Jammy G Midi Guitar in use indoorsSource: Jammy Instruments

Best Smart Guitars iMore 2021

Smart guitars are an updated take on the classic instrument, offering many modern conveniences. For beginners, the best smart guitars offer iPhone apps to show you the basics. For the pros, wireless connectivity through Bluetooth enables the ability to import tracks directly into the best music editing apps on the Mac. The Jamstik Guitar Trainer includes all of these features and more complete with real strings. We have gathered all of the best smart guitars to help you choose which is best for your needs.

Best Overall: Jamstik Guitar Trainer

Jamstik Guitar Trainer in use in an outdoor settingSource: Jamstik

The Jamstik Guitar Trainer packs tons of features in a compact design somewhat reminiscent of the traditional guitar. Real strings provide tactile feedback that is crucial for establishing familiarity with the instrument, and visual indicators help to hone skills through the Jamstik Portal app on iOS and the web.

The Jamstik Guitar Trainer is entirely wireless, utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 for smart capabilities, and it runs on four AA batteries for up to 72 hours of continuous play. This smart guitar uses a right-hand layout by default; however, a version for the lefties is available directly from the manufacturer, and it can be used upside down in a pinch.

Pros:

  • Real strings
  • iOS and web apps available
  • Completely wireless
  • Bluetooth and MIDI compatibility

Cons:

  • Non-traditional design
  • Runs on AA batteries
  • Left-hand version only available through Jamstik

Best Overall

Jamstik Guitar Trainer

Jamstik Guitar Trainer

No skills required

Jamstik GT offers something for everyone, regardless of skill level, through training apps and MIDI support for the creators.

Best Design: Jamstik Studio MIDI Guitar

Jamstik Studio Midi Guitar in multiple colors in front of a Christmas treeSource: Jamstik

Despite its traditional looks, the Jamstik Studio MIDI Guitar is a fully-featured smart guitar. Designed to look and feel like a standard electric guitar, this beauty packs in Bluetooth and USB-C, allowing it to work with apps on both mobile devices and computers.

A built-in rechargeable battery provides hours of jamming without the hassle of replacing batteries, making it perfect for travel. The Jamstik Studio also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing you to practice without waking the neighbors.

Pros:

  • Traditional design
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Includes tons of accessories

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavier and larger than others
  • Left-hand version not yet available

Best Design

Jamstik Studio Midi Guitar in black

Jamstik Studio MIDI Guitar

Traditional, yet modern

The Jamstik Studio mimics the look of a traditional electric guitar. A built-in battery, Bluetooth, and more make it truly smart.

Best Versatility: Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1

Artiphon Instrument 1 on a blue table with various itemsSource: Artiphon

Artiphon's INSTRUMENT 1 takes smart guitars to another level thanks to features such as pressure sensitivity and tilt, altering each sound that it produces. These features allow it to act as a guitar and other instruments such as a violin and even drum pads.

While it lacks a wireless connection, the INSTRUMENT 1 connects to mobile devices and computers through a USB or lighting connection for additional functionality and editing. A built-in rechargeable battery powers this versatile device for up to six hours, and it includes both onboard speakers and a headphone jack for live monitoring and playback.

Pros:

  • Pressure and tilt sensitivity
  • Can function as additional instruments
  • Built-in rechargeable battery

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not wireless

Best Versatility

Artiphon Instrument 1 plugged into an iPad

Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1

Highly versatile

The INSTRUMENT 1 is more than just a guitar. This versatile device acts as a guitar, violin, bass, synth, drums, and more.

Best Value: Jamstik 7 GT Guitar Trainer Bundle Edition

Jamstik 7 Gt Guitar Trainer Bundle Edition in use in a vehicleSource: Jamstik

The Jamstik 7 GT Bundle Edition brings most of the features from the base Jamstik and includes tons of additional accessories. In the box are a guitar strap, four picks, batteries, an extension piece, and a carrying case.

The Jamstik 7 GT's compact, and lightweight design, combined with the included carrying case, is perfect for taking your tunes on the road. Compatibility with various Apps through BlueTooth or USB makes it easy to connect to computers or mobile devices in seconds.

Pros:

  • Includes lots of accessories
  • Compact design
  • App compatibility

Cons:

  • Requires 4 AA batteries
  • Short battery life
  • Right hand only accessories

Best Value

Jamstik 7 Gt Guitar Trainer Bundle Edition guitar and bag

Jamstik 7 GT Guitar Trainer Bundle Edition

Ready to rock

This Jamstik bundle includes everything you need to start rocking out. Inside the box are picks, case, strap, and even batteries.

Best Portability: Jammy G MIDI Guitar

Jammy G MIDI Guitar in use outdoorsSource: Jammy Instruments

Jammy's MIDI Guitar offers a unique portable design allowing it to fit into spaces where other instruments won't. A modular system allows the guitar to safely break down into several small sections that can fit into a backpack or bag, making it the ultimate for travel.

The Jammy G works over Bluetooth via an included mobile app, enabling tuning options, and it has several "backing" tracks that you can play over. A USB-C port also allows it to connect to computers allowing it to work with popular software such as Garage Band.

Pros:

  • Built-in tracks
  • Portability
  • Modular design

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Odd design
  • Requires Jammy app for tuning

Best Portability

Jammy G Midi Guitar in black

Jammy G MIDI Guitar

Well traveled

Jammy's modular guitar is perfect for travel as it breaks down into sections, allowing it to fit in small spaces, bags, and more.

Best for Beginners: ammoon 23 Inch Smart Concert Ukulele

Ammoon 23 Smart Concert Ukulele on a stageSource: Amazon

The ammoon Smart Concert Ukulele is the perfect smart solution for children and beginners with Bluetooth app connectivity and a small, lightweight frame. The ukulele sports an internal rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10-hours on a single charge, and when it needs some more juice, you can top it off with a standard micro-USB cable.

Smart app features include standards like how-to videos, games, recording, but the ammoon ukulele takes things to another level with live guidance that lights up LEDs on the fretboard so you can follow along. If all that wasn't enough, this ukulele even comes with a travel bag, picks, and replacement strings right in the box.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons:

  • Long recharge time
  • Four-string Ukulele, not a guitar

Best for Beginners

Ammoon Smart Concert Ukulele and travel bag

ammoon 23 Inch Smart Concert Ukulele

Small but smart

The compact ammoon Concert Ukulele is an excellent choice for children and beginners with its lightweight design and training app.

Rock out

The best smart guitars allow the traditional rock instrument to reach a much wider audience through connections to the computer and mobile apps. Connectivity via Bluetooth and USB enables a wide range of tutorials, games, additional instruments, and utilities to suit both beginners and experts.

If you are in the market for a highly compatible, portable, smart guitar with real strings, then the Jamstik Guitar Trainer is the one for you. This guitar can function as a teaching aide through various apps and can also serve as a way for experts to quickly record and import their creations. Easy to replace AA batteries keeps you jamming for up to 72 hours continuously, and a small, compact design makes it a breeze to carry to your next gig.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Christopher Close spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit for iMore. If you wish to join him on his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.

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