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Fretlight Guitar Validated By Independent Research To Speed Learning, Enhance Retention And Build Player Confidence

University Research Cites Technology as New Paradigm in Music Instruction

RENO, Nev., August 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Optek Music Systems, Inc., makers of the ground-breaking Fretlight Guitar and Fretlight Learning System, announced today that a published review of independent research has confirmed what the company and its loyal fans have been saying for years – the Fretlight system speeds learning, enhances retention and builds confidence in guitar players better and faster than traditional methods. Only now, it is the scientific community making the claim.

Fretlight 5 - Designed specifically for Beginning Guitar Players.  Acoustic and Electric Models starting at $249.99

Fretlight Guitars are beautifully crafted instruments with one ingenious difference – they are equipped with a built-in LED Learning System that lights the fingering positions for chords, scales, songs, riffs and even tablature right where players need the information most, under their fingertips. Connecting to a PC or Mac, the Fretlight system uses interactive video lessons and play-along exercises to create a faster, more dynamic way to learn the guitar.

In a recent edition of Frontiers in Psychology, a peer review panel representing academic institutions in the U.S., U.K. and Belgium analyzed the methodologies and results of cognition studies performed at Wichita State University and University of Central Florida using Fretlight Guitars. The article supports the research findings: The Fretlight Learning System, lighting up the notes right on the fretboard, enables cognitive processes that dramatically surpass traditional methods of learning.

"The number one reason people quit playing the guitar is that they don't have the time commitment," said Fretlight CEO and inventor Rusty Schaffer. "This research proves that Fretlight changes that paradigm because you learn more, you learn faster, and that confidence keeps you excited about playing."

Conducted at Wichita State's Training Research and Applied Cognitive Engineering Laboratory (TRACE) and Central Florida's Institute for Simulation and Training Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, the research evaluated the theory of embodied music cognition utilizing an "augmented reality" system (e.g., the Fretlight learning system) versus traditional learning modalities such as sheet music, tablature, chord diagrams, books and instructors.

At Central Florida, researchers examined short-term learning effects with novice players assigned to learn the A Minor pentatonic scale. At Wichita State, researchers examined both short-term and long-term effects, with participants learning the same scale on the same equipment. Testing evaluated note quality, accuracy, consistency, retention, and scale time.  Participants used the FG 521 Fretlight electric guitar and Fretlight Studio v5.02 learning system software. Those learning in the traditional or "diagram" condition also used Fretlight guitars, but without activating the lighted fretboard and learning system.

Over the course of 10 learning trials, participants within the Fretlight Learning System group played 25% better than those using diagrams, retained 60% more scale notes, 68% more riff notes and 21% more of a song than their counterparts using the traditional method. In addition, Fretlight users reported feeling confident that they could learn a song 200-300% faster than those using only diagrams and tablature.

"By 'offloading' information directly onto the guitar, the Fretlight system lessens barriers to learning by reducing the cognitive transfer between diagram and instrument,  i.e. less back and forth," said Dr. Joseph Keebler, Assistant Professor of Psychology and director of TRACE lab at Wichita State. "Whether learning to play guitar play or working with computers, we can now re-conceptualize the way we interact with instructional content."

Dr. Keebler added that ongoing research in human-systems integration – examining how we engage with technology around us – is revealing that innovations such as embodied systems are increasing cognitive power and expanding brain function. 

In other words, the Fretlight works.

About Optek Music Systems, Inc.
Based in Reno, Nevada, Optek Music systems is the manufacturer and distributor of the groundbreaking Fretlight Guitar 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, acoustic and bass guitars.  Optek has many U.S. and international patents as well as patents pending for its interactive guitar learning systems and musical instrument manufacturing designs. Fretlight Guitars can be purchased at select retailers or online at

About Wichita State TRACE
The Training Research and Applied Cognitive Engineering laboratory focuses on utilizing cutting edge technology and science for applied training and assessment across military, medical, and civilian domains.   Its mission is to continue to advance the field of human factors through continued applied work in real world operational environments.

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SOURCE Fretlight Guitar

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