Whatever you might think of its sound or playability, thereâ€™s no denying that the Optek Fretlight is a quantum leap forward in guitar learning aids. First there was tablature â€“ musical notation that takes the form of dots on an illustrative fretboard instead of abstract notes on a stave; now you can have the notes displayed real time on your fretboard with a little help from your PC, which has to be a good thing.
Itâ€™s no substitute for a good teacher, and at Â£399 still a substantial investment over and above a normal guitar that plays just as well (notwithstanding a recent price reduction), but as a serious tool for those who want to go beyond learning simple solos and chord progressions by rote it is very, very powerful.
Apart from anything else this is one of the coolest examples of convergence weâ€™ve seen yet and one of more exciting ways of putting that spare USB port to use. Now whereâ€™s my distortion pedal?