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Leading Lights

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2005
For anyone who has ever dreamed of playing lead guitar, a new tool lightens the effort of practicing.

Optek Music in Windham, N.H., is purveying the Fretlight guitar, whose polymer neck board is embedded with tiny LEDs that light up to show the player the rhythm or the fingering for chords, progressions or whole songs. Wannabe hummers and strummers can choose from software packages that provide ready tracks of visual cues, that offer a platform for HTML-based guitar lessons and that enable storage of one’s own compositions.

There are even foot-switches that allow a teacher to light up a student’s guitar from his own to demonstrate proper notes or chords.

Presumably, this light-driven technology will have lots of new musicians following in the footsteps of Harry James and saying “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”


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