This has got to be the coolest thing to happen to jamming since the music store notice board: Roland’s Guitar Friend Jam. It’s a social media application which hooks you up with other guitarists and lets you share your rockin’ with the world. It requires a few specialised pieces of gear to work: either a Fender GK-Ready Stratocaster GC-1 or a guitar with a Roland GK-3 hex pickup, and either a Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer or Roland V-Guitar System VG-99.
Personally I have a huge crush on the GC-1 and GR-55 (almost to the ‘Put Money In A Jar Labelled Roland GR Stuff’ level). When I was all of 16 years old a local music store loaned me a much, much earlier version of Roland’s guitar synth technology so I could figure it out and do a demo/clinic in-store. I loved having that thing to play with for a few weeks, but as soon as I brought it back to the store somebody bought it and they didn’t need me to do the demo any more. Booo!
Here’s the press release:
ROLAND GUITAR FRIEND JAM VERSION 1.0
Guitarists Worldwide Meet, Learn, and Compete
Guitar Friend Jam Version 1.0,Roland’s newest social media application, gives guitarists an exclusive chance to improve their skills, to network, and to showcase their talents with like-minded players from all over the world. Musicians using this unique social network can download free practice songs from Roland, share workout records on Twitter, and actually compete with fellow musicians.
Available for both Windows and Mac OS X, Guitar Friend Jam automatically downloads a suite of practice songs after a user installs the application on their computer. The play-along songs cover popular musical styles including rock, pop, jazz, metal, and more, and feature full-band arrangements minus guitars. In addition to these special practice tracks, users can also add MP3 files stored on their computer and jam with their favorite tunes.
Just download the free software from the download page of the Guitar Friend Jam website, follow the instructions that appear on the screen, and connect a compatible GK-pickup equipped guitar to a RolandGR-55, VG-99, or VB-99. Connect via the USB port to a computer, and you’re ready to jam. Internet connectivity and a Twitter account are also required for real time ranking and record sharing via Twitter.
“Guitar Friend Jam is an amazing way to have fun and improve your guitar playing at the same time. The Roland GR-55 guitar synth is a great companion for Guitar Friend Jam,” said Gary Lenaire, Product & Marketing Manager, Roland Guitar Division and BOSS U.S.
- OS: Windows – XP SP3 or later, Vista SP2 or later, 7; Macintosh Mac – OS X 10.6 or later
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo or faster
- RAM: 1GB or more
- Compatible products: Roland GK-equipped guitar (such as GC-1 Stratocaster®, or GK-3 Divided Pickup installed on your guitar) and guitar synthesizer unit (such as RolandGR-55 or VG-99). Roland GR-55 or VG-99, and GC-1 or GK-Pickup-equipped guitar. Visit the V-Guitar Website for the details (http://www.roland.com/V-