Cool Tool Alert: Jamstik

Jamstik can turn your iPad or iPhone into a tactile musical tool that goes wherever you go

A Minneapolis-based company is giving a new meaning to the term “traveling musician,” creating the only mobile-friendly guitar that allows you to turn your Apple product into a real musical instrument – anytime, anywhere.

Named one of Popular Science’s top inventions of 2013, the JamStik, made by Zivix, creates a whole new musical experience by connecting wirelessly to Apple devices, bringing musical accessibility to anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Mac.


Funded by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the JamStik uses an infrared, light-sensing fretboard that “sees” finger placement and provides real-time feedback, and its portable design with real strings and frets maintains the feel of a traditional guitar without the hassle of tuning.

The device works not by producing its own notes, but by sending codes of the musical notes you are “playing” to the receiving device, which in turn changes them into sounds.

The 15-inch-long device equipped with a rechargeable lithium battery features an assignable “D-Pad” that provides real-time performance controls, enhanced Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) functions and more, and it’s compatible with Apple’s Garageband and hundreds of other apps.

If the JamStik is your first attempt at learning to play the guitar, the bundled JamTutor teaching system shows on-screen finger positions, how-to videos, lessons, challenges and practice activities.

According to the product’s Indiegogo campaign, JamStiks are scheduled to enter mass production in early June, and deliveries can be expected in the weeks that follow.

To keep updated on the progress of the JamStik, bookmark the campaign at

To learn more, or to pre-order your own JamStik for $299.99, visit

Nicolette Martin