a music theory blog

Friday, May 26, 2006

Guitar Wheel Review


Dustin Cheatham was kind enough to send in a new product for us to review that I thought everyone would be interested in. It's called the Guitar Wheel:

The Guitar Wheel is "The popular two ounce reference library for music theory."

I originally saw an ad for this in the back of a guitar magazine. I normally don't pay attention to these kinds of ads, but it caught my eye. The Guitar Wheel is a collection of different music theory concepts for both piano and guitar organized in a way that will allow a musician of any level access to everything from the most basic musical concepts to fairly advanced ideas like chord inversions. On the right of the wheel is a Key Selector that allows you to synchronize the wheel to the key signature of your choice. One side is designed to visually represent a guitar fretboard, the other is more general music theory and uses a piano as its main reference.

I'm very impressed with the amount of information that they have been able to pack into such a small and lightweight item. I have binders full of ways to show the information that is represented so concisely on this wheel. Some of the useful information on the wheel:

-Major Scale w/ degrees and notes
-Forming all Diatonic Triads (in barre form) for a given key
-Tonic Chord Inversions
-Intervals (including concert pitch transposition)
-Treble and Bass cleff staff diagrams
-Major/Minor relative scales (along with pentatonic scales)

The Guitar Wheel comes with a nice full color 2 page sheet showing you the basics of how to operate and view the information presented to you. It also comes with a very well produced DVD that is informative and just long enough to keep your interest. (I'm actually in the TV business, so I'm a pretty hard critic)

Every time I've picked this tool up, I've seen something new that I didn't realize connected in some way to another area on the wheel, or to a musical concept even.

The product is a bargain for $19.95. I haven't seen something this well put together as a general music theory cheat sheet before, and I think that it is a tool that any musician should have with them at all times. It took me years of work (on my own) to collect a lot of the concepts shown in the Guitar Wheel using the internet, paying for expensive private lessons, and discussing and debating theory with other musicians. I feel a little disappointed that I didn't have one of these things when I first started playing.

Ok...Now for the fun part. This is the first review on the site, and as such, I want to start a new tradition. Every item I review will be given away to the readers of this blog as a thank you for the positive feedback thatreceiveeve from you guys. So here it is:

Guitar Wheel Giveaway
All you have to do to qualify for the Guitar Wheel giveaway is this:
1. Click on the ads by google ad at the top of the page
2. Search in the google search bar on the right of the page and click on one of the ads there
3. Download and install Picasa (a very nice and FREE photo editor that I use for this site)
Once I have had 1000 people do all of the above, I will post a message to start accepting
email addresses for the Guitar Wheel Giveaway. I will then randomly pick a winner.

Go check out the Guitar Wheel website.
Check out the Guitar Wheel Video.

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