Card Chords to Debut at The NAMM Show’s Innovator Showcase
During the pandemic, Mike Grande found himself starting over. After departing a career on Wall Street as a Chief Technical Officer for a large financial firm, Grande revisited a product idea he had nearly 15 years earlier to make learning guitar easier. The design features a simple card that slips between the fretboard and the string, giving students and teachers a quick glance tutorial, now known as Card Chords.
Card Chords is a hybrid guitar chord finger placement flashcard that, when applied directly to a guitar fretboard during the learning process, will assist in increasing the speed at which a student learns chord finger placement. The flashcard fits snugly between the first three frets of any acoustic or electric guitar and is secured by three fret slots and a perforated tab. The frets secure the teaching aid in place and prevent it from shifting, falling off, or obstructing the strings while in use, allowing the students to learn proper finger placement quickly and retain the pure sound the chord is intended to have in the absence of the Card Chord.
Beyond his work on Wall Street, Grande has also taught guitar for nearly 35 years as a music educator and founder of three music schools, Staten Island School of Rock (no association with the School of Rock franchise), Rock Out Loud in New Jersey, and The Music Box in Florida. During the early stages of the pandemic, Grande recognized the emerging challenges in acquiring and retaining students at these schools. Upon introducing his students to Card Chords, Grande’s students experienced quicker progression and became enthused by the results.
After witnessing the success, Grande began packaging and selling his innovative teaching aid through his schools and online. Currently, there are three variations of Card Chords, all of which Grande will present at The 2023 NAMM Show. The Universal Edition Set works on any electric solid body, acoustic, or electric/acoustic guitar. The Stratocaster Edition Set is compatible with Fender, Guild, Ibanez, and Yamaha guitar builds. The Les Paul Edition Set is ideal for Gibson Les Paul, Epiphone, and Gretsch guitars. The only exception to the successful application of Card Chords is that they are currently not compatible with nylon strings.
The 2023 NAMM Show will mark Grande’s first as an exhibitor but not as an attendee. After experiencing the buzz of a NAMM Show over 20 years ago, Grande understood the potential buying power and exposure that exhibiting had to offer. With the birth of Card Chords, he became determined to exhibit at The 2023 NAMM Show and contacted his association to secure a booth.
After securing his booth, NAMM contacted Grande to introduce him to participate in the Innovator Showcase, as Card Chords was an ideal product for this highly-curated area of The NAMM Show floor.
Grande said, “There have been index cards in the past, but Card Chord is unique because now you can combine the index card with the ability to make it a physical and tangible element and part of learning so students can hear what the chord sounds like. This is exactly why the Innovator Showcase of The NAMM Show is so important because you don’t need to have the latest technology on the fastest computer in the world; you can take something as simple as a Card Chord, introduce it to the music community in a way that’s never been done before. It’s so simple, yet it’s an innovation to help everyone learn and play faster and quicker.”
Anxious to experience The NAMM Show as an exhibitor, Grande said, “I never thought in a million years I’d have a booth at The NAMM Show, and if you told me 28 years ago, I’d one day have a boot, I would have never believed it. So, this is a dream come true.”
To learn more about Card Chords and the Innovator Showcase, please visit https://cardchords.com/ and https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/exhibit/showcase/innovator-showcase.
Registration for The NAMM Show is now open at https://registration.namm.org/wn23/register?ms=comms.