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A Guitar That Teaches You to Play

Techstination feature for Thursday, June 5, 2003

A guitar that teaches you how to play. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With a smooth wood finish and Stratocaster design, Yamaha's EZ-EG looks like a high end guitar from a distance. But... move in close... and you'll find the strings have been replaced by thin metal bars. Turn it on, and the frets light up... and the instrument is ready to teach you to play... (sound) Yamaha's consumer products division general manager Jan Luna...

"It comes with three complete built in songs and then there's fifteen what we call song riffs. There's also flash ROM memory where you can download more songs and of course depending on the size of the song... the size of the song will determine how many songs."

The guitar connects to a PC through a USB port... and Yamaha has a library of about 200 songs available that can be purchased online. The target consumer for the instrument...

"The original idea was that it might be good for kids or for young adults. But as it turned out the people who really were most interested in the product are kind of baby boomer males. Guys who maybe played guitar when they were younger but maybe put it away... never really got proficient in."

The price..about four hundred dollars. That should go down as it becomes more widely available in the coming months. The EZ-EG has been a hot item in Japan... and while it is definitely fun... advanced players may not like the limitations of the electronic strings. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.