fretlightAs someone who writes instructional columns (you can read Unleash Your Inner Rock God in Mixdown magazine every month), I’m all for learning from magazines, websites and YouTube. But if that’s your only method of learning, it could take you years to catch up to things you would learn very early on with a teacher. Fretlight, who have long offered innovative illuminated-fretboard guitars for learning purposes, are now bringing teachers right into the equation with their new Certified Teacher Program and Learning Center, which connects students and teachers and lets the student see the teacher’s fretting illuminated on their own guitar. This is a really great idea which I can see helping a lot of players to really optimise their learning time. Here’s the press release:


Cutting-Edge Technology Lights The Way for Students, Creating the World’s Most Effective Interactive Instructional Platform

RENO, Nev. (August 23, 2013) – Fretlight Guitar, the world’s easiest guitar to play, announced the launch of its new Fretlight Certified Teacher Program and Learning Center,an innovative initiative that invites guitar instructors everywhere to participate in a new, revolutionary way to teach guitar.

Industry studies indicate that 80 percent of first-time guitar players quit.  Fretlight is committed to changing that statistic by building a nationwide community of guitar teachers transforming the way they connect and interact with students through the game-changing benefits of this groundbreaking program.

The Fretlight Certified Teacher Program combines the state-of-the-art technology of its Fretlight Guitar with its advanced Fretlight GT Control™ software available for PC or Mac. With both student and teacher connected through interactive software, the teacher has complete real time control over the student’s Fretlight guitar system, making it possible to maximize the lesson and learning speed while enhancing the student’s overall retention and enjoyment.

With Fretlight GT Control™ software, anything that the teacher plays on their MIDI equipped guitar or controller will be displayed in real-time on the student’s Fretlight Guitar.  No more taking up valuable lesson time to place a student’s fingers on the correct notes. Teachers can even “paint” individual notes, chords or complete scales on the student’s guitar which stay lit even after the instructor has stopped playing. With the click of a footswitch, the light system can also be turned off to help with pattern memorization.

“”GT Control Software represents a breakthrough in how guitar is taught,” said Rusty Shaffer, inventor of the Fretlight Guitar. The old method of a teacher reaching over to grab a student’s fingers and try to place them in the proper position is over. Now, as the teacher plays their MIDI equipped guitar or controller, a student’s Fretlight guitar lights up instantly to show exactly where the teacher is playing. This breakthrough allows students to get to the actual “playing part” faster and allows the teacher to cover more ground,  conveying all the other subtleties that go along with putting your fingers in the right place on the fretboard.”

Teachers who participate in the program will receive a Fretlight Guitar, GT Control software, the Fretlight compatible Guitar Pro 6 software, and importantly, a revenue share when any of their current students purchase a Fretlight Guitar. Teachers will get their own instructor page listing on the Learning Center website, with the ability to edit content, post videos and upload lessons for students. Fretlight will also periodically send out mailings to its customers within a 25-mile radius of each teacher’s location to generate lesson referrals.

“The Fretlight teaching program has given me some amazing tools to use to help make my teaching much more efficient,” said Fretlight teacher liaison Adam Bigelsen. “My students are learning much quicker and easier, making it a more enjoyable and productive experience. Students spend less time processing what I’m showing them and what’s written on the paper, and more time on actually playing the guitar. The Fretlight system is a huge benefit to anyone who wants to learn or teach guitar!”

Instructors interested in certification can apply online at   Potential students can also visit the site to find available instructors in their area.

About Optek Music Systems, Inc.

Based in Reno, Nev., Optek Music Systems is the manufacturer and distributor of the groundbreaking Fretlight Guitar and learning system. Invented in 1987 by Optek founder and CEO Rusty Shaffer, the Fretlight Guitar has changed the way the world learns to play by combining advanced digital and LED technologies within the timeless form and function of classic electric and acoustic guitars. Fretlight Guitars can be purchased at select retailers or online at