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FAQ

General

What is the jamstik?

A portable, digital guitar controller built to the specs of a real guitar. It's an app-enhanced product that uses special technology to sense finger placement and teach you right from wrong, instantly.

I've never played guitar, how exactly will it teach me?

The jamstik+ comes with apps that will teach you how to play. Even if you've never played before, you can get started with the jamstik+. It's just a matter of matching in-app cues and following along with the interactive lessons.

I'm already a guitar player, what's in it for me?

The jamstik+ makes it easy to record or play guitar with any sound right into your favorite music apps or DAWs on iPad, iPhone, and Mac. The portable size means you can take it anywhere. We have plenty of customers that travel with it, use it to record songs, and even some that play it on stage. Learn more about how the jamstik is used for advanced players here.

Why does the jamstik+ only have 5 frets?

We made the jamstik+ 5 frets for portability, and so it could easily fit in a backpack for playing on-the-go. When learning guitar for the first time, it is important to get to know the chords that can be made in the first five frets. Within the first five frets, you can also learn movable “barre chords” that can be applied to the entire guitar neck.

Is the jamstik+ limited to a 5 fret range?

Nope, the jamstik+ can remap its five fret range, so the entire MIDI note spectrum is available. You can either change the tuning settings via our official jamstik+ app, or using the jamstik's four directional D-Pad that serves as an electronic "capo" that can shift the note range up and down the guitar neck and into other octaves.

Can it work like a bass guitar or ukulele?

Since the jamstik+ is completely digital, you can make it sound like any instrument you want! The official jamstik+ app has several bass and ukulele tuning settings, but you can also use the hundreds of sounds available in compatible apps, like GarageBand, SampeTank, Logic Pro, etc.

Still wish there was a specific version for bass or ukulele? Email us at info@zivix.net!

How does the cost of a jamstik compare to buying a traditional guitar and taking lessons?

Guitar instructors and classes vary, but you can expect an average guitar lesson to cost between $25-$45 per class. Between our jamTutor 1 and 2 apps, we cover what could be considered your first 10 guitar lessons. (Not to mention, the hours of self-directed practice within the jamstik+ chord library and FourChords Guitar Karaoke app).

When you purchase the jamstik+, you're investing in a complete, interactive guitar learning system. We definitely appreciate real guitars, and we encourage our first-time learners to progress to a full-sized guitar eventually. However, the jamstik+ has some unique advantages over traditional lessons. It's a great tool for practicing privately with headphones on your own schedule, it's portable enough to bring around in a backpack, and because the jamstik is a full digital MIDI controller, it's also a fun way to experiment playing different sounds and recording music with compatible apps like GarageBand. 

How is the jamstik different from other guitars and MIDI controllers?

The technology inside the jamstik makes the device 100% digital, it does not need tuning, it has very low latency and it’s form factor allows the jamstik to go anywhere. The jamstik does not make any sounds on its own, but rather utilizes the unlimited potential of your device and the app you are running. It sends out digital codes that tell another device, such as an iPad, what notes to play. This code follows the MIDI standard.

Where can I purchase a jamstik+?

The jamstik is currently available here on jamstik.com, amazon.com, bestbuy.com, brookstone.com, target.com, reverb.com, and select retail stores. See our resellers page for additional distributors.

You can also typically find refurbished units available in our official eBay store. We currently ship worldwide, but if you do not see your country listed, please email support@zivix.net!

Troubleshoot

How do I connect the jamstik?

The jamstik+ connects via Bluetooth MIDI (wireless for 8+ hours) or USB cable. The first gen jamstik connects via Wi-Fi. Simply power on your jamstik+ and the device you'd like to pair it with, open up the official jamstik+ app, and press connect. You will be paired wirelessly over Bluetooth SMART in moments. The original jamstik uses WiFi to pair. Please check out our support help center for additional resources on getting connected.

Does the jamstik+ support Android?

Android: The release of Android M (Marshmallow) opens up new possibilities for BLE support which were not previously available.

