Reusable Fret-Board Simplifies Learning the Guitar

In his quest to make learning guitar scales and chords easier for himself, a young student invented a new tool: The Pickin’ Tool. The portable and reusable fret-board covered in laminate was invented and used by Jim Kelly while studying the guitar at the Denver Guitar Institute. The tool was so helpful to his studies that he continued to use it while learning guitar chords and scales with Jackie King of the Southwest Guitar Conservatory. After receiving positive feedback from other musicians and teachers, Kelly decided to make The Pickin’ Tool available for other musicians.

The first time Kelly tried to sell The Pickin’ Tool, he produced 1,000 copies and sold them in several states across the U.S. The original product came with a three-page manuscript of basic music theory, and was quickly recognized in the guitar community as an effective way to learn guitar scales and chords. Although the initial run was successful, poor brand recognition and lack of advertising funds made it impossible for him to continue marketing his product. However, that was not the end of The Pickin’ Tool.

In 2011, The Pickin’ Tool was on the market again; this time, with a new design and additional contents to the original booklet. How? Kelly created a new partnership with friend Aaron New, and together they decided to make the product available online. The newly designed product now comes with more information on scales as well as an expanded chord construction chart and several images of fret-board chord fingerings. And instead of a grease pen, the new product comes with four dry-erase markers. To learn more about The Pickin’ Tool, or to purchase the product online, please visit

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