Rock out with the jamstik+ smart guitar [Review]

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jamstik+ MIDI guitar
The jamstik+ makes learning the guitar accessible and fun.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Lust List: jamstik+ MIDI guitar

Already thinking about how to fulfill your 2017 New Year’s resolution of becoming a rock god?

If so, check out the jamstik+. This MIDI guitar, and its associated collection of apps, promises to help anyone who wants to learn to play guitar or improve their existing skills.

See Cult of Mac’s video review below.

jamstik+ shreds Guitar Hero

As a portable guitar controller, the most obvious jamstik+ comparison is Guitar Hero. However, this is a far more serious learning experience than the popular videogame franchise was ever designed to be — and it’s all the better for it.

Like a lot of people, I’ve always liked the idea of playing a musical instrument. The guitar really appeals, but I’ve just never had the patience or the skill necessary to pick it up.

The Jamstik+, though, makes learning the guitar very accessible and fun. A ton of free apps do the trick. They include jamTutor, which can teach you step by step how to play guitar, right from the basics. There’s also a really fun arcade mode within the app that tasks you with playing the right chords at the right time. (It’s very reminiscent of Guitar Hero.)

The guitar-like jamstik+ controller is made from plastic, again just like the Guitar Hero ax. The similarity ends when you get to the real metal strings on the jamstik+. Those strings mean seasoned guitarists can easily pick this up and start strumming away.

The jamstik+ can also be used as a portable solution for recording music while on the move, giving you the ability to connect to apps (like GarageBand) or an iOS device for the ultimate portable setup.

Would I recommend this to a would-be Jimi Hendrix? Well, you’re not going to beat one-on-one lessons using a real guitar, but this is an attractive setup that certainly kept me hooked.

At $300, it’s not exactly cheap. But if you’re willing to set aside the time to use it properly (or are feeling flush enough to buy it for a loved one this Christmas), it absolutely comes with the Cult of Mac stamp of approval.

Price: $299

Buy from: Amazon (new); Cult of Mac Deals (open box)

jamstik provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See Cult of Mac’s reviews policy and check out more stuff we recommend in our Lust List reviews.

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