Have your guitar teach you how to play
May 6, 2005 If you’ve always hankered to learn to play the guitar, there’s a new product from Yamaha that looks ideal for removing all the obstacles – it’s a digital teaching guitar with guide lights so you can learn chords and how to play just by following the lights. The good news is it’s from Yamaha, the very same company that developed the piano teaching methodology that revived the world piano industry, so it ain’t just a toy. Further incentive is that because the whole thing is digital, it comes with a bunch of built-in songs and riffs and from the moment you begin playing you can play along with the whole band (also built-in).
The EZ-EG features 12 lighted frets that show beginners the actual hand positions for all the chords they’ll need to know before they take off on their own, and six “strings” that emulate strumming or finger-picking. In addition to an onboard selection of 36 songs, songs can be downloaded in the guitar’s Flash ROM via MIDI IN/OUT connections and a quick connection to a computer. The EZ-EG will also reproduce nine realistic guitar sounds, eight bass guitar sounds and the timbres of a banjo, piano and the traditional Japanese shamisen through its built-in speaker.
Selectable play modes include: Strumming Practice for the right hand, where chords change automatically during a strumming practice; Chord Training for the left hand, where the user simply makes the chord changes while it strums; and Full Play, which shows chord changes by lighting the frets, while the user strums and plays chords.
Standard “guitar” features include volume, tempo, and balance controls, standard tuning plus open tuning options and a tremolo bar. A unique electronic capo allows pitch adjustment. Users may plug the EZ-EG into a standard guitar amplifier, or use the mini-headphone jack for private practice. The EZ-EG operates on six “AA” cells, and includes a power adapter, pick and strap.
The EZ-EG Tutorial Electric Guitar retails for around US$300