Clever new software for those fiendishly smart guitars means no tablature is safe from our clumsy fingering.
The Optek Fretlight guitar is perhaps one of the most innovative products we have seen this year. Sure, our review revealed that is it not the greatest guitar ever to play, but as a learning tool it can’t be beat. Now its functionality has taken a stratospheric step forward.
Guitarz! 6.5 is behind this improvement and what is does is quite simple, yet highly impressive: it translates all ASCII tablature into a Fretlight compatible format. Then when played the tabs light up on the guitar fretboard designating which notes to play. Furthermore, they can be slowed down or speeded up to help learning, tricky sections may be looped and even notes edited for a personal twist.
The real benefit though is that ASCII is the defacto standard for computerised guitar tablature. There are quite literally millions of ASCII tabs out there, meaning the Fretlight is no longer limited to the company’s small collection specially encoded songs. You’ll find free ASCII tabs everywhere, notably on major music sites like tabworldonline, and Olga, but they are just about everywhere.
Additional features of Guitarz! 6.5 include a chord and chord name finder, scale diagrams, key and tuning guides, optional automatic bass guitar accompaniment and print capabilities.
Guitarz! 6.5 is available now from Fretlight’s website, where it comes with a free 20 day trial. Purchase price is $59.95 (roughly thirty quid) and it should save you a fortune in album tab books.