Use GarageBand to Learn Guitar

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, News

Optek Fretlight GuitarInterested in learning to play the guitar? Optek Music Systems has a combination of tools to make every amateur a sexy-mad professional rock star in mere hours.

Announced to the press: “Macintosh users can now advance their guitar playing skills in significantly less time than learning from books, charts, and endless hours of tedious practice.” Be careful of the hype. Isn’t it written somewhere that all great artists must suffer? No matter how great this GarageBand plug-in might be, it doesn’t appear to imbibe the would-be Jimi Hendrix with instant skill, and every decent guitar player is proud to have a handful of practice-made calluses.

Optek Music Systems produces four Fretlight guitars: the FG-401 Acoustic, FG-405 Acoustic Electric, FG-421 Electric and FG-451 Pro Electric, ranging in price from $429.95 to $899.95. The new Garageband plug-in allows a Mac to power the lights that are embedded in the guitar’s fretboard, which signify chords and scales. Using the plug-in, a Fretlight Guitar can be added as a GarageBand instrument to light any chord and scale, to create custom sequence lists and to cycle through them with a footswitch, and also to drag and drop loops or songs into the timeline.

The new plug-in requires OS X – 10.4.x and a copy of GarageBand. A version number for GaragBand is not specified. Optek would also like potential Macintosh using customers to be aware that all of their Windows based software works within Windows on an Intel Mac using Boot Camp. They, however, won’t guarantee compatibility with Parallels or Guest PC.

The GarageBand plug-in is free for a 30-day trial, but a person who bought one of the required guitars probably won’t baulk at the $29.95 price tag for the software. Of course, the Windows training software is free with the purchase of the guitar, but it doesn’t have quite as many features as this plug-in. The Macintosh software price is aligned appropriately with Optek’s other software products.

The Fretlight guitars look like a great tool to make learning the mystical art of guitar playing easier. Anything that makes learning easier can’t be bad and if incorporates a Macintosh, even better. However, don’t buy the hype. Every sexy-mad musician not only practices, he probably enjoys it.

There are 14 comments on Use GarageBand to Learn Guitar:

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  1. Todd | Oct 25 2006 - 12:34

    You misspelled ‘Learn’ in the title. You have ‘Lean’ instead of ‘Learn’.

  2. maccast | Oct 25 2006 - 01:09

    Yeah. That was pretty bad. Shouldn’t post in a rush before a meeting. Thanks

  3. Guitarinstructor | Nov 12 2008 - 10:48

    It’s working! Something surely help you guys.

  4. Jeremy | Nov 26 2008 - 03:19

    This is kind of an interesting idea. I don’t think it’s quite the same as the real thing, but ya gotta love technology.

  5. learn guitar | Dec 01 2008 - 06:20

    The best way to learn guitar is through videos. Its difficult to learn reading from books and charts. Through vidoes learning will be made easy as we can see how to handle the chords of the guitar.

  6. John Frusciante | Dec 09 2008 - 12:59

    In my opinion the best way to learn how to play guitar is to know someone who actually plays guitar. They can teach you the basics, and if that works out well, you have a solid platform for your future education.

  7. Allan Tyler | Dec 16 2008 - 04:45

    I think that the best way to learn guitar is first you should have your own guitar and after that you should have a good teacher who is master in this instrument after that from the videos.

  8. Montreal Guitar Store | Dec 29 2008 - 07:47

    Great technique. Thanks for sharing! New ways of learning how to play the guitar are making the art seem less difficult. However, I still believe that the best way to learn how to play the guitar is to start with acoustic, teach yourself, practice daily and then gradually go to electric.

  9. guitar teacher | Jan 02 2009 - 03:42

    I agree with Allan Tyler. We can learn good tips and techniques if you choose a good guitar teacher. We can learn playing guitar on our own but its a bit difficult and there are chances that we make a mistake. But a good guitar teacher will guide you in right way and gives the right tips for learning.

  10. sena2gurl | Feb 02 2009 - 01:59

    video is the way..i learn from youtube though..great vido post there..nway happy learning..

  11. Rick – Learn Electric Guitar | Feb 03 2009 - 10:03

    I actually think it’s a pretty cool Idea… At first when guitar hero came out I said here we go! I have been teaching guitar for 20 years now and thought this might give kids the wrong impressions of what its like to actually play the guitar, but after watching them for a bit I realized it actually helps them with their timing and rhythm. So keep rockin!

  12. ed hardy | Feb 23 2009 - 06:54

    We have hundred of hundred ways to learn and to teach. I think this will work perfectly and I’ll give it a try definitely.

  13. garrageband | Apr 16 2009 - 11:23

    i dont know if its me or other PC’s as well but many words just showing **** for me..??
    anyways video learning is the way to go the teacher will not only give you the sound but will also show you the right technique to play…

    I have tried many computer softwares… lets hope this is good.. will surely be trying it out… till then ROCK ON!!!

  14. Mike | May 29 2009 - 08:45

    The advancement in technology really helps in music field reducing time to research and compose. The GarageBand plug-in seems to be good. Everybody has their own comfortable ways of learning music. Today there are lot of online resources available and one would only need to find time and learn.