When I was first learning how to play songs by ear from the original recordings it was a huge struggle for me. I was trained to read music from a young age and playing by ear was a whole new world for me. I remember sitting on my bed and working on a song for several hours before I finally had it down. The hardest thing of all was learining how to play the guitar solos. The notes flew by so fast that I couldn’t begin to pick them out.
I still remember the feeling of elation when I learned to play my first guitar solo note-for-note along with the record. That solo was on “Lady” by Little River Band. Years later my band got to open for Little River Band and I was able to tell the guitar player his solo was the first guitar solo I had ever learned. It was sweet!
Later on I got an old reel-to-reel tape recorder that would let me play songs back at half speed. This would slow the guitar solos way down but also drop them an octave in pitch and the note articulation would become all muddy. I used to wish there was some way to slow down the song while retaining the pitch and note articulation. Well, today that dream is realized in some great offerings from Tascam. Let me tell you a little about the Tascam MP-GT1 and the Tascam CD-GT1mkII Guitar Trainers.
First, the main difference between these two trainers is simply that the GT1 is an MP3 player and the GT1mkII is a portable CD player. So depending on which medium you want to use, CD or MP3, there is a Tascam Guitar Trainer that’s right for you.
Both of these trainers feature the ability to slow down the tempo of the song up to %50 without altering the pitch. Thus allowing you to easily learn high speed solos note for note. Not only can you slow down the guitar parts, you can also change the pitch of the song if you want to learn it in a different key. That makes it nice since a lot of songs are recorded in different guitar tunings. You will be able to change the pitch to match standard guitar tuning so you won’t have to re-tune to learn a song. You can even eliminate the guitar part from the original recording allowing you to play along with all the backing parts. That will make you good very quickly.
Tascam takes things even further by giving you built in guitar and vocal effects for your instrument or microphone. You will also get a built in tuner and metronome. The looping feature will let you loop a section of the song, such as the solo, over and over so you can keep working on it at different speeds until you have it down. There is a headphone output as well as a line output to hook the trainer up to speakers.
The Tascam Guitar Trainers are also extremely useful for drummers who need to slow down complex drum patterns and fills so they can learn them. You can hear the drums a lot better a half-speed. Again, the fact that the drums stay at the same pitch make it a lot easier to hear them.
SIngers and vocalists can really benefit by slowing down the speed when learning complicated vocal phrases. It’s really hard to copy the great singers note improvisation because they slide through the notes so quickly.
Keyboard players can use the Tascam Guitar Trainers the same way guitarists do. Now keyboard players can learn the Jordan Rudess solos at half speed too!
For the low price of these Tascam Guitar Trainers you just can’t go wrong. They will make your life a lot easier when it comes to learning new songs and practicing songs you already know.