5 Best Digital Guitars On The Market In 2020

Best Digital Guitar Reviews

When some manufacturers picked up on digital tech for the electric guitar, they left a lot wanting. 

Even though digital guitars have been out for a over decade, they’re still seen as the novelty item that may have some value for one or two songs. 

But, do they offer a legit future that can add value to every song you play? 

Do they have the right number of zeros on the end to attract buyers? 

Let’s check them out and see if they’re any good AS-IS, or if a few more years of updated tech could improve the concept behind digital guitars. 

Snapshot: Top 5 Digital Guitars

  1. Suzuki 49-Key Q-Chord Digital Review
  2. Jammy Guitar ReviewMost Expensive
  3. JamStik 7 Bundle Edition Review
  4. Pocket Digital Guitar Review
  5. Fret Zealot LED Guitar Accessory Review

The Best Digital Guitars

If you’re not familiar with digital guitars, you’d be justified in thinking they’re weird, futuristic, and they look like a kid’s toy.  While a first impression can have some truth to it, there are justifiable benefits to buying one, but price usually isn’t part of it.  Digi guitars are pretty expensive – usually over a few hundred dollars.  This often paves the way for cheaper alternatives that may help to digitize your playing. 

Right down to it, digital guitars are made to play synthesizer sounds.  You should be able to achieve the same sound from each string or you can manipulate them to play different sounds.  How is this possible?  Each string has its own MIDI channel that allows you to digitize the output.  What’s a MIDI?  It’s hardware or software that acts as a Musical Instrument Digital Interface.  It generates and transmits this data to a MIDI-compatible device such as a synthesizer or sound module and is then amplified through a speaker. 

Every digital guitar is different.  You might have real steel strings that provide some familiarity, or it may have fake fret buttons that light up and show you where your fingers are meant to be.  Regardless of all the digital features, they share a common flaw – they don’t feel or sound like a traditional electric guitar.  While they may have the look, they’re designed to be different.  This may be the reason you keep them at an arm’s length, or it may be why you should try something new. 

To get a fair idea of what’s out there, here’s the lineup! 

1. Suzuki 49-Key Q-Chord Digital Review

Suzuki, 49-Key Digital Sound Guitar (QC1)
154 Reviews
Suzuki, 49-Key Digital Sound Guitar (QC1)
  • Range: 4 octaves
  • General MIDI voices: 109. Power Output 7 Watts, 5 Inches Oval Speaker and Bass Ports
  • Chord: 36 soft-touch buttons, 84 chord combinations (major, minor, 7th)

If you’re new to guitars and you want to speed up the learning process, the Q-Chord may be for you.  It may be strange to look at, but the sound is magical. 

Body & Design

As you can tell, it’s no where near what a traditional guitar looks like.  It lacks a headstock, but you can make out a neck, and the body is somewhat round with a strum plate and speaker with bass ports.  The Q-Chord is also compatible as a MIDI controller for use with other MIDI-compatible instruments. 

You can wear this digi guitar with a strap for easy playing while standing, but all the accessories such as a strap, gigbag, and songcard cartridges are purchased separately.  However, a rigid, plastic, form-case does come with the Q-Chord. 

Electronics & Hardware

For starters, it has several control buttons with 100 MIDI voices, chord combos at the touch of a button, and a built-in Melody keyboard.  There is a songcard port that allows you to insert cartridges with preloaded songs and the LCD screen shows what number song is playing.  You have rhythm controls, headphone and line out stereo jacks, and even an electric whammy bar. 

Sound

With 100 MIDI voices, 10 digital rhythm sounds, and effects buttons that controls vibrato, fills, reverb, and more, the sound options are plenty.  It doesn’t really sound like a guitar as it sounds like a synthesizer even when “strumming” on the strum plate.  There is even a pad that goes over the buttons on the neck that produces keyboard sounds when played.

Spec Summary

  • Design:  Non-traditional
  • Smart Features: MIDI control
  • Strings: No
  • Batteries: 8x C
  • App/s Included: No

Multiple sound options.  100 MIDI voices.  Good beginner instrument. 

Final Thoughts on the Suzuki 49-Key Q-Chord Digital

This is a great tool for a true beginner.  While the on-board music genres are limited, you can experiment with songcards for modern and contemporary beats.  It may take a while to learn how to unlock all the sound options on the Q-Chord, but they’re ready to be tapped. 

2. Jammy Guitar Review

JAMMY G (Jammy Guitar) App-Enabled Digital MIDI Guitar & Controller, Modular Portable Foldable...
  • PLAY ANY INSTRUMENT LIKE YOU PLAY GUITAR — Jammy G (previously known as Jammy Guitar) works as a MIDI controller, plugging into your PC via USB-C or hooking up to your phone in a matter of seconds....
  • PORTABILITY — At only 17" when disassembled and 27" when assembled, this super-portable MIDI guitar doesn't take up much space in your home studio and easily fits into your backpack. It features a...
  • PLUG AND PLAY — Always tuned and ready to play, Jammy G has an onboard sound of acoustic, electric, and classical guitar, which allows you to immediately try out your ideas without the need to...

