Made in the Wiregrass: The ChordBuddy

By: Lauren St. Germain Email
By: Lauren St. Germain Email

Meet Bradi Perry, let's just say playing the guitar wasn't her forte.

“She said if you'll invent that, I promise you I'll learn to play and I went boom,” said Travis Perry, inventor of Chord Buddy.

Little did her dad, Travis, know how much that one promise would transform his life. Travis is a guitar teacher and a music lover since age 18. He knows a thing or two about quitting.

“About two months into my teaching half of my students had quit and I went to the owner of the store and I said I've got to quit! He said why and I said well because I am a horrible teacher, I stink at it,” said Perry.

Was it his teaching or was he just a victim of reality? After all, 7 out of 10 people quit the guitar. When his daughter nearly became part of that statistic, Travis said enough is enough.

Travis' frustration and Bradi's ultimatum led to the chord buddy. Theoretically it’s a real life version of the popular video game, Guitar Hero. There are color-coded buttons to help you sound like Mick Jagger instead of a jagged mess.

“It allows you to play the guitar in 2 different parts. Without the Chord Buddy you have to learn your rhythms and play the chords all at the same time. With Chord Buddy you're able to not worry about the chords and just learn your rhythm. When you learn your rhythm, here’s the magic, you pull this part out and now you're actually really playing the chord that this tab, the button was playing for you.”

It was100% designed, built, and distributed in southeast Alabama. If you've ever driven down Tate Drive in Dothan, chances are you've gone right by the warehouse without a second glance.

“Dothan is sort of the hub, it’s where everyone came to shop, why I kept the product here, why not, why wouldn't I keep the product here?

But the Chord Buddy doesn't stay here for long. Close to 100,000 have been sold across the world, helping young-ins, beginners, and the instrumentally challenged make music

“It doesn't matter if your stage is the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall or if your stage is your back porch with your dog as your only audience. It's your stage and you deserve the right to make music on it,” said Perry.

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