// A Perth-based tablature website has been selected as one of nine startups to pitch at the Brisbane-based musical tech fest next month.
Matthew Mcgilvray started learning web development about two years ago, so he could build his music tabs site, DryTabs.
For those of you not of a musical bent, a tabs site allows musicians to easily learn the correct chords to a track.
Matthew had built a website in the past using Weebly, but he knew that this time he needed custom functionality that would likely be difficult to implement in a WYSIWYG builder.
He was was working at Fastbrick Robotics at the time, and being a startup there were programmers in the team with skills outside of robotics. They were able to steer him in the right direction and discuss different topics, usually relating it back to knowledge he’d gained as a control systems engineer.
Gradually he was been able to keep learning different technologies as he needed them, and he used www.codementor.io to get help from professionals who could coach him through anything he was struggling to understand.
“Overall this is a fairly slow approach to launching a product,” Matthew sold Startup News, “But now I’ve got the skills to launch my future ideas really fast, and understanding the nuts and bolts helps me to think outside the box and create something novel.”
The problem with his DryTabs site was that while it is easy to find popular songs from bands like Metallica or AC/DC, anything more obscure was a bit hit or miss in terms of availability and accuracy.
His novel idea was to allows users to pledge money as a request for the tab they wanted to be created.
“When someone completes the request, I take a cut,” said Matthew. “I discovered a subreddit (/r/paidtabs) that has been doing this since January this year, and while at first I felt my opportunity had passed, I now see it as market validation.”
Another point of difference is that DryTabs will allow crowd funding in order to boost that pledge amount if it is too small for it to be worthwhile to spend the time creating the tab.
The site also has some nifty features over other tab websites, including connection to Spotify. DryTabs checks what the user is currently listening to, and displays the tab if it exists. Otherwise, it provides the option to pledge money.
“I feel that this model of people pledging money together for some kind of user requested IP (perhaps instructions for craft, or designs) could be applied to other industries, but I haven’t come up with anything great yet.”
The BIGTECH exhibition at BIGSOUND conference will feature DryTabs as one of nine emerging music technology startups.
“We will get mentoring from industry professionals, a booth for the public to come through and ask questions about our products, and an opportunity to pitch to investors,” said Matthew.
The nine BIGTECH participants will pitch their products to potential business partners and industry experts in front of a live audience.
The nine startups are also in the running to win a Warner Music prize of $5,000 in cash, as judged by the BIGTECH mentors and an audience ballot.
For more on BIGSOUND and BIGTECH visit their website.