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 Jamstik story fits nicely into a musical chapter on the history of technology, with hardware and software that makes learning and recording music more accessible to a greater number of people, especially those on tight budgets.
Jamstik is small practice guitar with five frets and strings that never need tuning. It weighs under two pounds and has a patented sensing method to determine finger position on the fretboard. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium battery..
The magnetic pickup on the Jamstik+ greatly reduces the response time to picking customers of the first version experienced.
Users can record and add additional instruments with a host of compatible apps, like Arctic Keys, Sunrizer and Animoog. Zivix’s own jamTutor app gets Jamstik players strumming tunes in no time with lessons, how-to videos and interactive exercises.
Jamstik+ requires iOS 8.12, iPad Mini, iPad 3 or later, iPhone 4S or later, iPod touch fifth generation or later or Mac OSX Yosemite.
The new version will ship by July and is available for preorder at around $300. The original Jamstik can be purchased for about $50 less.