Digital, MIDI, and synth guitars have been around for decades. One newer entry in the field is the Jammy G, a digital guitar connected to an app that accesses its sounds and the ability to control MIDI instruments. It’s also highly portable for strumming on the go.
Part of that portability is due to the neck and body easily separating via a latch in the back. To get going, assemble the body and neck, charge the internal battery, and download the app, which connects to the instrument via Bluetooth. This phone/tablet app is the heart of the experience, as it calibrates the strings, provides effects, and guides how the Jammy will react to your playing.
There are two ways to play the Jammy – using the onboard sounds when connected directly to an amp or headphones, or as a MIDI controller, using it to drive hardware synthesizers or soft synths.
What makes the Jammy different from most digital guitar approaches is that it separates the picking function from the fretting function, with two completely different string banks. Once set up, the guitar works reasonably well for strumming. Single-note lead work requires some tweaking of string sensitivity, but like every guitar-synth device ever, the player must adjust their playing to the device’s idiosyncrasies. Also, the picking set of strings doesn’t ring out like a traditional guitar (these “strings” are actually sensors gathering data and not meant to be a real guitar).
The Jammy G has clear strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, its firmware receives regular updates, unlike the closed design of guitar synthesizers and pedals. Whatever it lacks now, you can bet its designers are busily working on updates, so keep an eye on this axe.
This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.