Imagine taking in-depth, one-on-one guitar lessons from Jackson Browne or Richard Thompson. These are among the rarefied experiences offered by On The Music Path, a new iPad app designed to teach users to play real instruments with instruction from world-class musicians. Lessons are shot in high-definition video by award-winning cinematographer Alan Kozlowski, who developed the app with business partner Derek Penn. On The Music Path offers insight and inspiration to students from beginners to advanced players, building an archive of wisdom from master practitioners passing down their art to future generations.
In addition to Browne and Thompson, world-renowned artists teaching On The Music Path master classes include: Marcia Ball, Roscoe Beck, Michael Chapdelaine, Luis Conte,Steve Ferrone, Steve Postell, Lee Ritenour, Vonda Shepard, Leland Sklar, Kenny Sultan, Scott Tennant,and even the legendary Ravi Shankar. The range of lessons will continue to grow as the app's repertoire evolves.
"In an age when more people are learning to play virtual guitars than real guitars, On The Music Path is unabashedly 'old school and proud of it,'" says Penn. "There are no machine-generated jam tracks, game leaderboards, or polyphonic note-detection algorithms -- just lessons from extraordinary players, and technological teaching tools used in service of understanding how to play it."
Jackson Browne breaks down some of the essential elements of his distinctive style on "Fingerpicking and Alternate Tunings," for intermediate to advanced players. Richard Thompson, a guitarist Rolling Stone has cited as one of the Top 20 of all time, teaches "Folk Rock Guitar." Each of these two lessons features four of the artist's signature songs. Also among the initial slate of lessons are "Fundamentals of the Guitar" from singer-songwriter StevePostell; "Intro to the Blues" from blues guitarist Kenny Sultan; and "Intro to the Classical Guitar" from Scott Tennant, member of the Grammy-winning L.A. Guitar Quartet.
AlanKozlowski is On The Path's founder and creative director. Derek Penn is co-founder and chief software architect. "On The Music Path embodies our passion for great musicianship," says Kozlowski, "and for the tradition of apprenticeship between a student and teacher that goes back thousands of years, and that I have personally experienced through my mentor and teacher Ravi Shankar, who is the embodiment of this path."
On The Music Path's simple, elegant user interface leverages the intuitive nature of the iPad's touch-based operating system. Features include a built-in metronome, the ability for users to record themselves, and the functionality for users to slow the video down to 1/4 of its original speed to practice at their own pace. At each lesson's end, users have the opportunity to play along with the teacher. Lessons range from 45 to 85 minutes, and are accompanied by complete musical notation and tablature synchronized to the teacher's playing. The application can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store beginning April 28, with lessons available from $2.99 to $19.99. Students can try out the first chapters of any lesson at no charge before purchasing.
"Learning your instrument doesn't get any better than this," says Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records, a company whose artist-friendly model inspired Kozlowski and Penn in establishing On The Music Path.
For more information, visit www.onthepath.com.