Monday, November 12, 2007

Learn to Play the Guitar: Secret Shortcuts for Baby Boomers

Keeping with my theme of maximum progress in the limited practice time available, the TASCAM Guitar Trainer is a magic bullet. It integrates a guitar tuner and metronome, and a powerful CD player feature to help with one of the key skills you need to grasp early on, which is to play in time with the beat. If you are not maintaining the beat (whether scale exercises or learning a new song) it may sound good to you but not to others. Playing along with a CD will train you to stay in time but the song is likely too fast at first for your skill level to play cleanly. You can use a metronome as a backbeat and adjust the tempo but that can be boring. The TASCAM Guitar Trainer, latest model CD-GT2 above, solves all.

When learning to play a favorite track you can slow down the tempo of your CD to match your skills without changing the pitch. Your favorite tunes as backing tracks is more enjoyable than a metronome. If you are playing against a different tuning such as down a half step, you can simply change the pitch of the CD if you do not want to spend the time to tune your guitar. But wait, there is still more!

The guitar trainer also provides a wide range of guitar effects such as distortion, chorus, and delay. It also provides the ability to cancel various frequencies across the stereo spectrum. For example, maybe you are learning the solo for “Hey Joe”. You can cancel out the solo, which is panned hard right, and provide the solo yourself backed by Jimi, Mitch, and Noel.

As fun as all that is, the key thing to remember is that the investment in this one device can help you progress much more rapidly and have a lot more fun at the same time. While I have acquired a lot of gear since starting out, the TASCAM Guitar Trainer remains my central piece of practice gear.

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