Jamstik

Who’s it for – well quite simply for any aspiring musicians looking to learn to play guitar! The only difference there is between this and an actual guitar is that the Jamstik comes complete with the aid of lessons on the iPad, iPhone or Mac – it is the holiday gift for any musician this year – so read our review and then go get one.

The Zivix Jamstik, is a small, nimble (15″long – 5 Fret), convenient and unique MIDI controller that uses technology to offset the learning curve associated with learning an instrument, and with the addition of the 4Chords app, boy is it an awesome piece of kit for that musician in your life.

In the past, learning to play the guitar either involved finding someone with long hair to teach you, or worse still a 55 year old man who was into folk (Shudder). This is still for the most part the way people learn, but digital music lessons have increasingly become the norm thanks in no small part thanks to the amazing Justin Sandercoe who is well worth checking out and who’s beginner lessons work great with the Jamstik.

Now to the Jamstik, the device and its accompanying 4 that’s right 4 apps and lessons lessons go further than its predecessors. Because Jamstik is a MIDI controller, the iPad knows whether or not the note was played because it receives the pitch and attack signals from the guitar. The Jamstik does this by using infrared LEDs at each position on the fretboard and can tell when your finger blocks one of the LEDs, to determine pitch. It receives vibration of the string to determine the velocity and attack at that pitch. It is able to determine string bends as well, although this setting is off by default. One downside though was for regular guitar players dampening strings didn’t have the same effect as a normal guitar.

In the box comes an allen wrench which is provided inside the battery door, under the battery, to bring the strings up to tension. The device charges using MicroUSB, and has a bi-color LED to indicate charge status, red for charging, green for charged. As for the apps as mentioned before there are 4, which is crazy value. The apps provided by Zivix are Jamstik Connect, Jamstik Tutor and JamMix. Jamstik Connect helps guide the user through initially connecting the guitar to an iPad, iPhone or Mac.

Conclusion

So what’s our conclusion – well we think the Jamstik is awesome, but it does have a few downsides – that really only a proper guitar player notices – but we don’t really think that’s what the Jamstik is aiming for – as an educational tool it’s fantastic and really the apps and the little details make it a fantastic addition to any young/new musicians arsenal, but also for whipping it out and noodling on the strings and getting a realistic sound with such intensely accurate feedback it’s brilliant at that too – so get it – don’t think just buy, trust us it’s worth it! [Purchase]

Find out more Christmas Gift Ideas with the number 1 Irish Men’s magazine The Gentleman’s Coolective, and our ’12 Gears of Christmas’.

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