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#90762 - 11/11/10 03:07 PM [Off-Topic] Fretlight Guitar
Charlie McG Offline
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Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 618
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
I don't know where I got this link so if someone has already posted info about this guitar please excuse me.

In another thread, started by Sundance, the discussion was vocal comping. Now the fret lights on these guitars lays out the scales for you, in any key. I would seriously use this and feel like it would definitely further my knowledge of guitar. Plus I might find some hellacious leads by using it.

How many would use it and how many thinks it is definitely cheating? My vote is, I like it!

http://www.fretlight.com/
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#90763 - 11/11/10 03:42 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Charlie McG]
Sandra Sherman Offline
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Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 773
Loc: Vienna, Austria
You have to be aware of what you`re doing while using this guitar. It can be a real helpful thing. But when you just look at the lights and without always reminding yourself of what scale you`re in then it`s of no use.

So as a guitar teacher my thumbs go up for this thingie, but use it with brains. Not like the folks that make a U-turn in a single tube tunnel, just because the GPS told them so;-))
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#90764 - 11/11/10 03:47 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Sandra Sherman]
MusicStudent Offline
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Agreed, it has merit as a learning tool. Many years ago I looked at it closely but never pulled the trigger. Since then I like to think I have now learned all my scales and modes so would be of little value. So it just depends on where you are in the learning curve.
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#90765 - 11/11/10 04:18 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: MusicStudent]
Charlie McG Offline
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Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 618
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
I feel that it would be a great learning tool. A guy used to work with me and had a synth/piano and he could always play in C. Meaning, he could set the synth/piano to D, A, F# or whatever but he could play the chords in C.

I always thought it would be nice (and this might be available) to have a synth, say you're playing in C, the synth would then block any notes that were not in the C scale (or whatever key). A person that was, say a guitar player with a fair knowledge of music, knows a few keys on piano, could fake a lot of stuff like that.
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#90766 - 11/11/10 04:34 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Charlie McG]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3357
Loc: WV, USA
Charlie,

I'd never heard of it before so I checked out your link and watched the slideshow and the vid clip. I was surprised that their vid was only 46 seconds longs or so.

A little better clip by the company owner can be found here with a 2:47 clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PefzNuaJPVQ

What's even more surprising is a better clip by a guy who can't play a lick of guitar but he just talks about it and holds the guitar, although once he tries to put his fingers where the lights tell him and he can't do it, but it is a better clip for showing what the thing does. It's a 7:23 clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqclj_Gp800

It could be a great learning tool for a beginner, or for someone trying to learn the fretboard. As long as they moved beyond the lights on the fretboard and started visualizing the fretboard in their mind.

I personally think the owner should be talking to Rockband and Guitar Hero if he really wants to make some bucks.

It has potential, but I'd have to see more info on the software. And one of the reviews I watched stated that the guitar is pretty cheesy, which is to be expected. It could end up being a very good tool with the right advances in software and hardware.
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#90767 - 11/11/10 10:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Danny C. Offline
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Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6485
Loc: South Louisiana
I would think that after a Jack Daniel's or two the lights would be a little tough to follow . . . talk about playing behind the beat man!

Later,
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#90768 - 11/12/10 12:42 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Danny C.]
lkmuller Offline
Expert

Registered: 07/11/00
Posts: 1144
Loc: Aiea, HI, USA
The Fretlight's been around for a while. I've personally never considered it but I imagine it could help someone learning how to play the guitar. If it makes you feel good, go for it.
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#90769 - 11/12/10 12:49 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: lkmuller]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7448
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
A guy in our IT department bought one a few months back. I'll ask him how he's doing with it.

-Scott

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#90770 - 11/12/10 06:28 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Charlie McG]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7548
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

I feel that it would be a great learning tool.




The best learning tools are those that match your learning style. If it fits your learning style, then it's a good purchase. (ever go to a book store and read through a bunch of instructional books until you find one that speaks "your language?" Same thing. ) Likewise, in school you almost certainly learned better from teachers whose teaching style matched your learning style. We don't all learn the same way.

Quote:


I always thought it would be nice (and this might be available) to have a synth, say you're playing in C, the synth would then block any notes that were not in the C scale (or whatever key). A person that was, say a guitar player with a fair knowledge of music, knows a few keys on piano, could fake a lot of stuff like that.




That's pretty much the way some vocal processors work. The TC Helicon Voiceworks, for example, also has an instrument jack. Playing an instrument through it could yield the following results:

1) auto harmony to the played note
2) correct the played note to fit a specific scale/mode
3) correct the played note to a specific MIDI passage
4) correct the played note to some note in the current MIDI chord
5) harmonize the played note to something valid in the current MIDI chord

etc

Also, some DAWs have a midi offset on each track that you can use in real time. You can play in C then offset it to another key. Or you can record in C then transpose it to the other key.

