Fretlight FG-405

Optek Music Systems Fretlight FG-405 Guitar Lefty

Optek Music Systems Inc. is a well-renowned company that is dedicated to manufacturing the most interactive musical instruments for the current generation and also they contribute to bringing the required up-gradation to the instruments. The FG-405 guitar is particularly designed for left-handed players which became the world’s first computer powered teaching guitar especially for lefties.

Talking about the times back in 1987 when Rusty Shaffer who is CEO and founder of the Optek Music Systems (fretlight guitar) had this innovative thought of making the traditional guitar into something better and more useful for the music industry. Shaffer bought a Harmony guitar and ripped off its fretboard. Next, he bought a circuit board and fixed it with a fretboard and placed it back to its place and it worked! This is how he invented the very first fretlight guitar of its kind.

Back then, the fretlight guitars were way different than they are now. From its birth in 1987, it was not the same as it is now. A fretlight guitar of those times had only three knobs. It used to be plugged into the wall and it worked as a regular guitar with the only difference that the fingering positions on the board would lighten up. One knob was for selecting chord, scales, or knobs.

The second knob was your keys and the third knob was the scale type. And the fretlight guitar was already from the charts and diagrams to right in front of the fretboard.

The company as Optek Music Systems got established in 1988 and it was never looking back since then for the makers and the guitar lovers. Many technological advancements in the early ’90s helped the manufacturers use them into making this guitar which always kept them ahead of others in the market. The USB cable, the internet, and everything was just right in time that helped the fretlight excel in every manner possible and helps the guitar players cope with the upcoming technologies.

The fretlight guitar has always tried to drive the instrument into the 21st century by utilizing software-based technology to make the learning of the guitar more interactive and intuitive. The fretlight guitar has a simple methodology that instead of reading the notes from a book or a screen and then conveying the similar to the fretboard of your guitar, instead, the guitar will display the information for you by lighting up the LEDs on the fretboard.

Just to know how it works, first, the guitar is connected to the computer via a USB cable and after that, the software will indicate the information between the computer and the guitar. This will be seen when the song you wish to play on the guitar gets light up note by note, displaying the scale shapes and demonstrating the lessons on the fretboard.
The left-handed players have restricted buying options when it comes to musical instruments. They mostly don’t get a chance to try their hands on the new inventions in the music industry as the right-handed players get. Optek Music Systems took an initiative to correct this by introducing a left-handed version of their famous Fretlight FG-405 Acoustic guitar in the market. The lefties who want to become a guitarist or just want to learn to play the guitar can now improve their skills in significantly less time.

Some of the features of the Fretlight FG-405 lefty Guitar are mentioned.

Table of Contents


• The FG-405 is a unique combination of the traditional guitar along with an electric neck, Piezo pickup, 3 band EQ and a built-in tuner with software-driven LED lights in the patented polymer fretboard.
• It is a two in one guitar for the left-handed beginners who want to learn the basics of playing a traditional guitar and also want their hands on the electric guitars.
• The body of the guitar is a compact thin-lined mahogany type with spruce top and back and truss rods that are adjustable.
• It comes with a USB cable that can be used to connect to a computer or MacBook and allowing the software to integrate with the guitar and turn on or off the fret lights as necessary. It also includes over 30 free beginner-friendly lessons.
• The strategically placed LEDs only work with its suitable software which is to be installed in the computer with the help of the CDs that are provided with the unit.
• The guitar has a total four numbers of software intact for variations in learning such as M-Player is for single tracks that break into individual chords for understanding the song structure quickly. Fretlight Improviser for improvising and adding a personal touch to the songs. Ax Master module for highlighting the chords and scales of the songs and learn the root notes in all positions possible. The guitars software for editing tablature files.


• Guitar Type: Acoustic/Electric
• Body: Thin Line
• Top: Spruce
• Back: Mahogany
• Neck wood: Maple
• Neck attachments: Bolt
• Neck Construction: C-shaped
• Fingerboard: Polymer
• Frets: Vintage style
• No. of Strings: 6
• Scale length: 65cms
• Headstock: 6 inline
• Bridge: Compressed Saddle
• Pickups: Piezo
These Fretlight Guitars enable the guitarists to polish their tunes, chords, and scale no matter whether they are beginner or advanced level players. It definitely makes it much easier for players to learn the songs on the LEDs and play a variety of rhythms on the guitar. The company aims at creating all the possible means even for lefties who wish to become next Jimi Hendrix!