While the proliferation of the smartphone has given all musicians – professional and aspiring – easy access to a recording device, there’s no question that music played off such a device sounds decidedly… crap.
It’s certainly not as on-point as simply writing down the song in your head, note for note, on sheet music.
But who has the time – or, for many, the ability – to do that?
Hell, even The Beatles didn’t know how to read or write music – Paul McCartney still doesn’t.
So to help out those who don’t have time, as well as those who don’t know how, there’s Frettable.
Frettable’s sales pitch is simple: “Play your instrument anytime, anywhere and our expert AI will write the sheet music. No experience is necessary.”
The app’s AI can handle sheet music if you’re dealing with specific notes, can write tablature if you’ve got a guitar and even recognises chords.
Once it’s done its job, Frettable creates the song as a downloadable version, in PDF, MusicXML or MIDI formats, so you can share your tune and even collaborate with friends and bandmates, wherever they are in the world.
It’s the brainchild of Greg Burlet, who was a computer science student at the University of Alberta when he created it, aiming to solve a personal problem.
A keen musician and member of a band, Burlet’s songwriting process had become significantly more difficult after one of his bandmates had moved to a different city.
“We would write guitar riffs and send the audio recordings to each other over email and then try to figure out what the other person was playing on the guitar,” Burlet told the University’s website.
“I thought it would be so much better if I could quickly send sheet music to him describing exactly what I was playing rather than an audio recording.”
The cruel irony of it all is that now, with the success of his idea, Burlet is spending significantly less time with his band.
“Currently I’m more obsessed with making cool and exciting music software for bands to use,” he said.