Tabophone Automatic Guitar Tablature Demo

The first Tabophone demo video is here! The Tabophone App is revealed as we showcase the fretboard and polyphonic tuner views. Near the end, a musical idea is written out by connecting Tabophone to notation software. Without further ado, here’s the video:

We look forward to your questions and comments! This post will be continually updated as we collect feedback from all channels. That way, you can get a nice concise summary of the video right here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) What’s the ballpark price?
6-channel pickups of this sort usually cost $400 USD and above. We are aiming for 199 or below, at least for our wonderful early supporters!

2) When will it be ready?
Tabophone will be ready for pre-orders early next year. We want to make sure everything is sorted out before making promises. You’ll be the first to know as soon as we have a solid date and time. So make sure to subscribe for updates if you haven’t already!

3) Does it work with electric guitars, bass, banjo, hurdy-gurdy etc.?
Tabophone fits on most (if not, all) 6-string acoustic guitars. We may add support for other instruments in the future! Yes, even a hurdy-gurdy if everyone really, really wants one.

4) What’s the reasoning behind routing the cable upwards?
The USB cable is routed up because if it were routed down, it would interfere with your strumming. By routing up, you can easily see and plug the cable in/out at your natural guitar playing position.

5) What platforms does Tabophone App run on?
Tabophone App is already written for both Windows and Mac operating systems. As for mobile/tablet support – we do not have that yet.

6) What kind of “putty” is used to install this thing? And how easy is the cleanup?
Tabophone uses removable putty very similar to the ones you would use to stick paper onto walls. Because the device is so thin and light, it sticks very well to the guitar even on matte surfaces. So cleanup is very easy.

7) Will it hurt the finish?
Absolutely no. You can easily remove/un-stick it. Tabophone was designed to overcome this very problem encountered with some current pickup solutions (ie. double-sided tape).

8) How long would it take to setup? And to remove?
Setup and removal takes less than 5 minutes. We’re not kidding.

9) Would notation work with alternate tunings?
Your notation software should allow you to set the alternate tuning you want. Inside Tabophone App itself, you can also set any custom tuning so that the finger positions will show up correctly on the virtual fretboard.

10) Will there be support for left handed players?
Tabophone works perfectly fine with left-handed guitars. You mount it in the same way with the USB port facing up. The only quirk is that you have to mount it slightly away 1.25 cm (0.5 in) from the bridge.

11) Will this work with samplers, synths and DAWs?
Yes, check out our blog post with video here.

Don’t see your question? Post it in the comments and we’ll follow-up as soon as we can!

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  1. Kurt Gaetano

    Hi Calvin,

    It looks very promising. I signed up for more info and can't wait to find out more!

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Paul, Tabophone works perfectly fine with left-handed guitars. You mount it in the same way (USB port facing up). The only quirk is that you have to mount it slightly away 1.25 cm (0.5 in) from the bridge.

      We will be updating the desktop app with a left-handed fretboard view option!

  2. Niko

    Hi there and very interesting project!! I'm writing a lot of tabs and it will be perfect for me^^ I play on electric guitar, can the app recognize bends?
    Thanks and keep the good work!

  3. Albert

    Is it possible for the pickup to work with Alternate Guitar tunings (DADGAD, CGDGBD, and open D for example)?

    Also, keep up the good work on the development!

    • Hi Albert, the device does work with drop D tunings. Drop C is pushing the limits though – we haven't tested that!

      Most notation software also allow you to set alternate tunings so that the finger positions will show up correctly in tablature.

  4. Luiz

    Olá Lei. Sou brasileiro, da cidade do Rio de Janeiro. Acabei de assistir seu vídeo via Facebook, e fiz questão de deixar meu comentário. Achei sensacional ! Eu toco baixo elétrico e guitarra também, e não vejo a hora de poder usar com eles. Você merece meus parabéns por ter conseguido criar aquilo que inúmeros músicos sonham. Cordialmente,

  5. Judy Lunn

    Is the Brio/Tabaphone product going to be released in 2018? These posts are several years old. This sounds like the perfect tool for teaching guitar (seeing the fretboard on screen as the teacher is playing) and printing out the tab from what you just demonstrated.

    Please let me know if this project is still on track or has been abandoned.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Judy, sorry we must have missed your comment. Yes, the project is active. We've been working on this for years to ensure its quality is top notch before release. It won't be long now, thank you for your patience!

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