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#90771 - 11/12/10 08:05 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Pat Marr]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
A "crutch" is a crutch is a crutch.

Much like the millions of small home electronic keyboards that one can find in the thrift shops and garage sales that have those little stickers plastered all over the keys to identify the notenames, said instrument never having been learned by the previous owner and soon relegated to that status. The owners of said keyboards likely still don't realize that it was the presence of those stoopid stickers that prevented them from moving past "hunt and peck" status. All they really "practiced" was, "seek and ye shall find" *grin*.

IF the act of performance was a situation of "seek and ye shall find" then such crutches would have validity. But that is not the goal if you are trying to master an instrument. In reality, it has nothing to do with it at all as the learning of where the notes are and their notenames is quite elementary and should be tackled and conquered as quickly as possible. And those lights prevent the brain from doing what it does best, which is to memorize that bit of information.

At the end of the day, there is nothing like the time-honored methods of repetition known as practice. Memorization will indeed come of its own accord when such is the case -- and a lot faster when there is no "crutch" or guide to refer to as a shortcut.

As with the student who smuggles the "cheat sheet" into the examination room at test time, the real victim of such is the student. Far too much time and energy wasted in taking the "shortcut" when simply doing the job and accepting the day-to-day programming marvel of the human brain through repetition results in actually owning that bit of information for the rest of your life.

"Mapping" the guitar neck mentally is the real goal.

That can be done away from the instrument, too, using graph paper and a pencil. A time-honored method that works.

But one has to be willing to get started in doing that. Quite often it is the First Step that seems to be the hardest step to take.

Or as Sir Edmund Hillary once stated, a mountain is climbed by taking that first step. Once you do take the first step, he said that Providence kicks in and takes you the rest of the way.

Or, as Frank Zappa put it, "Shut up and play yer guitar!"

We don't need no steenking bleenking lights.

Gimmicks are gimmicks.


--Mac
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#90772 - 11/12/10 09:36 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Mac]
rubberball103 Offline
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Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 297
Loc: NW corner of S. Nowhere
I agree with Mac. This might be cool and all, but sooner or later you just have to memorize stuff. Then after a while you don't know that you know it.

Like so many people who avoid learning to read music. I saw somebody ask once if there was "tab" for keyboard! Yeah- it's called sheet music!
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#90773 - 11/12/10 11:22 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: rubberball103]
MarioD Online   content
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11344
Loc: Hamlin NY
Well put Mac
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#90774 - 11/12/10 01:38 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: MarioD]
Charlie McG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 618
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
Well, if I get one and someone asks, 'what in the heck is that?' I'll tell them I celebrate Christmas the whole year round!

"A workman is only as good as his tools!"

"When I was a kid I had to walk 15 miles to school!"

"Dots on the neck of the guitar? Using those is actually cheating as far as I'm concerned!"

"Hell, that ain't country!"

Guys, I'm just kidding. But it's the same argument as the vocal comping thread. Some of us are quick to adapt to new things and some of us like to wait until the operating system is up to SP2 before we get on board (and some swear that there's not a dang thang wrong with DOS).

To each his own!

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#90775 - 11/12/10 03:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Charlie McG]
rubberball103 Offline
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Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 297
Loc: NW corner of S. Nowhere
Hey man, if you like the Fretlight, get one. Everybody learns differently.
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#90776 - 11/12/10 04:47 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: rubberball103]
Charlie McG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 618
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
In my last post I mentioned dots on the neck of a guitar and that got me to thinking, "I wonder when they actually began putting dots on the neck of a guitar or did they actually always have them?"

Here's the earliest picture, as this guy describes it, of the earliest known 6 string guitar (I'm paraphrasing).

http://www.theguitarmuseum.com/gm/exhibits.html (select the Fabricatore guitar).

Now I'm wondering when they first started using frets?
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#90777 - 11/12/10 05:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Charlie McG]
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18956
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
Quote:

I always thought it would be nice (and this might be available) to have a synth, say you're playing in C, the synth would then block any notes that were not in the C scale (or whatever key). A person that was, say a guitar player with a fair knowledge of music, knows a few keys on piano, could fake a lot of stuff like that.




Michael Brecker frowns on your shenanigans <grin> (rip michael)
There are no wrong notes, it's a matter of knowing which note needs to come before and after it.
I've heard him modulate into many notes that would be wrong notes for other players..

It would work for simplistic stuff I suppose.

Now that I read down through Mac's post I guess I could have left it at that.


