Instructables

Play Guitar Hero with a Real Guitar

This instructable will show you how to build the OpenChord.org V1 external, a device that lets you use a real guitar to play Guitar Hero/Rock Band/Frets on Fire.

We love playing Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Frets on Fire.  However, we also know that we'll never learn how to play guitar by pressing buttons on a plastic controller.  That's why we've made the V1.  Using the V1, you can practice real notes and chords with a real guitar, and the hardware translates those fingerings into button presses in the game.  While you're still not going to become amazing at guitar, it can help you develop muscle memory and work on chord transitions while having a bunch of fun!


For more information, please visit www.OpenChord.org.

 
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Step 1: Materials

For this project, you'll need the following:

Materials
- A metal-stringed guitar (the strings must be conductive, so nylon-stringed guitars won't work)
- 12 flanged plastic spacers: 0.375" x 0.12" OD (McMaster-Carr part # 91145A118)
- 6 flanged plastic spacers: 0.25" x 0.17" OD (McMaster-Carr part # 91145A143)
- Copper tape (with conductive adhesive) (McMaster-Carr part # 76555A641)
- Cable to connect to your system (Wiimote cable, USB cord)

Electronics - All can be ordered from DigiKey, except the circuit board
- Circuit board (this can be made from a blank breadboard and copper tape)
- 6 normal diodes
- 2 3v6 zener diodes
- 1 Atmel ATMega168 microcontroller
- 1 16 mHz external clock
- 11 Resistors - 10K Ohm
- 2 Resistors - 68 Ohm
- 1 Capacitor - 0.1mF
- 2 Normally open push-button switches
- Small foam
- Small box
- Optional: Pin headers
- Optional: Pin receptacles
- Optional: Jumpers

Tools
- Soldering Iron and solder
- Multimeter
- Scissors
- Wire strippers
- Screwdrivers
- Drill

Danmo Ma5 months ago

lolcat3604 years ago
Great instructable, but who would want to waste a guitar for this?
Not many people do but it have an old POS strat copy made by First Act, I bought for $60 brand new at Walmart, it sucked from day one and its a good beater guitar so ill try this. for $60 who cares what happens to it, it beat laying on the floor doing nothing
alan.chatham (author)  lolcat3604 years ago
That's the great thing - with this project, all you're doing is adding controller functionality to a guitar; you can still play the modified guitar just like any other guitar.  The only actual changes to the guitar don't affect the guitar's playability, and even then, they're easily removable. After adding the copper tape on the frets and the plastic inserts on the strings, you can still plug the guitar into an amp and you're ready to go.
Kokkan4 years ago
That's an insructable I definitely want to try.