The cable arrived Thursday.
I plugged the guitar in, and loaded the fretlight software, and the guitar lit up. It's a very interesting concept. I can see this as an incredible tool for beginners, and anyone that is trying to learn a part of a song.
The included software gives you 3 methods of controlling the lights. The first is pick a chord/scale, like my website, and it lights up the fretboard to show the notes of that scale/chord, etc.
The second is to show you any videos that you purchased from fretlight. I have none, so this is a wasted feature for me, or anyone who isn't willing to buy extra content.
The 3rd is the most fun for an intermediate or advanced guitar player. You select a genre of music, and pick a key, and it has a "jam like" backing track, and it lights up the fretboard where the notes are for the selected backing track. For example, I can use a rock backing track that uses the pentatonic scale. When I select it, it shows all the notes of the pentatonic in the key I selected.
At first glance, it seems like nothing more than my website....on the fretboard. But, this is very powerful. The extra that it gives you are that it blinks the target notes for the next change.
For example: The basic blues pattern is 1-3-4. So, if I choose my key as A minor, the chords would be A-C-D. When you start the backing track, it shows all the notes. But when the next change is about to occur, it blinks the next target note, in this case would be C. While the C is playing in the backing track, it will begin to blink the D for the next transition. It's pretty cool if you're not already aware of target notes. Basically a target note is a not that resides within the chord. Any note within that chord would work, because it sounds like it fits the backing chord. So, of course, the root note would be there. You don't have to stay within the chord structure of the backing chord, but on the transition, it sounds like you know what you're doing if you hit a target note.
I'm not sure how long the novelty will last. I'm not a person that looks at the fretboard much at all, so the lights don't affect me much. In fact, I began to find them slightly annoying, because I had to look at the fretboard, which is foreign to me.
One other thing that bugged me, was that all the LEDs are the same color. This is only an annoyance to me, since I wrote my website in a manner to distinguish between different intervals. It's a non-issue for 99.9% of the people.
After seeing the blinking, I;m really starting to get interesting in the programming aspect. I might be able to make different types of animations with it. But that's down the road a little while.
It will be a great tool, for figuring out a new scale, or a lead from a song. Still, for $100, it was definitely not money wasted.
A quick update. I had my younger son, who doesn't play guitar, trying the fretlight. He was actually strumming chords in minutes. I was stunned.
I guess it proves that it's a great tool for beginners.
"Women and music...I'm always amazed at other people's choices" - David Lee Roth