Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Learn to Play the Guitar: More Shortcuts for Baby Boomers

Practice time invested plugging in wires and adjusting settings reduces my rate of return. Sure, an acoustic guitar is a solution; you just pick it up and go. However, I wanted the benefit of backing tracks, metronome, tuning, and effects with the ease of picking up an acoustic; so I put together a touch and go practice rig.

At the top of Figure 1 is the TASCAM Guitar Trainer outlined in previous posts. Next is the Line 6 PODxt, another wonderful device, and a Fender practice amp. Here is how they go together:

1 - Guitar cable (1/4 inch) plugs into the input of the PODxt
2 - Another ¼” cable runs from the left output jack of the PODxt
3 - The same cable as in 2 plugs into the Guitar/Mic input of the TASCAM Guitar Trainer
4 - Mini plug splitter to RCA jacks run from the line out of the Guitar Trainer
5 - RCA jacks into the line in inputs of the Fender practice amp (most practice amps include this feature)
6 - Headphone output from the Guitar Trainer

Figure 2 shows how it is setup currently in my practice space. I stacked it up in an audio rack to keep it compact. All the gear runs through a power strip. With this setup, if I have 15 or 20 minutes to spare I just pick up the guitar, click on the power strip, and I’m rocking!


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