That Black Thing on My Guitar

I've had way too many people over the years leave comments and email me asking, "Hey What's That Black Thing On Your Guitar," so I'm making a short video post explaining what this thing is and what I use it for. So, if you've been curious about what it is and how this works, stay tuned because this video is going to explain, "That Black Thing on My Guitar."

That black thing is a Roland midi pick-up, more specifically it's called a "GK-3" divided midi pick-up. You can switch from between the Guitar, to the MIDI, or you can have a mix of both.

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The unit includes a volume dial along with two buttons that allow you to scroll up and down the controllers sound banks - switching from one midi effect to another.

The GK-3 on the guitar communicates with the brain of the device that sits on the floor. The brain center that I personally have is an older unit and it's model name is the Roland GR-20.

Now, I need to state that I've had this unit for probably 10 years and the GR-20 is the older model of the Roland Guitar Synth line. Nowadays, Roland makes a new model that is a lot more powerful than the GR-20 and it's called the, GR-55.

What this crazy looking thing does is use a special type of pickup, (its called a HEX pickup) to judge each strings frequency much like a tuner does. Basically, this pickup tells us note value. And, this is routed to the controller to be able to relate the data of the note as a digital signal. It is able to communicate frequency, peak amplitude and duration to the controller.

The controller can overwrite any sound that's programmed as a parameter onto that signal from the pick-up. This means I can dial in a sound established in the GR-20 for my guitar. The GR-20 and GK-3 will work together to make the sound come across like the setting. This could be a; synth, a piano, a saxophone even an organ. It's pretty cool.

This also means that I don't have to use my piano as much I used to and I don't need to think like a piano player to add harmonies and layers. I can just call up the instrument effect I'd like, and then continue thinking like a guitarist. Much easier!

So, there ya go... my explanation of - that black thing on my guitar... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online internet guitar Dude, head over to my website at and get your FREE lifetime membership... And, when you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package!



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