Guitar teaching aid solves beginners problem of left hand position
One of the biggest problems children (and adults) have when first learning to play the guitar is the correct position for their left hand when playing chords. There is a natural tendency for the student beginner to over-grip the guitar's neck and flatten the fingers on the fretboard, leading to much frustration as the chord is incorrectly fretted and doesn't sound as it should... many students give up the guitar before they master this basic requirement. Although guitar teachers have always been aware of this problem, there has been little to help them overcome it until now.
The Guitar Space Trainer is a simple but brilliant invention from British guitarist and guitar teacher Kelvin Pratt. We at GSG first heard about this guitar teaching gadget back in 2008, so were delighted to have the chance to try one for ourselves in 2009.
The Space Trainer comes in a simple plastic retail pack and is a pretty unassuming single piece of lightweight moulded black plastic. We tried it first on a Takamine acoustic guitar and it easily clipped onto the neck without difficulty. There are no instructions included in the pack, but none are needed - you simply position it as shown in the picture and it clips into place. Once in place, the surprising thing is that... it works! The simple bar across the bottom of the fretboard has the effect of forcing you to bend your fingers and correctly fret open chords with the tips of the fingers of the left hand, naturally eliminating the usual beginner's 'flat fingers' contortions.
Removing the trainer from the guitar was as easy as clipping it on and it was a relief to see that there was no damage to the neck or fretboard, and indeed no sign that the device had ever been fitted. Next we tried it on an electric guitar - our USA Fender Strat Plus. Despite the very slim neck the Space Trainer again clipped in place very easily and did not obstruct the strings when playing.
To the experienced guitarist, playing with the Space Trainer attached to the neck feels a little strange, but there is no doubt that it does exactly what it claims - preventing over-gripping and naturally forcing the left hand to adopt the correct position. It is easy to see that beginner guitarists would benefit greatly from having the trainer fitted from the very first lesson, removing it once the basic chord positions have been learned. Like training wheels on a child's first bike, the guitar trainer can then be removed but the benefits not lost.
This is not the most exciting guitar accessory, but for absolute beginners (and guitar teachers) it is well worth the modest cost... even if only needed for the first few weeks or months of learning the guitar.
Guitar Space Trainer
What is it?
A simple clip-on device that helps teach left-hand chord position
How does it work?
It clips on to the guitar's neck, providing a bar that forces the guitarist's hand into the correct shape on the fretboard.
Who is it for?
Beginner guitar students - children and adults
What guitars does it fit?
It fits most electric and bass guitars, acoustic guitars and half size classical guitars.
Where can I buy one?
The Guitar Space Trainer is available for worldwide delivery from http://guitar-gizmo.com
The Guitar Space Trainer is Patented in the UK.