Interactive Bass Guitar Tutorial Installation


A visit to the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live to see their Ramones exhibit, and some fun I was already having with a Ramones projection mapping project, inspired me to take a stab at a Ramones installation. It didn’t take long for me to decide that it should compliment the “Blitzkrieg Bop” vocal booth that I enjoyed while I was there. The result was an interactive bass guitar installation that, in under a minute and a half, would familiarize a novice with the bass and allow them to follow along with a Ramones song.

Fortunately, I already had some bass gear that was collecting dust for a long time, so I built the installation around it and decided to project onto the front of the speakers and amp head.

After the brief instructional mode, the user would be prompted to engage the play-along mode by stepping onto an Arduino-controlled foot switch. An easy-to-follow diagram (i.e., tablature) and its prompts would guide the user through each part of “Cretin Hop,” one of the simplest Ramones songs to play on the bass. The live version of the song, with the bass on the track lowered to allow the bass from the installation to be heard clearly, is used to create an experience that would allow someone to sonically step in for the legendary Dee Dee Ramone. 

Even though Ramones songs may seem easy to play, users will gain an appreciation for how physically challenging their music is.