Rock out with the jamstik+ smart MIDI guitar [Review]

Rock out with the jamstik+ smart guitar [Review]


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

Best 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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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.

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 Best List reviews.