JamStik

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Jam on any Apple device! It’s easy to learn, practice and play guitar on your time, at your pace with the JamStik, a new music gadget unlike anything else on the market. JamStik features real strings, real frets and real picking, plus patented technology that see’s your fingers as you play. Planes, trains and automobiles: JamStik’s lightweight design and portable size allows you to take it virtually anywhere. The JamStik is also a digital controller that wirelessly connects to 100s of MIDI music apps, plus includes bundled educational, creative and interactive TAB apps. If you can dream it, the JamStik can play it, from composing in Garage Band, creating riveting loops in Loopy, to accessing thousands of unique instrument sounds (Synth, Piano, Drums, Keys & every Guitar sound you can imagine). From beginning musicians to skilled performers, the JamStik provides an amazing platform to experience a new connection to music. 

Price: $299.99

URL: JamStik

Judge’s Remarks:

CES’ Last Gadget Standing judges were the first people on the face of the planet (outside of Zivix employees) to lay hands on the the company’s incredibly portable device for perfecting your guitar skills.  What makes Jamstik unique is its tiny form factor and how it integrates with an iPad or MacBook to produce an experience that’s not entirely unlike that of Guitar Hero while taking up significantly less space. Everything you need can fit into a backpack or large purse and you can take your guitar trainer anywhere without having to lug anything else around.  
 
The Jamstik supports MIDI which means that any note you strike on the Jamstik can invoke the appropriate note in whatever instrument you pick on Garageband which in turn opens up an entire world of options for Garageband aficionados and composers. 
 
While the idea sounds amazing in practice, LGS’ intermediate guitar playing judge found some challenges in working with the device.  Sloppier players (like many blues artists) that don’t really arch their fingers on the Jamstik’s fretboard will discover how the Jamstik picks up the wrong notes. The company confirmed the “feature” saying that “The JamStik is a fingertip taskmaster. Since it detects activity pretty ruthlessly the player needs to maintain arched fingers to avoid incidental contacts. We’re playing around with how loose we can dial that calibration before it creates other issues.” 
 
Given some of the challenges, we wonder whether Jamstik owners will end up leaving their Jamstik at home in favor of real guitar, perhaps one of the many travel guitars that are out there (our judge doesn’t go anywhere without his travel guitar). But for studio musicians looking for a handy MIDI “client” to solve a quick composition problem, we could see the Jamstik coming in very handy.

—David Berlind