Jamstik+ teaches you to rock (while looking like a dork) [Reviews]


Jamstik Bluetooth guitar
The Jamstik looks like a toy, but it could teach you some serious skills.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

As a long-time player of console rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, I’ve had several people’s share of silly, plastic instruments laying around my house. And while they’ve all looked varying levels of authentic, none of them actually taught me anything about how to play the guitar other than the base concepts of “one hand pushes down here while the other one goes up and/or down.”

But the Jamstick+ aims to change that by being an odd-looking, toy-like instrument that actually has lessons (via apps) to show you the basics and help you learn strumming, plucking and finger assignment. It even has real-feeling strings and frets to help you translate your lessons into the real thing.

Other than those individual pieces, however, you might feel ridiculous holding it.

The Cult of Mac gift list, optimized for maximum cool at minimum cost [Deals]


Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

‘Tis the season to freak out over what to get for the tech savvy folks in our lives. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the vast variety of gadgets and gear on offer these days, especially if you’re on a budget, which is why we’ve put together this list of five deals on some of the coolest gifts out there. From USB-powered guitars to VR headsets and upgraded SNES controllers, pick up one or grab the whole list — there’s something here for everyone.

Make your technology a force for musical expression with this digital guitar [Deals]


The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Computers, tablets, even iPhones have grown into powerful tools for music making, but for many who play guitar the bridge from analog instrument to digital devices can be an intimidating one. The Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar is a great way to cross the digital divide, a MIDI controlling guitar with frets and strings that feel familiar to any guitarist’s fingers. It’s also cheaper than most keyboard controllers (and certainly guitars), available right now for just $149.99.

Get your jam on anywhere, anytime with Jamstik+

The newest Jamstik smart guitar has a magnetic pickup and Bluetooth technology.
The newest Jamstik smart guitar has a magnetic pickup and Bluetooth technology.
Photo: Jamstik

So it’s not quite an ax. It’s more of a hatchet.

But you can do some shredding on the diminutive Jamstik. It’s a portable smart guitar that gets beginners playing recognizable chords within a few minutes and helps the inspired musician instantly articulate those notes blooming in his or her brain. Connect it to most Apple devices and learn with the Jamstik tutorial app or record in Garage Band.

The first version was popular, but Minneapolis-based Zivix wanted to make improvements based on customer feedback. The music technology company raised more than $800,000 on a recent Kickstarter campaign to bring Bluetooth technology and a magnetic pickup to the newest generation, Jamstik+.

The Cool-As-Hell JamStik iPad Guitar Controller Is Shredding Up An IndieGoGo Campaign



Without a doubt, the coolest thing we saw at CES 2013 this year was the JamStik, a tiny, ukelele-sized guitar with real strings that connects over WiFi that you can use to record, perform or learn instruments on your iPad.

The only problem was, when we saw it, it was such a new product that it didn’t even have a booth, let alone a distributor. But now it’s finally inching closer to release, spearheaded by a new IndieGoGo campaign that promises to bring the cool-as-hell iPad guitar into your hands and ready to shred by the end of the year.