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.

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How to record guitar with an iPhone or iPad

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You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
Photo: Lee Peterson/The App Factor
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Amazing guitar and vocal effects boxes will have you sounding like a pro

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Play Acoustic has all you need to sound like a pro. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
TC-Helicon's Play series has all you need to sound like a pro. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

It’s hard enough to sing and play guitar at the same time, let alone manage a floor full of guitar effects pedals. Add to that trying to create vocal effects like most listeners expect and you’ve got a solo musician’s worst nightmare.

The folks at TC-Helicon have come up with a couple of pretty nifty floor-style pedal boxes that have you covered though: You can dial in a fantastic guitar sound for either acoustic or electric guitar, fill a room with amazing vocal effects and backing harmonies, and even loop musical phrases to create a song with multiple parts on the fly. Dubbed Play Acoustic and Play Electric, these simple stomp boxes contain some serious technology in an easy-to-use platform.

Here’s how it plays out.

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This miniscule guitar is actually playable and uses the iPhone as an amp and speaker

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fretpen-1

Next time some jerk mimes playing the world’s smallest violin at something you said, just whip out the miniscule Fretpen guitar, bellow something defiantly rock-themed at them, and relish in their stunned silence as you headbang triumphantly while shredding your way through Van Halen’s Eruption!

Yes, I see how it may seem as if I’ve let my rock fantasy get a little out of hand. But I strenuously maintain it’s completely appropriate when introduced to the FretPen, a tiny-yet-playable guitar that connects to an accompanying app on the iPhone via low-energy Bluetooth, then rocks out with customizable effects.

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Learn To Play Like A Pro With GarageBand For Mac [OS X Tips]

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music lessons garageband

While the latest version of Apple’s fantastic (and free!) music production suite, GarageBand, has lost some functionality like podcasting and Magic GarageBand, it still has plenty to recommend it for those new to music or old vets alike.

One of these cool features is the Learn to Play function, which has some pretty good basic music tutorials baked right in, along with the capability to purchase videos from hit artists like Sting and Norah Jones, who teach you how to play some of their famous songs.

It’s a pretty heady set of music learning; here’s how to access it. Getting really good at your instrument will take more than watching a video or three, but this is a great start if you want to try your hand at the guitar or piano.

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Learn To Play At Your Own Speed With The Complete Guitar Lessons Course [Deals]

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CoM-guitar

I spend a ton of time at the computer keyboard, typing consistently as I write post after post. But there are times when I like to get hands-on with another activity that I enjoy: playing guitar.

Now I’m not that great of a guitarist (I can handle myself sitting around a campfire and have learned to play quite a few tunes), so taking some instructional classes wouldn’t be all that bad of an idea. And doing so from the comfort of my home would be an even better idea. It’d be even better if I could take them whenever I wanted.

This offer from Cult of Mac Deals makes all of that possible. With The Complete Guitar Lessons Course you can learn how to play the guitar at your own speed for only $59 – a savings of 70%!

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Forget Huge Combo Amps, Vox’s New amPhone Headhphones Are The Lightweight Alternative [Review]

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amPhone by VOX
Category: Headphones
Works With: Anything with a jack hole.
Price: $99

As one who aims to have a daily shred session, I have a love-hate relationship with guitar amps. I love the way they look and sound, especially the vintage ones, but they’re so big and unruly, I often find I’d rather practice without one than head to the lonely room in my house where they reside.

Vox’s amPhones ($99) aim to give you the best of both worlds; the portable headphones plug right into any guitar, amplifying its sound, and include effects like reverb, chorus, and delay. And though they’re built to emulate the sounds of some of Vox’s most popular boxes, they can also be used as regular headphones.

Sounds likes a winning combo, right? I plugged a pair into my best electric guitar to find out.

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Jammit, Line 6 Team Up for Better Guitar Tone [NAMM 2013]

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jammit

By Andy Patrizio

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jammit has been here at the NAMM show before, showing off its educational app to teach people how to play the guitar, bass, drum and vocal tracks of popular songs.

What’s new this year is the company has teamed with Line 6, makers of effect-laden amplifiers, to give iOS devices a genuine guitar sound. So if you are playing along to Nirvana or Sublime or Rush, the Line 6 connector will make you sound like those songs, and you don’t have to worry about fiddling with your guitar to get Kurt Cobain or Alex Lifeson’s unique tone.

Jammit lets you play along to your favorite songs, removing the instrument you are playing so you don’t have to play over it. You can isolate the parts, loop them to learn them, and even record yourself playing with the band. The app is free on the App Store, but songs, licensed from the artists, cost $2.99 and up. The Jammit song store has more than 1,200 titles.

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