The Jammy guitar has long been known for its detachable parts that makes it a compact and extremely portable instrument, but today, it’s the digital tech we’re highlighting. 

Body & Design

As you can guess by the odd shape of this guitar, it’s a fold-down or what we call a modular system.  You can detach the 17” neck from the frame and then split the neck in two for the most compact fit into any backpack or airline carry on bag.  It’s rather easy to assemble as pieces snap back on together. 

It obviously lacks a headstock which is a common feature for travel guitars.  The entire body is made of plastic, so it may creak and crackle if you get overexcited with it. 

Electronics & Hardware

While the body sports somewhat of a familiar design of a traditional electric, it does have real steel strings that may be the bonus point of this digi guitar.  Along the fretboard, there are 15 frets with inlays and the back panel of the neck comes up so you can adjust string tension.  What is the silver, big button where the bridge would be?  It’s a Master Volume knob. 

There is an on-board sound generator paired with both ¼” and 1/8” jacks for amp and headphone connections so you can get playing right away.  You can also connect this guitar via USB connection or Bluetooth to most software apps and use the Audio Recording feature to play back your tunes so that you can get an insight on your own style and improve where necessary. 

Sound

The specialized design of this guitar ensures that it will never go out of tune, and of course, you can really change up the sound with the MIDI system.  As far as tracking goes, the sensor tech does a better job than most other digi guitars out there.  While you can try your hand at mute palming, hammer-ons, slides, and more, you might find the sensor tech struggles to keep up.  The good news is, you might find yourself becoming a master at playing clean. 

To tweak sound, the guitar comes with the Jammy Digital Guitar App that includes key guides, backing tracks, metronome, pedal effects, and more.  Since it’s a digital guitar, expect digitized sound. 

Spec Summary

  • Design: Traditional-ish
  • Smart Features: Bluetooth, MIDI control
  • Strings: Yes
  • Batteries: 1x 440mAh lithium
  • App/s Included: Jammy Digital Guitar App, compatible with any notation software

Excellent MIDI control.  Decent tracking.  Snap apart build.

Final Thoughts on the Jammy Guitar

The Jammy is lightweight, compact, and it has the right kind of idea behind the whole digitized guitar concept.  The tracking tech isn’t nonpareil, but it may be the best of what its competitors are offering.  However, the MIDI implementation may be the greatest feature the Jammy has going for it. 

There’s quite a bit of explore, and with firmware updates, it might just be the digitized addition to your collection that you’re looking for.  What about the high price tag?  The Jammy is likely the best digital guitar in its price range even though it’s nowhere near perfect, so only you can determine if it’s worth it. 

3. Jamstik 7 Bundle Edition Review

Jamstik 7 Bundle Edition
171 Reviews
Jamstik 7 Bundle Edition
  • Now replaced by new Jamstik 7GT - Bundled with Interactive Teaching Apps for Learning Guitar
  • FretTouch Finger Sensing Technology & Infrasense Optical Pickups provide real-time feedback so you can see your fingers on the screen of your device
  • Entry-level MIDI Controller for Introduction to Music Production & Composition

The Jamstik 7 Bundle Edition is the best bang for your buck kinda deal.  It comes with a guitar strap, carry case, extension piece, picks, and batteries.  For the price, it may be worth it to try it out. 

Body & Design

The Jamstik 7 is an extremely compact and lightweight guitar.  Not only is it a MIDI controller, it’s also touted as a travel guitar obviously due to its size.  With only 7 frets, those with more experience may miss the higher frets, but with access to software, you’ll be able to replicate the higher keys without issue. 

The included extension piece gives it a bit of support while holding it in your lap, and it provides somewhat of a familiar feel to that of a guitar body.  But, you may want to take it easy with attaching and detaching it from the body as it’s made of plastic and would likely break if you’re too vigorous with it. 

Electronics & Hardware

The Jamstik has real strings that should please guitarists looking for a semblance of real guitar features.  Built-in sensors can detect where your fingers are on the fretboard before you even press down.  It’ll be displayed on the screen of your connected device.  You can use this feature to learn how to pick, fingerpick, and strum correct chords. 

The Jamstik 7 is wireless, Bluetooth compatible, and comes with the Jamstik App with iOS systems.  It takes 2x AA batteries and that will last about 4-8 hours depending on usage. 

Sound

As a MIDI controller, you can duplicate the sounds of any instrument you’d like to experiment with.  You should know that this guitar doesn’t produce any “sound” of its own.  You must connect it to a device and use it through MIDI-compatible software to play, record, and learn. 

