JamStik is a battery-powered, guitar-like instrument that can be used as an amateur music tutorial, an iPad entertainment accessory or a professional musician’s songwriting companion.
While the JamStik resembles a 15-inch-long electric guitar, it makes no audible sound. It uses electronic sensors to track the vibration of its strings and the movements of a person’s fingers, then sends those digital signals via Wi-Fi to an iPhone, iPad, Windows PC or Apple Macintosh. The music could sound like a variety of instruments, such as a guitar, a horn section or a piano.
Teaching is embedded in Zivix’s own educational apps that cause an iPhone, iPad or computer screen to display different graphics. Those learning to play the guitar will see an image of the actual positions of their fingers suspended over the strings and frets, along with tips on how to correct any mistakes.
Those wanting to practice will see a screen similar to that of the Xbox 360 game “Guitar Hero,” although JamStik emphasizes playing real notes instead of pushing Guitar Hero’s colored buttons.
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Professional musicians can see the notes and chords they’ve played converted into standard musical notation for guitar, a shortcut in the work of songwriting. $300 at
Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)