TASCAM MP-GT1 Guitar Trainer

Item: 
TASCAM MP-GT1 Guitar Trainer
Price Paid: 
$200
Features: 

NOTE THAT THIS ITEM HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED, and replaced with the TASCAM GB-10 Guitar/Bass Trainer/Recorder. 

 

  • 240-song memory capacity (based on average 4-minute MP3 encoded at 128kbps)
  • Variable Speed Audition changes the speed of the MP3 playback without changing the pitch
  • Pitch control in 1% steps so you don't have to re-tune
  • Seamless looping for practicing tricky passages
  • High-impedance 1/4" guitar input
  • Guitar multi-effects include overdrive, distortion, delay, flange, reverb and more
  • Guitar Cancel effect eliminates the guitar part from the recorded song so you can play along
  • Built-in tuner, oscillator and metronome
  • 1/8" Headphone output
  • Built-in rechargeable battery with 9-hour reserve
  • 128x64 graphic LCD display
  • USB jack
  • Auto Power Off and Hold function
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 3.1" x 4.3" x 1" (78 x 110 x 25.5 mm) escluding protrusions
  • Weight: 7.8 ounces (220g) including lithium ion battery

You can store up to 240 songs as MP3s. Guitar parts can be slowed down, looped and even eliminated to help you to learn new riffs. Play back MP3s using Variable Speed Audition, which slows down the speed without changing the pitch, and sections can be seamlessly looped while practicing tricky passages. Songs can even be pitched up or down to match the tuning of your guitar, so you don't have to re-tune for every song.

The guitar input lets you to rock along with thick overdrive and multi-effects, including a guitar canceller so you can play along with your favorite bands. A tuner, metronome, and built-in rechargeable battery are also built-in. All of this is packed into an MP3 player smaller than a stomp box, so stuff it in your backpack, gig bag or back pocket and hit the road.

Pros: 

MP3 format is much more convenient to use than having to switch CDs, and means that the device can be about the size of a pack of cards. You charge and load it up from a USB interface like you would an Ipod.  The MP-GT1 is pretty straight forward and easy to use once you get the hang of it. 

It is a very good device for drilling songs and song parts. For example, I have taken piano demos of songs and loded them in the Tascam to create the guitar parts and learn/drill the arrangements. To compose a guitar solo for such a song, you can just loop the solo section and work on it as long as necessary. I have also on occaision loaded JUST the solo section of the song to work on in that way.

Cons: 

The power switch design is poor, and is a point of failure. Mine finally gave out after a year of daily use. I now have to turn the device on with a bent paper clip. The user interface is kind of clunky. If you're using it all the time, you get use to it. If you use it once or twice a year, you're likely to forget certain navigational quirks that are not intuative.  I had to go back to the instructions to refresh my memory.

While the MP-GT1 can slow down tracks by a range of incriments, the maximum it can slow a track down is 50%. That may not be enough for a lot of us, and a lot of Dino style lead work. So for example, if you're listening to a solo that's full of 64th notes, this only slows that down to 32nd notes. At that point, your ear better be able to catch what's going on with 32nd notes -- and that's still pretty fast for a lot of beginner to intermediate players.  (IMO) you still need to be a pretty advanced player to decipher really fast solos with the MP-GT1.  I wish it would slow tracks down a lot more.  However, when you're using it at 50%, you're already pulling single notes out of a background of sonic mush (and that's not Tascam's fault -- that's just sonic physics).  You can do it, but I find I get ear fatigue pretty quickly when doing so. 

The various bells and whistles Tascam have added, such as different guitar tones (ranging from bad to terrible), and guitar effects seem rather pointless in the context of what this device was designed to do -- help you pull solos off of albums.  It's not a problem having these features buit in, but the MP-GT1 is not a POD or a Pandora. The Guitar Canceller doesn't really work, and I personally never expected it to work. It basically just tries to EQ out the frequency that guitar generally lives in, and IMO, it fails.

It would be helpful if there were a second way to charge the GT1 without having to have it plugged into your PC for several hours. Tascam will sell you one, but it doesn't come with it. 

Condition: 
New
Summary: 

The MP-GT1 does most of what Tascam claims that it does, and can be a very useful tool for certain things. How much you're going to get out of it for picking out other player's guitar solos depends a lot on your level as a player, and what you're trying to achieve with it.  If you're a beginner and are trying to learn Angus Young solos, I think it would work for you. If you're a beginner and are trying to learn Yngwie or Paul Gilbert solos, I don't think this will work for you.  I'm personally having a hard time pulling the fastest Moore/Sykes/Schenker licks with the MP-GT1, and I have a very good ear.  So I haven't gotten as much use out it for that purpose.  OTOH, I have used it quite effectively for learning original material and working out my guitar parts. It has been good for that. 

Overall Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)