In the spirit of April Fool’s, TR has decided to continue its theme of “potential” tricks (we've already hoodwinked a few of you!) with an announcement that for any guitar player seems too good to be true. Is it?
As all guitarists' know, the most difficult part of learning to play the instrument is in mastering the scales across the full range of the fretboard. It is infuriating how hard it can prove to move outside the safety zone of that little “box” of notes. You’re feeling me here, right?
Well, technology just stepped in to solve the mysteries of the guitar with one of the best examples of convergence we’ve seen to date. Developed by Optek, the "Fretlight" guitar not only hooks up to an amp but also to a computer via USB. Software installed on the PC drives a series of 132 LED lights inside the guitar’s fretboard and can be adjusted to illuminate specific scales, notes or chords.
Need to know the A Major Pentatonic? No problem! A few clicks of your mouse and up it lights. Find a track or record a rhythm in A Major, play it back and you can then noodle anywhere a fret is lit knowing you’ll be in the right key.
Got a favourite song? Well (if it has been specifically encoded on the Optek site) you can download it and play it through the Fretlight’s software and watch the notes magically get repeated in time on your guitar. Too fast to follow? There's speed adjustment too! Slow it down until you get the hang of it. Bingo, the mysteries of the great musicians are now a piece of cake.
Developed in the US, Fretlights are now exclusively available in the UK through Emittor for £499 including VAT (*see below). One again the PC conquers another bastion of cool as we Geeks continue our inevitable rise up the food chain. No longer will we be mocked for our thick glasses, milky skin and mole-like eyes, for we can now become Rock Gods!
Major Price Update 04/04/2005!!!
If you checked our PodShave and PodShaveLady story this morning you'll see that was our April Fool's piece and consequently these funky babies are very much alive.
Even better, we heard back today from Emittor today and well... let's not steal its thunder. It had this very cool announcement to make:
Your comments recently have caused us to reflect upon the retail price of the guitar. After much thought and discussion we have decided to reduce the price of the Fretlight to £399 excluding delivery.
Effectively this means we will be the sole retail source for the guitar in the UK. Considering the nature of the product and some quite remarkable changes in the way items are now being sold we feel this is the right thing to do, not to mention the benefits to the end user.
We would like to thank both you and TrustedReviews for your valued comments.
What top fellas. Can't say fairer than that readers (don't say we never do anything for you!). I'd advise you check out these lovelies quick smart using the links below.
Also, we'll see if we can get one of these guys into the labs for review. (Which should turn out to be a fun day for whoever does the "testing" and - acoustically - not such a fun time for those who miss out...)