ProductIntroducing the Alternative Country Guitar

Introducing the Alternative Country Guitar

Introducing the Alternative Country Guitar

Greetings, Guitar fans!

We’ve just released a brand new guitar for Smule Pass and All Access Pass holders. It’s called Alternative Country, and you can see it pictured on the far right in the illustration above. Upgrade to Version 1.4 from the iTunes App Store today to check it out.

To shed more light on the development of the guitar, our Guitar team was on hand to answer questions.

So… what exactly is Alternative Country?

Alternative Country is a sub-genre of country music that has picked up a lot of steam in the last 15 years. It has origins in bluegrass, rockabilly, and honky-tonk but also incorporates elements of alternative rock or punk. The truth is, if you ask 50 people what they think Alternative Country is, you’ll get 50 different answers. But the best way to describe the sound is alternative rock meets country. Blue Mountain, Whiskeytown and The Cardinals are good examples of Alternative Country bands.

Read on to watch a video of the guitar and get more answers about this new instrument that we can’t wait for you to get your hands on.

How is the Alternative Country guitar different than the other guitars in the app?

The Alternative Country guitar has a noticeable twang that should really please fans of the genre. Overall, it’s a lot sharper sounding, especially when you’re picking a string. People who aren’t familiar with guitars might think of the Alternative Country guitar as just another rock guitar but if you play them side by side, you’d hear a clear difference.

How did you guys settle on Alternative Country?

First, it has to sound good with our songs. We want people to play songs they love with guitars they’ve never heard of. (Can you imagine playing “Let It Go” using the Alternative Country guitar?) But if it sounds utterly terrible, then what’s the point?

Second, we have to understand the limitations of the app with respect to hardware and sound rendering capabilities and whether it supports the play styles of a particular genre of music. At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do with a touch screen on an iPhone or iPad. A tablet is not a substitute for a real guitar with real strings. Of course, we’re always looking for creative ways to incorporate new play styles into the app. For example, 1.4 introduces tremolo. And in the future, we’re going to add palm muting.

Finally, the guitar has to sound different from the guitars we’ve already chosen. If we wanted to, we could release 50 different acoustic guitars. But after a while, all of the guitars sound the same and people will get bored. We chose Alternative Country because it’s sharp and twangy. But most importantly, we believe the new guitar has a unique sound.

What songs would sound best with this new guitar?

There are so many! Here are a hew of our favorites:

  • “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban
  • “Only Way I Know” by Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church
  • “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
  • “Say Something” by Christina Aguilera

What sort of mojo had to happen to make the guitar sound as sweet as it does in the app as it would in real life?

All the sounds you hear in the app are recorded from real guitars and then modified using special audio effects. We had an audio engineer create the original sound and our lead developer tuned the samples until they sounded perfect.

Are you going to release more guitars in the future?

Yes. We don’t want to give too much away. But some of the other ideas we tossed around included a jazz guitar, blues guitar, and even a retro British invasion guitar. There are a lot of other ideas we’re excited to pursue. If you feel strongly about a certain type of guitar, you should let us know! We’re always open to suggestions. Stay tuned. It’s going to be awesome.

– Kevin Sung, Smule Product Manager