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Yamaha Portable Keyboards is showing the EZ-AG at Summer NAMM 2003--a new musical instrument which provides all the fun and excitement of an acoustic guitar for beginners without the sore fingers, broken strings, poor tuning and tedious exercises. Now, anyone, of any age, can learn chords and strumming by following lights.

And, like its "electric" counterpart (EZ-EG), the EZ-AG features 12 lighted frets that show beginners the actual hand positions for chords, plus six "strings" that emulate strumming or finger-picking. The onboard selection of songs can be expanded via the Web--songs can be downloaded into the guitar's Flash ROM via MIDI IN/OUT connections and a quick connection to a computer. The EZ-AG reproduces realistic guitar sounds, bass guitar sounds and the timbres of a banjo, piano and more through its built-in speaker.

"Yamaha technology has made the EZ-AG one of the first, and certainly the easiest pathways to playing and having fun with the guitar," states Jim Presley, marketing manager, Portable Keyboards. "You're literally playing in minutes. And, as easy and fun as the EZ-AG is--you're really learning to play."

Selectable play modes include: Strumming Practice for the right hand, where chords change automatically during a strumming practice; Chord Training for the left hand, where the user simply makes the chord changes while it strums; and Full Play, which shows chord changes by lighting the frets, while the user strums and plays chords.

"Guitar"-type features include volume, tempo, and balance controls, standard and open tuning options, plus an electronic capo for pitch adjustment. Users may plug the EZ-AG into a standard guitar amplifier, or use the mini-headphone jack for private practice. The EZ-AG operates on six "AA" cells, and includes a power adapter, pick and strap.

The unit carries an MSRP of $399.95, and will be available in October.

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