When learning the guitar, beginning players are invariably challenged by how much repetition is involved in the memorization of scales and chords. Ultimately, many are put off by the time required in order to become competent. While still a student in college, Rusty Shaffer was also thinking about these barriers to learning guitar and began to devise a method that would be easier than the age-old approach of flipping through countless books and translating the written page to the fretboard. The innovative concept and design of his Fretlight guitars has vastly simplified and sped up the learning process. In a recent conversation with MMR, Rusty Shaffer shared with us the past, present, and future of the Fretlight teaching system.
An upward turn and an industry-wide effort to move beyond mere novelty is paying off
Could the ukulele have reached a new, higher plateau? A point where it’s more than just a novelty toy to play “Tiny Bubbles” on, or be the mere prop that Tiny Tim made into a joke? MMR’s recent survey inquiring into the ukulele industry came back with a resounding “yes.” The little four-stringed-instrument-that-could has achieved respect – and more importantly, market share.
Industry forges ahead, doing the “right thing” – even as tree-hugging musicians still want that Brazilian rosewood Guitar and accessory makers are getting increasingly progressive and sensitive to the global impact of every product they make, changing and refining their ways through adhering to and going beyond international guidelines, consistently implementing new conservation policies, and in some cases, developing radical new products.