Share this project


Share this project

Tabber LED Guitar Light Sleeve (Canceled) project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with

Your open-source visual, portable guitar teacher. Tabber guides you to play the guitar by lighting up the notes you need to play.

Your open-source visual, portable guitar teacher. Tabber guides you to play the guitar by lighting up the notes you need to play. Read more
pledged of $45,000 goal

Funding Canceled

Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on April 5, 2012.

About this project

UPDATE: Thank you all for your promotion, pledges and support. Without you, we could have never come this far and know we know that we have something real and great people behind us. 

We are updating to let you know that we have made the decision to close down our Kickstarter. However, we are not canceling Tabber. We learned a lot of things from our two weeks in Kickstarter and we have decided that we want to get better at a lot of things. We look at our Kickstarter as a big success, but we want to come back to the community with an even better product and more confidence in the final design. 

We will be actively updating on our blog at ane we hope that you will stay connected with us. Your thoughts, questions, and feedback are critical to us making an awesome product. 

We will come out better and stronger and be much further along in making it possible for everybody in the world to play guitar. We are very excited and will put what we've learned to use not just for us, but for everyone here who was involved. You can reach out to us at any time at

Thank you again!

- Tabber Team


Hey Kickstarter! 

We're very excited to finally unveil Tabber, but we need your support to make it happen. With your help, we can get everyone who wants to play their favorite songs to be a real guitar hero. Almost everyone has tried guitar and we all know it is very hard and can be really frustrating. Tabber was made to be your visual, portable guide on both electric and acoustic guitars, making learning the guitar a more enjoyable experience for everyone who always wanted to play. 

Community is really important to us, which is why we have turned to you. In exchange for your monetary support, we'll give you really cool rewards and a project that can continue to grow as more and more people contribute. It's important to know that Tabber is not yet complete. We've got it to a point where it's fully functional and we are really proud of it, but it's going to take your ideas, dollars, and moral support to make it into the finished product that can transform the guitar industry. We promise it will be a fun ride with an excellent result and we hope that you will join us to bring more music everywhere.

Beginners learn guitar more quickly with Tabber

These are some of the people excited about Tabber!

"Top 5 New Gadgets of the Week" - ABC News

"If you’re a music fan or a hardcore gadget fan, this is a project that you should really get behind. I can attest to the fact that the team is hardworking, believes that everyone can learn how to play guitar, and are more than passionate enough to see this project all the way through." - Drew Olanoff - TheNextWeb 

"there's something to be said for not having to buy a brand new guitar for that functionality. The folks behind Tabber are working to make that a reality, having tested a number of prototypes for a product that you can simply slip over the neck of your axe for a quick tutorial" - Engadget

"Tabber is one of the more interesting Kickstarter projects we have seen in a while." -

What is Tabber/how does it work?

Tabber is an open-source LED guitar teacher. Tabber creates a whole new field of visual learning for your guitar. We put the notes that you need to play, when you need to play them right on the neck of the guitar. Our LED light sleeve can be placed on or off the guitar at any time. The light system does not affect the sound of the guitar in any way, and it's tactual feel is barely noticeable, especially for beginners. The kit contains 13 light strips (12 frets plus open notes) which are all connected to an Arduino Uno processor. Power is supplied through a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The kit will utilize Bluetooth technology to control all of the lights from your mobile device. You will have an application that you can download to select through songs, chords, scales, light patterns, and lessons, and that's just the start.

Why open-source?

We believe that music is every bit as much about people as it is about notes in a song. Our goal is to create a community of not only music lovers, but creative people who like to build things that others can use. What kind of things will get built? We don't know yet, but that's the point. Should our project reach it's funding goal, both the hardware and software will be hackable to people and we'll be able to share all of those ideas on! Tabber comes either fully-assembled or in a kit that can be assembled and hacked by technical makers. 

Tabber performs for you:

Where's development at?

We have successfully built and tested Tabber Ver0.9, which is a rigid circuit board that can be mounted in a specially modified guitar neck. We have completed the first round of design work for Tabber Ver1.0, the flex-circuit sleeve that can be mounted on any guitar. We are in the process of getting prototypes of the Tabber Ver1.0 flexible sleeve produced.

What's the money for?