Edited by rharv (11/12/10 05:16 PM)
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#90778 - 11/13/10 08:55 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: rharv]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7548
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
I'm a little surprised to read all the resistance to automated music making intelligence in the BIAB forum! By using BIAB you already accept the premise that as a musician or performer you can't do everything, so you rely on technology to fill in the blanks

I am a firm believer in pursuing excellence according to my own ability... but I don't think that is contrary to the goal of using available technology to help me do a better job in areas that aren't my core strengths.

IMO, this is ultimately a discussion about the pursuit of music in a traditional way as opposed to the pursuit of music as a hybrid human/technological phenomenon. My personal expectations for music lie firmly in both camps. I like personal excellence on real instruments, but I also respect the open-minded embracing of new ideas and innovative ways to make music.

Stated differently, technology itself has become an instrument to learn and master


Edited by Pat Marr (11/13/10 09:18 AM)

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#90779 - 11/13/10 09:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Pat Marr]
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18956
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
My point was that if a guitar or keyboard limits you to certain notes you will never go beyond those notes.

If an instrument only allowed the C major scale over a C major chord the minor third would be unavailable.. as would a lot of other notes that could make a difference. Therefore the user would never learn what those notes do.
Little grace notes would be unavailable (at least some of the half step ones) etc.
I could see that getting drab pretty fast.

It would indeed limit the user as much as help.
Some learning is caused by necessity. Scales are one of those things. Learning scales the correct way allows a musician to use those scales in any key, and experiment for inventive ways to play them.

Also, comparing BiaB to this isn't right. BiaB in skilled hands can do a LOT, because of the musical knowledge of the user. An instrument that only allows certain notes will limit that same user.

I'm not saying an instrument that shows where the notes are is bad, just that limiting yourself to only certain notes would stunt the learning. How many great players play by ear, having never been told certain notes were wrong..


Edited by rharv (11/13/10 09:50 AM)
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#90780 - 11/13/10 10:01 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: rharv]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7548
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

My point was that if a guitar or keyboard limits you to certain notes you will never go beyond those notes.






Gotcha. I agree. But *MY* point is that such products aren't usually used as a substitute for actually learning to play an instrument. I contend that most people on this forum already know how to play one or more instruments pretty well, and they would be more inclined to use technology as a production aid to add background tracks of an instrument they don't play.

In that case, the result only has to be "good enough" to blend into the mix.

But, let me take your logic to the extreme and put you on the spot:
The people here on the forum who are recording songs solely with real tracks, not playing ANY part of the song themselves... are they using the software as a crutch? Or are they using technology to quickly put their ideas into tangible form?

Which element is more creative... the idea? Or the physical execution of it?

Is Mozart's talent diminished if others execute his ideas? Or does the composition have merit that is separate from the merit earned by those who have the skill to perform it?

Quote:


Also, comparing BiaB to this isn't right. BiaB in skilled hands can do a LOT, because of the musical knowledge of the user. An instrument that only allows certain notes will limit that same user.





while I agree that drawing BIAB into the comparison is inappropriate to your argument, it is totally appropriate to the (different) argument I am trying to set forth.

Where our points take a different path is in the presumption (or lack of it) that people who avail themselves to technological aids always do it as a crutch. I don't think that is always the case, and so I chose to argue the benefits of using technology as an aid, not as a crutch.

I'm not saying you're wrong by any means.. we are simply making different points. I object to the blanket presumption that technology is always a crutch.


Edited by Pat Marr (11/13/10 10:10 AM)

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#90781 - 11/13/10 03:10 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Fretlight Guitar [Re: Mac]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7448
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
The way I see this thing is that it's tablature ON the guitar rather than on paper. Plain and simple. This won't be the thing to self-instruct on the guitar from the start; but I certainly see the potential aid in use of such a thing. It's a crutch only if used as a crutch and that is far as it goes. Could be a great way to learn scales, box patterns, licks, etc - just as notation and tablature have done over the years.

For some that may learn differently than others, it's a completely valid teaching and learning tool. It isn't an end-all solution

There are visual learners, audible learners and other types. Don't discredit a technology because it doesn't meet your own preferred method.

Different example:

My kids have learned 'the lattice method' of multiplication recently in school. Turns out, it's an ancient way of multiplying large numbers that can be done quite efficiently. Those of us participating in this forum probably learned the German mathematician school of writing out large numbers.

The lattice method can be done very quickly, and for those that have difficulty keeping the columns of numbers to add nicely lined up, this method could be your savior.

End result is the same.

Some of the great blues guitar players that have bless our world with their craft never learned their fretboard note for note. Yet we still stand on their shoulders.

-Scott

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