Zivix launched jamstik+ and jamTutor 1 for Android on the Google Play Store and announced support for select devices. To check if your device is compatible, please visit this page

As a MIDI device, jamstik will drive anything on Android as-is, connect it and go. The same goes for MIDI control in Windows with the USB cable. The jamstik+ is agnostic in regards to platform on its output. 

General System Requirements: If your device is compliant with the following requirements, technically the jamstik+ should work with your device, however we would advise waiting for us to officially announce support.  

Android Version 6.0/6.0.1 MarshmallowBluetooth Low Energy 4.0 Spec

Does the jamstik+ support Windows / PC?

Windows/PC: We do NOT currently offer our Zivix jamstik+ & jamTutor Series apps for windows, but many DAWs can be used via Plug-N-Play over USB with a growing number of programs beginning to implement BLE MIDI support.

Read more about compatible DAW programs like SONAR

General System Requirements: If your device is compliant with the following requirements, technically the jamstik+ should work with your device.  

Windows 10 & Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0

What happens if a string breaks?

The strings do not need to be tuned and are just put under a realistic tension to simulate a guitar feel. The mechanical design is very durable and the strings do not flex as much as a normal guitar, so a string should not break under normal conditions. If one does break, it can be easily replaced by ordering a replacement set.

What is firmware? How do I update the firmware?

What is Firmware?

The basic definition of Firmware is the programming inside the main chip that makes the jamstik run. Firmware updates can be used to add functionality, fix bugs, and add fine-tune the performance of the device. You've probably updated your iPhone or iPad before, from version 7 to 8, or 8 to 9. It's the same idea with the jamstik+, it's always getting better!

You ONLY need to update your firmware when you see a yellow button with "Important Firmware Update Available"

How do I update the firmware?

1. Select the "Important firmware update" button
2. Firmware update will proceed
3. Once completed your jamstik+ will power off
4. Power on your jamstik+ 
5. Reconnect & enjoy your new Firmware!

Still Need Help?

For detailed support, please visit the jamstik Help Center

Product

How big is the jamstik+?

The jamstik+ is just over 16 inches long and weighs just under 2 pounds. Small enough to fit in your carry-on or backpack, but solidly built. Check out the full specs here.

What kind of battery does the jamstik+ use?

The jamstik+ uses a standard rechargeable Lithium ion Battery. See full specs here.

There are sensors in the fretboard? How do they work?

The jamstik uses analog sensors. This means that instead of being on and off, the jamstik can detect precise finger movement and detailed expression such as string bending and vibrato.

We have multiple patents on a method to precisely detect the position of a fingertip. It uses a small amount of infrared light that makes a fingertip glow, and receptors can then read where the fingertip is, tracking its movements.

Is there a lefty version of the jamstik for left-handed players?

The new jamstik+ is available for lefty players here. The lefty version is functional with the jamstik+ and jamTutor apps, as well as GarageBand, Logic Pro X, and other MIDI apps as you would expect.

It's important to us that your experience is what you expect, so before purchasing a lefty model, please consider the following points:

1. Because we use the same mold for left & right handed models, the d-pad will be situated on the underside of the jamstik+. It is a bit less accessible but is still useful once the positions are learned. 

2. While we do support lefty in our jamTutor and jamstik+ apps, please understand that only the jamstik+ app provides a fretboard flipping solution. The fretboard display will appear reversed in jamTutor. 

3. We have 3D printed additional strap buttons that will be included in all lefty units to allow for a more comfortable playing experience. These can fit into any screw hole on the jamstik+.

Unfortunately, the original WiFi model does not support left-handed play. 

Do I need a device, or does the jamstik+ come with built-in sounds?

The jamstik+ is a digital guitar that is meant to be paired with a device, so it does not come with built-in sounds. Check out the compatibility page for a list of approved devices.

Where can I download the jamstik+ Quick Start Guide?

Jamstik+ Quick Start Guide - PDF Download - English

FR Guide de démarrage rapide
IT Guida di avvio rapid
ES Guía de inicio rápido
DE Kurzanleitung
PT Guia de Início Rápidot

Jamstik+ Quick Start Guide - FR, IT, ES, DE, PT - PDF Download

Jamstik+ International Battery Notification - PDF Download