Following LEDs on a guitar's neck is an excellent way to learn playing basics and new songs fast, as we discovered ourselves when we tried out the much anticipated FretX system at the end of last year. Not long after our review went up, another startup started shipping a similar LED learning sleeve out to Kickstarter backers, but one that positioned lights right up to the 15th fret. Now a bass version of the Fret Zealot has launched on the popular crowdfunding platform.
The basic idea behind an LED sleeve learning system is that once the thin strips of lights are anchored at the frets along a guitar's neck, a control box and battery pack that sits behind the headstock wirelessly connects to a smartphone or tablet running a companion app and the fun begins. The student can launch chord lessons, scales and songs from the app and the LEDs show where fingers need to be positioned and when to pluck strings.
This is essentially how the Fret Zealot electric guitar version works, and the bass system is expected to rock the bottom end down a very similar path. The development team reckons that anyone picking an instrument will be thumping thunder in around a minute, regardless of ability.
The Fret Zealot for bass has been designed to fit all full-size, four-string bass guitars. And like the startup's existing learning system, the adhesive backing can secure each LED strip in place and be removed without damaging the neck wood.
More than 12 hours of battery life per charge is promised, and a Bluetooth 5.0 wireless link to a smartphone or tablet running the iOS/Android companion app should mean a lag-free learning experience. And when you're done learning and ready to play, the LEDs can be used to illuminate your performance and dance up and down the neck.
The bass version of the Fret Zealot is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter, where pledges start at US$149. If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in August. The video below has more.
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