If you grew up in the '80s, you grew up in the era of hair bands. And that meant awesome guitar solos. Who can forget Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption"—so good that he turned his back to the crowd to hide his technique. Sadly, guitar solos are no longer the norm. Now kids listen to Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and Lady Gaga. To paraphrase an '80s commercial, "Where's the guitar?" Well, a fun new toy called AirJamz could put some much-needed guitar into your kids' lives, and back into yours as well. It brings air guitar to life.
AirJamz is a Bluetooth guitar pick that plays guitar sounds as you strum in mid-air. It links to an iOS app, (Android soon to come) and the music plays through your iPhone or iPad. If you strum fast, you start a guitar riff. A button in the middle of the pick allows you to cycle through four different guitar sounds. If you're in the title "Rock Star," for example, you have the choice of "Chunk," "Shredder," "Guitar Solo," and "Bottom," a bass guitar. There's a backing track, too, so you have a band behind you. To deploy the backing track, you press a button in the app.
There are 25 titles in the music library, with names like "Metal Mech Mayhem" and "Garden of Grunge." Each title has four different instruments—and not just guitars. In fact, the app includes more than 100 different instruments. For example, under the title, "The Drawing Room," you have option to play air versions of trumpet, flute, strings, and cello. So when grandma comes over, your kids can play something for her, too.
One of the great features of AirJamz is that more than one person can play at a time. In fact, up to four people can play, as long as each has an AirJamz pick. It's a fun way for your kids and yourself to jam together. I played it and got a kick out of it. And it looks like a hit with kids, judging from the video below. By next year, maybe they'll be ready for the Air Guitar World Championships. Ten countries compete. It's a big deal. Better pick up an AirJamz and start practicing now.
If there's one addition I would like to see to the AirJamz, it would be the ability to play entire songs. How amazing it would be to rock out to a solo like "Eruption," or Danzig's "Mother," or anything from guitar god Steve Vai. No doubt it would be a licensing nightmare for Zivix, which makes the AirJamz—but oh, baby, what a blast!
AirJamz runs on a coin cell battery that delivers 12 to 15 hours of playing time. It retails for $50.