First off I’d like to apologize to both the readers and manufacture for delays in getting the Jamstick+ review published. I had originally intended for this to go live in December but there were some delays both technical and personal. With that out of the way, this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in regards to Bluetooth accessories. At it’s simplest the Jamstick+ is a MIDI Bluetooth instrument. This is paired with an app to provide both a learning experience and a portable practice instrument.
What is MIDI
Before getting too deep into things I want to take a moment to touch on what MIDI is. MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and was first developed in the early 80’s. Using MIDI gives the Jamstick + the ability to send information to the phone in order to generate sound in a predictable manner. It also allows the Jamstick + to communicate with computers as well as other third party apps. Our testing will will focus on the intended software.
The Jamstick Itself
Taking a look at the device itself it’s quite compact compared to a regular guitar. We have something similar in appearance to various practice guitars I’ve seen. The neck length and fret count have both been reduced for the sake of increased portability. The guitar offers a pin mounted neck strap which seems to be standard and therefore replaceable although the included one is comfortable. Several buttons are on the one side allowing changed to octave and instrument type on the fly. Finally there is a button on the bottom this simulates stopping the strings as one could do while playing a more traditional instrument.
Inside the app you can change almost every aspect of the guitar. From making notes when you press on the frets to a rock style tone shift when the guitar is tilted everything is there. The included free instrument selection is expansive although I wish the install process was quicker. There are a few paid instrument additions although I would rather these been free as well considering the price of the Jamstick.
Learning to play
In addition to the Jamstick+ app itself the manufacturer has developed a pair of jam tutor apps that can guide a user through learning to play. I found these easy to work with and they’re available free of charge giving the instrument a nice value incentive for people learning to play.
Bringing it together
The best way I have to demonstrate this is in the hands of a far more practiced guitarist than myself. He was able to pick up and okay within minutes using this HTC10 running android 6.
Overall the Jamstick+ is everything it promises at first glance and quite a capable midi device. For musicians it offers an interesting proposition of an always in tune practice instrument on the go. Some professionals may find it a worthwhile addition to their collection as well as an input to mixing software on a PC. From the perspective of those learning to play the removal of tuning and portability are excellent additions as well. One of the largest hangups with the Jamstick+ is it’s Software requirement, it needs android 6 or higher. Beyond the software limitation the device is expensive at 297.11 it’s not an impulse purchase.Did it price itself out of the market or am I out of touch with instrument pricing? Did we completely miss something that you’re curious about with the Jamstick? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. And don’t forget that you can support us on Patreon to help us continue to bring you high quality reviews as well as access to. early news and input on reviews to come.
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