Travis Perry is a musician and music teacher who has taught thousands of aspiring fellow musicians to play the guitar, which he claims is the most popular instrument in the world, and one of the most difficult and frustrating to master. Travis’ 8-year-old daughter began learning how to play the guitar and he was thrilled to be teaching his child one of his life’s passions. However, like so many kids and adults, after seeing how hard it was and feeling the pain in her fingers before she could even play a song, she wanted to quit.
While he was disappointed, Travis knew there had to be an easier way for people to learn how to play his favorite instrument. He went to work on a product that could overcome the obstacles that came with mastering the guitar and came up with a guitar learning system using an attachment for the instrument that would allow new players a way to instantly play the notes of four of the major chords, and play hundreds of songs instantly. His daughter took to it quickly and suggested his father invent the device for others to learn, too.
A resident of Dothan, Alabama, Travis had seen the effects of the area’s economic downfall and it was important to him that his new product was made in the United States by American workers. He is proud of his community and was looking to help to give through his new invention, the ChordBuddy.
Travis worked on fine-tuning the ChordBuddy (pun intended) and had some early success in making his product known no the market, sparking interest among would-be guitar players in the area. The problem was he was quickly running out of money for production and marketing needs. He strummed into the Shark Tank to see if he could get the capital and marketing boost to take the ChordBuddy to the next level.
ChordBuddy on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 3 Episode 3
Travis begins by telling the Sharks he is looking for investments of $125,000 in exchange for 10% equity in ChordBuddy. Everyone wants to be able to play the guitar and says that he has designed a product that can help anyone learn how to play.
The ChordBuddy is an attachment to that fits onto the neck of the guitar with four color buttons for each of the four major chords – G, D, C, and E Minor. Travis takes out his guitar and demonstrates the ChordBuddy by playing a couple of songs.
Kevin said that the ChordBuddy was a “cheat” and that people would not really be learning to play. Travis counters that ChordBuddy could be looked at as a cheat, but that it is also a fast-tracked way to learn and that players could remove parts of the device that they have already mastered, eventually learning to play completely without it. ChordBuddy is simply a learning tool for people to be comfortable with the basics of playing the guitar.
Travis claims it takes about two months to learn how to play using the ChordBuddy and has received a patent for a two-month learning system that includes a DVD to take beginners through every step of the learning process for a unit cost of $49.95. Initially costing Travis $9 to produce each device, he has lowered production costs to $7 per unit.
Robert wondered if Travis could teach him how to play the guitar. Travis invited Robert up on the stage, assuring him he could teach him right then and there. Travis led Robert through which buttons to press and sang along to Robert’s accompaniment, impressing the rest of the panel.
Travis tells the Sharks he has sold around $150,000 worth of ChordBuddies in one month through internet sales and by setting up in eight local music stores in Lower Alabama. Since he developed the ChordBuddy, Travis has sold about $500,000 worth of his product and has 110 purchase orders he working to fulfill.
The largest retailer in the country called Sounds, with about 5,000 stores throughout the United States has given him a purchase order of 50 ChordBuddy units per store.
Travis said he needs the investment money from the Sharks to help finance the factory he is building in Alabama, stressing that ChordBuddy is fully made with American materials and production staff.
Kevin is impressed with both Travis and his product, though he feels the valuation of the business is wrong. Kevin thinks the ChordBuddy will find its place in major music retailers like Guitar Center. He makes an offer for $125,000 with a 20% stake in the business. He is also willing to personally endorse ChordBuddy for a full year, including an infomercial to market the product.
Daymond tells Travis that he would make a better partner for ChordBuddy and matches Kevin’s offer, and suggests that he make a decision soon, as the offer may not be on the table much longer.
Mark is also impressed by ChordBuddy and is especially taken by Travis’ desire to keep the manufacturing of his product in the USA. Mark is concerned that Travis would have to be the one and only salesman who would have to go on the road to demonstrate the product for every distributor. For that reason, he does not want to invest in ChordBuddy and is out.
Barbara thinks ChordBuddy is a great product and that Travis is a great person who would need to sell himself to sell the product. She makes the same offer as Kevin and Daymond, saying that $50,000 of the investment would go to an infomercial.
Robert tells Travis that he is a “redneck from Croatia” like Travis is a “redneck from Alabama,” and is the only Shark in the Tank who wants to be a rock star but cannot play the guitar. He, too, makes the offer of $125,000 for 20% of ChordBuddy, and would also put $50,000 in escrow to make an infomercial.
Travis tells Robert that he wants to work with him and accepts his offer, saying that this is a life-changing moment for him and his family.
Where is ChordBuddy Now? Life After Shark Tank
With four out of the five Sharks making essentially the same offer, it showed the potential for ChordBuddy and how profitable it could become. Robert claims that making the deal with Travis Perry to partner on the ChordBuddy was one of the best investments he has ever made.
ChordBuddy still costs $49.95 and several different guitars are also available in combination with the learning system. ChordBuddy is also now available on Amazon.
The ChordBuddy website offers the main product and a variety of accessories, including gift bags and tuners. Travis also has a YouTube channel with videos teaching how to play specific songs using the ChordBuddy.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with ChordBuddy, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.