“Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.” – Jorge Luis Borges
I think the same could be said of guitarists, or singers for that matter, relating to this quote.
A CAVEAT: Don’t purchase this Tascam Guitar trainer unless you buy the additional and required Tascam PS-P520E | AC Adapter for Tascam Products ($39.99). Otherwise you will be wasting money and paying more in the long run for batteries. This unit burns through batteries.
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED THE TASCAM GUITAR TRAINER
I grew up playing rock and classical guitar. I attribute my need for accuracy and precision from classical guitar playing and mastery of exact replications of classical guitar pieces. You can’t noodle your way through those pieces. When I was obsessed with lead guitar playing, I would slow down the album to 16 RPM to learn note-for-note playing. Over the years, I have played professionally with many rock guitarists and notice a bad habit with several players: When the lead break happens, many tend to overplay, using too many notes and riff out without really improving on the source or original material. The lead breaks are not coherent or stylish, just bloviated lead guitar playing without much thoughtfulness or respect for the original recorded music. It’s laziness on some level. I think learning from the masters and learning note-for-note playing improves your playing and is incredibly rewarding. An audience will typically compliment your performance if you “nail it” and show some precision.
A musician should always challenge themselves as not to become stale. Learn Jazz, Bossa Nova, classical, etc. This is what made the Guitar Heroes different than everyone else. Experiment with different styles, tunings and culture. Rock guitarist Dean Deleo of Stone Temple Pilots recorded “Dancing Days” by Led Zeppelin. It is a irrefutable and respectable version of the classic. Deleo doesn’t screw with Page’s original. He knew better. Deleo is an extraordinary, underrated and versatile musician who implements different styles.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS TASCAM GUITAR TRAINER
There is a lot to like about this unit. I use it for Rock, Jazz, Classical and Flamenco guitar. You can also use it for bass and vocals. You can plug in and play along. Adjust the tone and sounds (there are 83 guitar effects included). Also includes vocal effects. The instruction manual was helpful for navigation and troubleshooting.
Like other users, I did notice the CDs, when slowed down have a strange flanged sound, however that does not impact the clarity and ability to distinguish the notes.
A NOTE TO LEAVE ON
In the August 2016 issue of Guitar Player magazine, the Editor-in-Chief noted all the CDs and streams he receives for the magazine from guitar players all over the world hoping to be featured in Guitar Player magazine. Unfortunately, a vast majority of them sound alike — technical ability is not the issue – but the “art of saying something deep,” as he puts it, has escaped them. I was encouraged by his words, as we all should be, to dig deeper. If you can’t improve on the original, learn it right and stick to the program.
You can’t improve Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen or Ritchie Blackmore, but you sure as hell can learn from them and learn them right with this Tascam Guitar Trainer.
Congrats to you who are considering purchasing this guitar trainer to make you a better and more accurate player.