Whole-body Vibrotactile Learning Interface for Guitar Players

Participants: Marcello Giordano
Marcelo M. Wanderley (supervisor)
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Funding: NSERC Discovery Grant (M. Wanderley)
Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience (ACN) NSERC-CREATE Program (M. Giordano)
Project Type: Master thesis
Doctoral thesis.
Time Period: 2010–present (ongoing)

Project Description

The aim of this project is to create a full-body vibrotactile display that can be used as a tool to help learning music performance. The system is composed of 10 vibrotactile actuators placed on different positions of the body as well as an extended and modified version of a software tool for generating tactile events, the FA/SA application. We carried out initial tests of the system in the context of enhancing the learning process of novice guitar players. In these tests we asked the performers to play the guitar part over a drum and bass-line base track, either heard or felt by the performers through headphones and the tactile display they were wearing. Informal results show that it is possible to render the representation of the audio track in the tactile channel only, possibly reducing the cognitive load in the auditory channel.
Thanks to the ACN NSERC-CREATE program, further work will be done to investigate the interaction between auditory and tactile stimulation in the context of music performance: our goal is to prove if, and to which extent, tactile cues can effectively enhance tempo perception, as our informal result seem to suggest. Ultimately we hope to be able to use this knowledge to improve our whole-body vibrotactile learning interface.


  • “A Learning Interface for Novice Guitar Players using Vibrotactile Stimulation” - Marcello Giordano and Marcelo M. Wanderley, Proceedings of the 8th Sound and Music Computing (SMC) Conference, 2011.

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