Zivix, a company dedicated to making interaction with music fun and educational through the use of technology has just announced two new products at NAMM. The new products are the JamStik 7 and JamStik 12. While details have not yet been released, I am expecting both models to work via BLE MIDI on most platforms. I also expect full integration with existing Zivix software, such as JamTutor (A gamified experience that teaches how to play the guitar and how to read tablature at the same time0
The original JamStik was great, and acted as a WiFi station to connect to a device. That original JamStik used infrared sensors on a five fret device to act as a MIDI interface. The second JamStik, the JamStik+, added a pickup for greater sensitivity and connection via BLE MIDI. On both versions, the D-Pad added functionality such as a capo.
”Real” guitarists often complained about the limitation of five frets—but for an educational device, it was perfect. While I haven’t taught a guitar class for a few years, I would have loved to walk around the room with the JamStik, projecting the JamStik Plus App imterface on a screen (showing which strings are pressed and sending audio over room speakers without having to walk around with a full guitar). To be honest, I don’t know why any teacher who teaches guitar in a classroom setting would NOT want to do this! I did run a small class with WiFi JamStiks a few years ago…and it was a successful experience. Remember…this is a device with real strings, so skills transfer to real instruments.
Furthermore, if you are a guitarist who plays no other instrument, I know of no better and more affordable method to interact with MIDI on a device…from notation to DAWs.
These new models address the “limited fret issue” (again, a questionable complaint in the first place), with the seven fret model aimed at beginners and the twelve fret model aimed for professionals.
I’m hoping for a 7 fret ukulele model! 🙂