jamstik+ Review: A Different Kind Of Axe

Hardware Reviews / Reviews
jamstik

I started playing drums when I was seven years old. I migrated to guitar around the age of 12 and never looked back. I mean being the drummer is great but everyone wanted to be the guitar player, let’s not even talk about bass players (poor guys get no limelight love). So fast forward thirty years later and I don’t play guitar nearly as much as I used to. Having a large family now means pulling out all my gear to crank out a few tunes is more of a chore than anything so I rarely do it. So the jamstik+ is a great small tool to break out when I want to quick jam and not pull out all my gear.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • MIDI Control device
  • iOS/OS X only – see if you’re compatible
  • Android is being worked on

Design

The jamstik+ is an interesting little device, like a cross between a real guitar and the Rock Band guitar, though smaller in both cases. It’s made of some solid plastics and certainly feels premium, there’s nothing here that feels like you’ve been had and it will fall apart in days. No, build wise and materials wise the jamstik+ has been cared for in the build quality department. The device is very small so don’t expect the feel and balance of a real guitar because, well, it’s not. One of the nicer touches of the design is the use of real strings. Seasoned guitarists will appreciate the familiar feeling and you don’t have to tune them.

Software/Ecosystem

Currently the jamstik+ is iOS and OS X compatible only but you should check the website to make sure you have the correct versions of both to run the software. The company is working hard on making the jamstik compatible with Android and they hope to have that all hashed out sooner than later. The software is fairly easy to use and the software offers something for both newbies and seasoned guitar players.

jamstik

At its simplest level the jamstik+ and its software offers newbies the chance to learn how to play the guitar with chord lessons, scales, and quick easy to read finger positioning. You can easily get up and playing a tune or two in no time and it’s really a great way to learn how music works and how guitars are played.

At its more complex level the jamstik+ and its software offers seasoned players a MIDI device that can be used with other software like Garageband to play several instruments and create full on music tracks.

The software could probably use a bit of UI polish aesthetically but it’s simple to use, especially for beginners. Seasoned players who have experience using Garageband and other layering software shouldn’t have any problem using the software but those players who maybe haven’t recorded with such software might have a small learning curve to overcome.

Ease Of Use

Simple to use, especially for beginners and nearly a perfect tool for those who are seeking to learn how to play guitar or who are curious about guitar.

Performance

The jamstik+ and software performed flawlessly every time I used it. I used the OS X version as I do not have an iPad and I felt the iPhone screen was too small for my taste.

jamstik

Battery Life

I was able to get around 7.5 hours of playtime with the jamstik+ which is just under their 8 hour claim but battery life will depend heavily on use.

Price/Value

Priced at $299 I think there’s great value here, especially if you already own a device that is compatible. You could go out and get a cheap guitar and cheap amp for around the same price or even less but with instruments you get what you pay for. The $299 price tag is worth it.

Wrap Up

Great learning tool for newbie guitar players and nice MIDI device for seasoned vets who want some extra tools in their box.

jamstik+
4.3 Out of 5
Nailed it
Great for newbies. Great as a MIDI recording device for vets. Priced fairly.
Needs Work
Software UI could use some polish.
Bottom Line
Priced at $299 I think there's great value here, especially if you already own a device that is compatible. You could go out and get a cheap guitar and cheap amp for around the same price or even less but with instruments you get what you pay for. The $299 price tag is worth it.
Design4.50
Software/Ecosystem4.25
Ease of Use4.25
Performance4.25
Battery Life4.25
Price/Value4.25
*We were sent a review unit of the jamstik+ for the purposes of this review.
Comments
To Top