The Fretlight® Chord and Scale Library is a comprehensive and interactive chord book on your mobile device! Connects easily to your wireless Fretlight Guitar thru Bluetooth® BLE. A drop-down menu allows quick access to thousands of chord and scale patterns in any type, key or position. The QuickStep® Playlist allows creation of 3 custom chord or scale progression lists so you can easily step forward or backward through your own creation of up to 10 unique chord and scale positions. There’s a Tempo Control and even a “Click Track” to keep you in time. “Hover-over” the finger charts to see a photo example of fingering positions.
Open Chords, Chords, Chord Tones, Arpeggios
- Triads & Inversions
- Individual Notes
- "Lefty" Mode
- Bass Guitar display option
- Blinking Root Notes
- On-screen Virtual Fretboard
- Music Theory and Glossary
- Compatible with PageFlip Bluetooth foot pedals
Soooo... if you've read any of the tripe I scrawl here, you'll know I'm no fan of Apps that just provide "Dots On Stings". No interest. While I'm sure it's great information and all true and everything, for me it's in one eye and out the other.
UNLESS ... the dots are actually on a real guitar neck under real strings! Meet Fretlight by Optek Music Systems(if you haven't already). Yup Fretlight Guitars actually have embedded LED's in their necks which light up while you play to indicate notes, chords and scales. The instrument traditionally has a USB connection to a computer ( Mac or PC) which runs software to control the lights. Various software packages are available from both Fretlight and third parties which provide all kinds of functionality from basic lessons to play-along tracks which literally show the player what to play in real time. My favorite has always been the Improvizer which illuminates suitable scales as a backing track plays. With this I can actually play lead guitar! Really. It scares people around my house...
The Fretlight Guitar runs $399 for the basic instrument to $700 or so for more luxurious builds and include Bass and Acoustic models. I have a very early model and it is decent enough, plays well and actually has a very nice feeling neck. There's no way you'd know there were lights buried in there! It has trundled along for well over 12 years now with no issues at all. The company is still in production and a couple of years ago made their debut at Sweetwater (big US online retailer... shout out to them too, they are good!) which must have provided them with massive exposure.
The main problem with the guitar has been that to get things going it requires an entire computer set up plus leads (USB and guitar audio). The whole rig was/is cumbersome. A first world problem to be sure, but let's face it, connivence trumps all. Additionally the software lineup supporting Fretlight has never been exactly expansive. Certainly what was available was great, but no one seemed to be pushing the boundaries of what this technology might be able to provide to a guitar player, particularly a bad one like me.
So I was excited to discover a Fretlight App in the App Store. Stunned actually... I've been writing for years to Fretlight prodding for more software and perhaps a step beyond the USB tether but not much had changed. Then this. The description mentions a Wireless BlueTooth Fretlught Guitar .... scramble!! A trip to Fretlight.Com didn't illuminate me ... no mention of a new model ... so I had to set Professor Email on the trail.
Sure enough within a day or so Fretlight (Optek) replied to my inquiries
"Yes, we are currently working on a new wireless system. We have already posted an app on the Apple Store called Fretlight Chords and Scales. It will not connect to any other guitar than a wireless guitar, though. Look for it by the middle of this year"
And ... I'm in! This will make all the difference to how the Fretlight concept is realized. At last I'll have Fretlight enhanced playing where my guitar is sans data cables, monitors, computers and laptops with flat batteries!
So right now the app does nothing. But significantly, a couple of other apps by IQuium have turned-up mentioning BlueTooth support for Fretlight ... My Jam and String Master FL which means some kind of APL is out there and maybe, just maybe, all kinds of play-along assistance might be coming our way!
I'll keep you all posted as things develop.