Guitar Instruction with the jamstik+ | Lynn Basinger, PhD


by Guest Author May 15, 2015

I’m not a rock musician.  I’m not part of the Gen X or Y or Millennials.  I’m an over 50 music educator, lifelong folk musician/guitar player, and classically trained singer/choral conductor who loves the Jamstik! The Jamstik is the guitar instruction tool I have been dreaming about and searching for.

In many years of trying to include fretted strings like guitar and ukulele in my public school music curriculum, I have found that a majority of students give up before they can attain that first level of proficiency that allows them to truly begin to progress as a player due to problems with issues such as instrument fit, finger strength, and the pain of callous building.

The Jamstik’s compact, portable design is truly “one size fits all.”  The tension and feel of the real guitar strings are perfect for gently building callouses and muscle memory – the transfer to a traditional instrument is seamless and natural.  

The logistics of 30 students with standard guitars in a music classroom can be a nightmare.  Tuning – essential but time consuming.  Space – never enough!  Safety – hitting your head on your neighbor’s headstock hurts!

The Jamstik is the teacher’s aide you dream of that the budget never allows for. Beginning students need immediate feedback in order to focus, progress, and maintain interest.  As the only teacher in the room, I was always frustrated that I couldn’t give every student the individual attention they needed to really begin to succeed.  Too many of my students gave up too soon.  The inclusion of Jamstiks and iPads running Jamtutor will allow all of my students to have instant feedback and free me to act a coach and learning facilitator.

The innovative, interactive technology of the Jamstik and the Jamtutor app allows me to create a practical, affordable guitar lab in my classroom.  Imagine a guitar lab that is as quiet as a traditional keyboard lab.  The digital nature of the Jamstik allows you to control the output and use headphones or amplification as appropriate.

A Jamstik Lab:

Interactive – provides immediate feedback

Engaging – Jamtutor’s exercises and games make practice fun

Portable and storable – Fits on a shelf, in a cabinet or in a backpack

Durable – quality construction

Quiet – because all sound is generated digitally, headphones can keep students focused on their playing and minimize distraction from other players

Multipurpose – as students progress, the midi controller aspects of the Jamstik allow them to expand their studies into composition, live performance, and digitally generated music.

If you teach guitar, you need at least one Jamstik! By displaying Jamtutor on my classroom projection system, I am finally able to show students where to put their fingers in real time. They can see how chord charts relate to actual finger position. Put the Jamstik in the students’ hands and they have a tactile experience to reinforce the visual and aural.  The “ah-ha” moment when a new player discovers the key that unlocks the system that will allow them to really start to learn is priceless.  Jamstik is a gold mine of those moments.




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