Now Play It
Type of site
|Music tuition downloads|
|Created by||Ant Cauchi, Lloyd Salmons, Jim Beach|
Now Play It is a UK-based music website that offers music tuition videos by paid download. It is the world’s first online music tuition service to offer song lessons taught directly by the original recording artist.
Now Play It was launched in the summer of 2007 and the company is based in Farringdon, London. The service was founded to cater for a youth audience, who prefer to learn away from conventional music lessons and are not necessarily able to read sheet music — the site's founders estimate 80% of the musicians involved cannot read sheet music either. In addition, the site aims to make sure artists' rights for the tablature they have composed are respected and rewarded. As of April 2008 the firm has 20 employees, with day-to-day running headed by musical director Adam Alexandroni and business development director Jennie Kong.
The website offers downloadable video tutorials for songs, over a variety of instruments - guitar, bass, drums and piano or keyboard, with plans to cover more in the future. Downloads are available in both MP4 and Windows Media format, and can be transferred to a variety of portable media players, including iPods. Tutorials come in one of three varieties: "Full", "Lite" and "In-House":
- Full tutorials consist of the lesson - a one-on-one lesson of the song by the artist(s) who originally recorded it; the recap - detailed tablature of the song, and the play through - the original promotional video of the song performed, with tablature overlaid on top.
- Lite tutorials consist of the play through and the recap, like the Full tutorial, without the lesson component.
- In-House tutorials are the same format as the Full tutorial, but consist of an in-house tutor performing the lesson component, rather than the original artist.
Full tutorials retail for £3.99, while Lite tutorials cost £1.99, and In-House tutorials £2.99; although priced in British pounds, they are available worldwide. Songs downloaded count towards the UK Singles Chart.
Artists who perform full tutorials include Martha Wainwright, Andrew WK, Supergrass, Starsailor, Turin Brakes, Blur, KT Tunstall, The Magic Numbers, Matt Costa, Athlete, Duke Special, Little Man Tate, Shelly Poole, Graham Coxon, Idlewild, The Dandy Warhols, Reuben, Tom Baxter, Plain White T's, Palladium, Alphabeat, Deep Purple and Paul McCartney.
Lite tutorials include material by ABBA, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, Corinne Bailey Rae, Depeche Mode, Lily Allen, Guns N' Roses, Kylie Minogue, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Placebo, Bloc Party, Stereophonics, Joss Stone, Gorillaz, Radiohead, Richard Ashcroft, Snow Patrol, Queen, David Bowie, The Jam, The Police, The Dandy Warhols, Duran Duran, Nirvana, Morrissey and N.E.R.D.
In November 2007 Now Play It released its first spin-off DVD, featuring full tutorials from KT Tunstall, Supergrass, Magic Numbers, Turin Brakes, Athlete and Graham Coxon. 10,000 copies of the DVD were donated to aspiring musicians in a joint promotion with Arts Council England, all of which were taken within hours of its release.
Awards and commentary
Since its release Now Play It has received plaudits in the press; The Guardian described it as "a brilliantly executed idea", while the Daily Telegraph called it "a slick, anecdotal update of a form of rock schooling already flourishing on the internet". The Times hailed it as "a modern equivalent of Bert Weedon’s famous Play in a Day tutorial book".
Now Play It has won two major industry awards — the "Best Digital Service" award at the 2007 BT Digital Music Awards and "Digital Achievement of the Year" at the 2008 Music Week Awards. It has also been nominated in the Music category of the 12th Webby Awards.
- "Stars in their drives". Arts Council England. 2007-12-06. Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Hodgkinson, Will (2007-08-29). "Thanks KT, I think I've cracked it!". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Lyle, Peter (2007-10-14). "So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star?". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2008-04-10.[dead link]
- "About Now Play It". Now Play It. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Sherwin, Adam (2007-10-03). "Chance to play bass with Paul McCartney". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Search Now Play It". Now Play It. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Free DVD music lessons snapped up". BBC News. 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "The Winners!". BT Digital Music Awards. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Best in business recognised at Music Week Awards 2008". Music Week. 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Webby Nominees". Webby Awards official website. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2008-04-10.