With our current prototype, we've proven all of the circuit design and software interactions to the point where Tabber is fully functional, but it's not the design we want to produce. The money will first go towards building two new prototypes (Tabber 1.5 and Tabber 2) of the new sleeve design which will have to also undergo user testing. In order to make Tabber cheaply and get it into as many peoples hands as possible, we need to produce a lot of them. A bulk of the money will go into the pure setup costs that it will take to get Tabber manufactured by the facilities we have lined up. There is also a fair amount of work to be done on the mobile application for iOS and building an Android version which will require at least two developers to be on the project full time integrating your feedback and distributing updates to you. Our goal is to not only build a functional product, but a beautiful one, so we will dedicate a lot of resources to the way that Tabber looks and feels. 

How long will it take?

We are coming to Kickstarter because Tabber is, and has been, a journey. We want to share the journey with you. We are estimating that we can have the first well-designed and completed Tabbers in people's hands by around July. However, with a hardware project like this, things could get delayed for various reasons. By supporting us with your donations, we'll give you exclusive updates of the whole process and let you know exactly what is going on and where things stand as soon as we know it. We look at you as our partners, and we'll make sure you feel that way too. 

Why are we doing this?

Music has been a big passion of ours for a long time, but unfortunately the guitar is very hard to learn and takes a lot of time with the current methods of learning. The goal of the Music Everywhere project is to break the mold and make playing music more accessible to more people, make the music community more connected, and ultimately have the full musical experience available to anyone who wants it. 

Our team

Rob has been a musician for 10 years. Drums are his specialty but has always wanted to learn other instruments. Rob is an entrepreneur who has gone through two startup incubators (Founder Institute and Betaspring). When not working on Tabber, you can find him chatting it up with people with similar interests or, most likely, listening to music extremely loudly. 

Ryan wants to learn to play guitar but finds it too difficult and time consuming. He thinks it will help with the ladies. He's also a hero electrical and systems engineer who also attended Betaspring.

Kipp is one of the all around best "makers" in the Northeast. Technical Editor at Make Magazine and Adjunct Professor at Brown University, Kipp started his company, kippkitts, and has partnered with Music Everywhere to build beautiful Tabber guitars.

How about those prizes?

We've made a design (seen below) that will take a music playlist that you create online and put it into a QR code that anybody can scan and then listen to your music. These ID cards and shirts allow you to carry and wear your Music Everywhere and rep your favorite artists and songs. Next levels up is preordering either the Tabber parts to build your own, or the fully assembled Tabber kit. Higher up, we want you to be a Rockstar in your community. We'll host a Tabber Night in your city and it will be a really amazing time. You'll get an extra Tabber for your community and you are in charge of it. Any media you create we will post on our site for everyone to see!

We've enlisted the help of our good friend/partner Nick Holcomb of to build these amazing Kickstarter-only custom guitars as one of our highest pledging levels. Nick builds great guitars and we are happy to have one for our Tabber campaign. The design likens that of Tabber One, a Telecaster style guitar that is clean and elegant. You can easily place one of our Tabber sleeves right over the neck without affecting anything about the guitar's structure. There will only be 10 of this model ever made and each one will be hand numbered.  Rendering is below.

Thank you, we hope you love Tabber!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5 USD

    You receive a personalized Thank You card from the founders PLUS the ability to track our progress on our blog and social media. (Outside U.S. add $1)

    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    Carry your Music Everywhere. You get a Music ID Badge with personalized QR code linking people to your online music. PLUS EXCLUSIVE updates of our major milestones sent to you and the thank you card. (Outside U.S. add $3)

    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    Wear your Music Everywhere. You get a custom Kickstarter edition t-shirt with your own QR code linking people directly to your online music PLUS all exclusive updates, the Music ID badge, and thank you card. (Outside U.S. add $5)

    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150 USD

    You'll be rocking 1 full set of Tabber parts (to MSRP for $179) to build your own kit and hack it to be whatever you want. We'll promote anything you create through our site and our mailing updates. We look forward to seeing your creations! PLUS the shirt, ID badge, and thank you card. (Outside U.S. add $10)

    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200 USD

    You are preordering a fully assembled Tabber light kit and receiving it before the general public gets the opportunity (to MSRP for $249). You'll be the talk of the town and well on your way to music glories and we'll keep you posted on the status of it along the whole way. PLUS you get the shirt, ID badge, and thank you card (NO parts included). (Outside U.S. add $15)

    Estimated delivery
    36 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000 USD

    You'll be rocking Tabber in style with a limited (10) edition Tabber Holcomb guitar. These guitars are crafted by hand and also play and sound great (see photo in description to the left). In addition, you'll get two Tabber Sleeves to use with this classy guitar as well as the thank you card, ID badge, and shirt. (US Only)

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)