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Tascam CD-GT1mkII Portable CD Guitar Trainer

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I’m not old enough to remember the days when transcribing a solo meant slowing down a vinyl LP; I’ve only heard wiser elders go on about how easy us kids have it today. By the time I became crazy enough to attempt unraveling dense melodies by Barney Kessel or breaking down Johnny Smith’s dumbfounding chord work, CDs had long replaced LPs and the musicians’ market had a few machines that slow down a disc’s music to tempos that make for more manageable riff-robbing.

In contrast to the dear old charming phonograph and cassette versions of these machines, CD-based units not only slow down the music but also can preserve its pitch at the slower tempo, meaning it remains in its original key. The market’s top-drawer units cost a few hundred dollars and offer handy features like built-in CD burners. For more budget-conscious musicians, Tascam has stepped in with a series of portable trainers that cut out some of the bells and whistles but can be had for about 150 bucks.

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