The concept seemed great. In a day and age where (a lot of underground) music is written with a huge emphasis on technicality, recording/production excellence, and a knack for more complex playing overall, there is only so far that guitar tabs can take you. What if you were really struggling to learn Zyglrox by Periphery and after much headphone-focused listening and late nights staring at THIS 480p YouTube video:
.... you just couldn't figure out how to nail that whole tapping pinch harmonic section. Was it an amp setting? Was it a pick technique? Was it something that only Bulb can do? Well, what if there was a way you could either Skype with Bulb himself, or meet up with him at a local tour stop to have a lesson on this very thing?
This is exactly what Bandhappy was! And it was not JUST for tech-y prog experimental metal players, it also allowed fans to request artists, and learn techniques and styles from a variety of very talented players. For a pre-determined fee, fans could sign up to either have online lessons over Skype with their favorite players, or do a personal lesson in the fan's city when the artist arrived there on tour. With so many bands touring nowadays, this definitely seemed like a surefire way to allow fans to easily take personal music lessons from the actual artists who wrote it. After all, trying to learn a lot of these songs FROM the band, rather than your local instructor is usually far more accurate and much more memorable.
But alas, after a bit over two years of operation, it appears as though the service is closing its doors...at least for now.
A visit to the homepage will reveal a message from Bandhappy founder Matt Halpern:
To all Bandhappy Teachers, Students and Fans,
My name is Matt and i'm the founder of Bandhappy. Thank you all for the support over the past bunch of years - it's been great! As some of you may know, I am a very busy touring drummer and educator, and have been running Bandhappy on a "full-part-time" basis since we launched. With that said, i've been working on my band, Periphery for years now as well, and I am extremely lucky to be a part of a musical group that will occupy most of my time throughout 2015 and beyond. It is for this reason that we will be saying good bye for now from Bandhappy.
My goal has always been to connect musicians and teachers with their fans and students, and to help both parties support one another through education and meaningful interaction. We've be able to achieve this goal time and time again, and i believe all of our teachers and students will continue to work together even without Bandhappy in the mix.
I truly appreciate everyone who has been a part of this company, and I have the utmost respect for all of our teachers and supporters who have believed in me and Bandhappy's mission from the start.
Thank you all. This has been so much fun, and I look forward to connecting with all of you again in the future.
With love and appreciation, we're signing off. Onward and upward!
So what does it all mean? Well, it's hard to say at this point. However, seeing as Matt's band has a forthcoming 2015 double concept album followed by a headlining tour, he will likely be a very busy soul in the upcoming year or two. Perhaps he just didn't have the proper time to fully embrace such an undertaking. So for now, the Bandhappy smiley dude will be frowning until further notice... Onwards!