Following the tech revolution there have been many innovative solutions to home practicing and recording for musicians. A recent launch of a new practice amp incorporating many digital features for guitarists caught my attention – Spark Practice Amp. The app which accompanies the amp, and connects via bluetooth, offers access to thousands of digital effects. The more cutting edge software solutions include chord recognition/ visual display software which can be synced with Spotify. The amp also provides virtual band accompaniment suitable to the style and feel of the player through the ‘Smart Jam’ feature.
The amp and app provide a solution for learning songs quickly, if the player isn’t able to identify chords and changes by ear. It also provides a solution for players who require accompaniment, by stimulating the parts of other musicians. It has the potential to revolutionise how guitarist commonly practice/learn and is perfect for hobbyists and enthusiasts. Conversely, it may discourage learning by ear and playing/communicating directly with other musicians. Traditionally these would have been considered two crucial skills for anyone developing musicianship and playing seriously as a career or profession.