Allen Van Wert is a guitar teacher, fingerpicking metal virtuoso, and now an A.I. developer who is promising his new program, The Ultimate Picking Program, can identify weaknesses in performance and suggest lessons to correct them.
Van Wert noticed a problem: The internet allows more guitar players than ever to take advantage of cheaper online tutorials, but there are so many options that it’s hard to know where to start. He envisioned a program that could smartly tell a student what areas they needed to work on based on performance history, and that’s exactly what he set out to make.
After using the program himself, he says there was even a problem in his own playing that he never caught until he started practicing with the A.I.:
“I noticed that there was a common element in all of the exercises that my math system told me I needed to practice. I never once in over 30 years of playing the guitar noticed I had this issue.
A light bulb went off. I bet other people would also have issues in their playing that they never knew about. I know that because this covers every motion and combination of motions you can make it will uncover every issue any player has with their picking. I knew that people wouldn’t want to perform calculations like I was. I also knew I would not want to do it all semi-manually for much longer.
This is when I decided to make a program that would automate everything and act as an A.I. guitar teacher.”
Ultimate Picking can be used on a desktop or mobile device and works by practicing a series of 109 exercises. The program encourages users to work through all 109 lessons, starting slow and then progressing faster, until they’ve reached the fastest speed they can record. Once all the exercises are completed it will take that data and identify which areas need the most work, whether you’re a novice or 30-year expert.
Lessons marked in red should then be practiced again until they can be played cleanly at a faster tempo, and the A.I. will react to how well users have progressed and give further suggestions as to how playing can be improved.
Ultimate Picking is a little expensive at $97, but Van Wert is promising it will save time and identify the hiccups in any pro’s guitar playing.