Jess and her ten-year-old daughter, Rachel, are learning guitar for the first time using the jamstik+ and the jamTutor app series. Stay tuned to our blog to follow along with their learning progress as they travel around the United States with their family of 5 in an Airstream trailer! Check out Part 1 to read about their journey from the beginning!
The best part about homeschooling is choosing which subjects we want to do. We stick with the basics - math, language arts, grammar, spelling, history and reading but beyond that we have freedom to do as we like. We’ve done unit studies on Greek Mythology, Star Constellations, and Chalk Art. The kids have also visited over 100 National Park Units and earned Jr. Ranger Badges.
One subject that is more difficult to cover while traveling in an Airstream is music. Prior to travel, our oldest daughter, Rachel, was learning the piano. She loved it and I loved having music in the house. Unfortunately, a piano doesn’t fit in our 188 sq. feet of space but a jamstik+ does! We wrote a few months ago about our introduction to the jamstik+ and our initial impressions and we have definitely made progress since then!
My favorite part about the jamTutor app is that we can start and stop as needed. I realize that for some that may be de-motivational, but for me it’s a perk. Sometimes life gets crazy busy and there is little time to practice. Not having the guilt of paying for lessons is such a blessing! Granted, it can be hard to get started again, but we’ve found that repeating a few lessons or arcade challenges brings us up to speed very quickly.
I’ve found that Rachel doesn’t need a lot of instruction from me. jamTutor 1 and 2 are pretty self explanatory and she loves to move through the lessons. After completing jamTutor 1 we excitedly moved on to jamTutor 2 and unfortunately hit the pesky F chord in Lesson 2. It totally stalled her progress and there was quite a lot of tears and frustration. There are some arcade challenges with the Cheater F chord which helps, but mostly she works on her proficiency with the other chords. Hopefully we’ll both be able to master this chord with practice!
In a small space, it is also nice to have a guitar with headphones! Rachel can play right next to my husband while he’s working and both are able to accomplish their tasks. Occasionally I’ll have her practice without headphones just so I can hear her progress, but mostly she will have them in.
We also love that jamstik+ is super portable! We were able to take it with us on a family vacation and share the experience with our friends. We’ve also taken it down to the beach for an afternoon just to hang out and have some music (watch out for sand though!).
Overall we are loving the experience of learning to play. I love that the jamTutor apps receive periodic updates with new features, more arcade challenges, and benchmark tests. We are getting excited to put our skills to the test and learn how to play songs on our own!
-Jess Curren, Currently Wandering
To learn more about Jess and her traveling family, check out their family blog, Currently Wandering.
Update: Check out Part 3 of their learning journey to see Rachel's progress after 6-months.
In the latest version of the jamstik+ app (v 1.7.3) we’ve added an Audio FX chain with simple effects and amp models for you to play with your jamstik+. An effects chain can string together guitar-pedal and amp simulations on top of your sound.