Technology has come a long way, cellphones and smartphones are becoming more and more sophisticated while the spectrum of Smart gadgets is ever expanding.  Music technology has also changed significantly in the last couple of decades, electronic music and sampling once was something that musicians could only envision and dream of being a part of and tool in music making.  The Jamstik smart guitar is yet another advancement in smart technology, this wireless and compact MIDI guitar is a portable music device that connects to smartphones and tablets and requires no tuning. 

 

In appearance and function the Jamstik is unlike any other guitar.  The Jamstik is smaller and Bluetooth enabled and it also is compatible with Macs, I-pods, and I-Phones as well as numerous music apps.  The guitar’s fretboard senses and picks up finger placement and is conducive to learning chords and improving one’s guitar skills when used with an app which displays chord position, structure and notes as you practice.  The Jamstik weighs only 1 pound and 9 ounces and is only 16.4 inches long, 1.8 inches thick and 3.5 inches wide.  It also has a battery which is replaceable and lasts eight hours per charge. 

If you want to connect the Jamstik to your I-Phone, the Jamstik Connect app is simple and quick however you don’t need the App in order to play music with the device.  Jamstik can be used with numerous Apps including Logic Pro X, Garage Band, and Pro Tools.    The Jamstik is more or less a midi input device which allows different features and sounds to be produced and if you use professional style options your device is capable of better sound quality.  The Jamstik is quite interesting, on the side of the device are buttons which help in providing lots of different options such as alternate tuning options, capo placements and octaves.  Using the Jamstik App also allows adjustments to be made and the bar located at the base where a bridge normally would be functions as a mute switch and can be easily activated.  If you are trying to learn to play the guitar, the Jamstik is a good tool, the fretboard displays chord names and shapes as it senses where your fingers are which you can watch on your IPad , Mac, or phone screen.   The Jamstik is not a toy however, it has real strings and real frets just like a normal guitar.  Playing the device is not unlike playing an acoustic guitar, you strum and pluck the strings just as you would a regular guitar while the app produces the sound.  Perhaps the only difference is the feel, when you play the Jamstik your fingers do not get vibration feedback as you play the notes.   While this may be different and seem weird if you are used to playing a regular guitar, the device still works perfectly and is the closest thing to the real thing.

Whether or not the Jamstik will be something professional musicians will use in performance and recording remains to be seen, but it is a great practice tool for those who want to learn and fun to play. The fact that this device allows midi devices to be played through the guitar rather than just a keyboard may prove to be facilitative of innovations in sound production and music making.

All in all the jamstik is impressive.  The variety of uses and portability is a convenience while recording artists likely will find the I-phone, Mac and IPad connectivity to be a useful new tool.  Perhaps the coolest thing about the Jamstik is that it is something that novices and professionals both can enjoy and make use of.   When used with the different apps, playing the notes on the Jamstik can produce drum, keyboard and other instruments tracks which provides for hours upon hours of fun and virtually endless possibilities.  Pricewise, the jamstik can be purchased the manufacturer’s website for $299 which is plenty fair given all that the Jamstik is capable of.