Hey first review, hope it's in the right spot.
I recently picked up a Tascam GB-10 Guitar and Bass trainer. I ended up with this as I'd broke my earlier mode the MP-BT1, first piece of gear I've ever broke myself (yeah yeah boo hoo) that said it's a handy little gadget if I do say so.
In essence you just load your MP3's on board, plug in, pick a song and play along thru headphones. They've seriously upgraded the interface since the last one as most of the common menu items are now available as buttons on the workface. So no more hunting about in the sub menus.
It comes with a metronome, a tuner, a speed control, the ability to record your own ideas which is a new feature, a key control, some minor effects and the best thing, a loop control. The metronome and tuner are self explanatory, however here's the things I find helpful when breaking down the truly heavy stuff.
The loop function bassically instals a start point bookmark, you wait till the impossible to get passage ends and press again. It will now endlessly loop said passage until you press again and the song resumes, should the passage be mighty quick you can then adjust the speed, via that control and keep it in key as required. When it gets to the hard stuff, this makes it easy to break it down, sometimes you get it fairly quick and other times it's hunt and peck, but at the end of the day you will get it This one so far seems to keep that up far better than the earlier model.
It's really easy to use, BTW, runs either on batteries, 2 AA's or via a USB port.
Now I know what some of you are thinking and yes you can do a lot of that stuff via Quicktime
or other type software, you are however on a short leash and tied to your computer, this I can take anywhere I'm inspired to go. The other part that I'm currently finding inspiring is once those headphones go on I can play along for hours, and breaking down new material is once again fun, mainly cuz it's just so easy with this unit. And if I'm in front of the computer, well the surfing starts, I end up here, and the practice ends. This unit provides zero distractions and I actually look forward to practicing...
The other thing I've found is that I'm far more willing to tackle the job myself rather than hoping the tab is right, and there are tunes out there that're tough as hell to play and no tab exists, like say Battlescar
or at least it wasn't the last time I bothered to look. But the biggest joy I have with this is the chance to play the tunes the band never would, so I can get all my heavy prog and speed metal out of my system.
If you're in the market for something to help you out on the tougher tunes give this unit some consideration, it's not too pricy $150 average north of the border, and something you'll find very handy.