Guitar apprentice hands-on (video)

You know the whole "why don't you learn to play a real guitar" backlash that comes with the release of every Guitar Hero title? Multiply that by a hundred, and you're about ready to get down with Guitar Apprentice. The iPad add-on from the folks who brought you the similarly named Piano Apprentice turns your Apple tablet into something roughly the shape of a Gibson SG. From afar, it does look like a guitar. It's a fair bit lighter though, the wood swapped out for plastic, which feels pretty hollow.

The iPad sits in the body of the Guitar Apprentice. Right now, it just works with Garage Band, though the company tells us that its working on a proprietary app, so don't let the fact that the neck doesn't line up right now throw you too much. The neck is covered with small buttons, which light up and play as notes from their corresponding placement on the fretboard through a small speaker on the bottom of the guitar's body -- hold multiple down simultaneously and you'll get chord.

The speaker on the thing is pretty quiet -- that can be adjusted with the single volume knob, though that, like a lot about the Guitar Apprentice, isn't quite ready. The company tells us that the device is still a ways off, which means that, at present, you still can't strum the thing. Still, it's actually kind of neat, if totally ridiculous. This could be a solid educational devices for parents who aren't quite ready to plunk down the cash for a guitar and amp. When it's released, the Guitar Apprentice will run around $100 -- plus the price of an iPad, naturally.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.