In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 16, 2006 / 20 Sivan, 5766

Guitar's high-tech teacher

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Fretlight guitar, a $500 PC-linked guitar learning system, is an ideal teaching tool for beginning guitarists. From everything I've seen of the product, it's well worth looking into if you want to learn to make music, or make it better.

Don't take my word for it, though. I can't play a note. While normally that inability would disqualify me from reviewing a product, I had an ally this week, my wife, Jean, a former student of the guitar.

It had been a while, though, since she had picked up the instrument, and longer still since she had lessons. The Fretlight, produced by Optek Music Systems Inc. of Windham, N.H., seemed like a good idea.

The product has been out for two years, and the firm offers guitars in both right- and left-handed models. Jean's left-handed model came with a cable that hooks up to a PC's USB port.

The idea behind the Fretlight is to merge the PC and the guitar, in a way.

The guitar ships with a collection of lessons that also light up the notes on a guitar that you're supposed to finger when playing a chord. For those who've never played a guitar, the lessons start with the basics and go through every step needed to learn to play the guitar.

Optek says its Guitar Power software drives a series of 132 LED lights in the Fretlight guitar's fretboard to illuminate specific notes and chords for songs. This allows users to learn to play a variety of rhythm and lead guitar for mastering classical, blues, rock, country and heavy-metal music.

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The interactive learning software gives a player the ability to create or learn guitar music at the pace that he or she chooses.

Jean said, "[I] picked with the lessons relearning the chords and ignored the basic teaching about scales, tempos and string and chord names. Someone else who has played for a while — but wants to brush up on skills such as rhythm, progressive chords and styles — would start further along in the lesson program. There are 31 lessons, and the program includes lesson quizzes and instructions on how to tune and restring the guitar."

She says the lessons are challenging, though it depends on your skill level. Because she was a little "rusty," Jean said, she started pretty close to the beginning. For her, it was as good as having an in-person tutor, but far more convenient — lessons were held on her schedule — and, overall, were far less expensive than the usual process.

Once you've gone through those initial 30 lessons, Optek sells three other packs that take students further. There are other optional software packages that will convert songs from your music library to a "cheat sheet" format for the guitar, lighting it up so that you know which notes to play, and others that expand the guitar's tech abilities. For Mac users, there's a plug-in that will link the instrument to Apple Computer's "Garage Band" software, lighting the frets from loops in the software.

According to Optek, "the Fretlight interactive system is designed to help players at every level including professional musicians such as Neal Schon of the rock band Journey, Gerry Beckley of America and Charlie Crowe of Brooks & Dunn who all own Fretlight guitars."

While I did not use the product directly, I did see it in action. The software seems to be comprehensive and easy to follow. Those who are musically inclined probably will appreciate the breadth of this program.

The guitar seems sturdy and substantial, as well.

In short, if music ability is your goal, this might be a very good way to go. Details at http://www.fretlight.com/.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com