowPlayIt.com, lets users download video tutorials for songs from a handful of popular musicians. So far, there are about 400 videos available in different bundles. The top tier downloads, priced at about $8, feature the stars talking about the song and then demonstrating the chords or drum beats. Accompanying graphics pop on the screen to show notes and fingering. The lesson is followed by a music video of the song, with the same onscreen graphics to help the pupil play along.

    Not all the downloads feature a famous teacher, however. Some, such as David Bowie's "Space Oddity," and Radiohead's "High and Dry," are taught by in-house tutors for Now Play It. The site also offers "lite" tutorials, priced at $4, which simply feature the instructional graphics shown with a music video for the song.

    Now Play It is working with a few labels, such as EMI, to commission more tutorials from the artists themselves. The site splits a portion of each sale with the labels and publishers that own the copyrights to the songs.

    While Ms. Tunstall comes across as a thorough instructor, other artists seem more adept at performing their songs than teaching them. As he demonstrates the opening chords to his hit "Richard III," Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes says, "Then you're gonna move that up to the — what fret's this? I don't know — just up here."

September 1, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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