In the latest twist to keep folks downloading legally, EMI has digitally added guitar tabulature to snoozy Brit-rock band Athlete’s single “Hurricane,” along with a video where the band teaches you how to play along. (Which you can also watch for free through the website Now Play It. Just in case, you know, you don’t feel like paying for it.) This makes “Hurricane” the first guitar lesson with a chance to make the British pop charts, but unfortunately the video is (surprise!) less a case of largesse on the part of the record company than a possible new avenue to milk further revenue out of its dwindling customer base:
Now Play It went live in July, offering DRM-free downloadable videos of artists providing techniques, guidance and stories about the tracks that made them famous.
Full tutorials, lasting from 15 minutes, are charged at £3.99 ($8.00), while “lite” tutorials of three to six minutes cost £1.99 ($3.99) and are chart eligible.
In a statement, Athlete frontman Joel Pott said, “We’re really excited to have our songs on Now Play It. We hope people have as much fun picking up their guitar and having a go with their mates as we’ve enjoyed taking them through the songwriting process.”
So yes, you have to pay extra to learn the inner secrets of mopey British rock bands strumming some G chords. (No lessons are offered on how to learn the Chris Martin mewl.) In fact, you have to pay almost half what the average new CD costs, which is probably going to feel pretty stupid once you learn how to play the damn thing and the video is suddenly useless, especially since we’re not talking Malmsteen-level shredding here. If it was Trey Azagoth walking you through Morbid Angel solos, that might make it worth the money.
Athlete’s “Hurricane” Tutorial Fit For Charts [Billboard]