However, there has been some mention of poor latency.  This is the time it takes for all the software to produce sound after you’ve actually produced vibrations from the strings via plucking, strumming, etc.  This doesn’t seem to be the trend for all, but it’s something to be aware of and to test out immediately. 

Spec Summary

  • Design: Non-traditional
  • Smart Features: Bluetooth
  • Strings: Yes
  • Batteries: 2x AA
  • App/s Included: JamStik App

Travel size.  Wireless.  Digitized MIDI control. 

Final Thoughts on the JamStik 7 Bundle Edition

The JamStik 7 has some great capabilities behind its design but look for latency updates (maybe due to software) to ensure it functions optimally.  As travel guitar, a smartphone or tablet would be the best device to pair with the guitar while you’re on the road or in the skies. 

While it may not have the capability to pull off specialized playing techniques, it’s a great beginner and learning tool for those who need to get as much practice and recording whenever and wherever they can get it. 

4. Pocket Digital Guitar Review

Travel Guitar,Mini 6 Fret with Rotatable Chords Screen Display Exerciser Pocket Digital Guitar Chord...
22 Reviews
Travel Guitar,Mini 6 Fret with Rotatable Chords Screen Display Exerciser Pocket Digital Guitar Chord...
  • PORTABLE POCKET GUITAR -A handy tool for guitar learners who want to practice during trips,you can carry this compact device to keep up your daily practice.For beginners, chord practice and rhythm...
  • GUITAR CHORD TRAINER TOOL - Built with a rotatable screen reserving the most commonly used chords inside can help guitar beginners/students to develop muscle memory for chords and is a perfect tool...
  • PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME - There is a metronome inside the device so players can learn the chords with a customized tempo. Itâ?s a quiet practice tool without guitar playing sound, so you CAN NOT...

It’s a neck-only guitar that can be taken anywhere and everywhere.  As a tool designed for beginners, it comes with a digital headstock display that gets newbies learning chords in no time.  At an extremely low price, it’s a gadget worth keeping while commuting to school, work, or when you’re out on the road. 

Body & Design

This guitar isn’t really a guitar as it’s a practice tool designed with beginner’s in mind.  It’s a 6-fret fingerboard made with a hard, plastic shell (ABS) that slides over the strings to protect the imitation mahogany fingerboard, likely plywood stained to look like mahogany. 

It’s less than 12” long and weighs less than 9 oz – truly compact, portable, and ready to go. 

Electronics & Hardware

The only digital feature on this fingerboard is the Chart Screen Display.  It’s essentially a trainer that displays chords so you know what the name of the chord is and where to place your fingers.  It also has a built-in metronome feature so you can practice to tempo.  The digital display swivels in place ensuring that you can see it while you practice. 

Sound

While it does have real steel strings, don’t expect any real sound from it.  You can’t plug the pocket guitar into an amp or plug in headphones to hear your chords.  In that sense, you won’t ever need to tune the strings, but you can adjust the tension for ultimate playability. 

Spec Summary

  • Design: Non-traditional
  • Smart Features: Digital chord table display
  • Strings: Yes
  • Batteries: 1x 3V
  • App/s Included: None

Finger memorization tool.  Great for beginners.  Great low price. 

Final Thoughts on the Pocket Digital Guitar

One of the most important factors in learning the guitar, other than having fun, is practice.  With a pocket fingerboard, you can practice anytime and anywhere discretely and without the tediousness of cables, chord booklets, and other gear.  For under $50, it’s one of the best practice tools you can buy a beginner. 

5. Fret Zealot LED Guitar Accessory Review

Fret Zealot LED Guitar Learning Accessory - EASIEST and BEST Method to Learn To Play a Guitar for...
129 Reviews
Fret Zealot LED Guitar Learning Accessory - EASIEST and BEST Method to Learn To Play a Guitar for...
  • Easiest method for learning to play guitar at ALL LEVELS.
  • Display Notes, Chords, Songs, Scales, Effects right on the fretboard of YOUR guitar
  • Watch VIDEO LESSONS in the app and have them display live on your guitar

Okay, so it’s not an actual guitar or even a pocket fingerboard.  But, if you already have a beginners electric guitar and you want to speed up the chord learning process, you can digitize your playing without all the expensive gear audio face equipment.  The Fret Zealot may be the learning tool a beginner needs to discover their passion and talent for music. 

Body & Design

This is a fingerboard accessory that has a sticky backside that attaches to the fretboard.  It has LED lights that are designed to light up to show correct finger placement on the fretboard.  Once the 3M tape has been removed behind the LED strips, the cable connected to the strips must be taped down to the back of the neck.  The battery pack is attached and clipped on to the headstock and is then connected to the cable to the LED strips. 

However, the fingerboard accessory is not a one-size-fits-all.  You purchase the right accessory via the scale length of your guitar.  They come in 24.75”, 25.5”, Concert Ukulele scale lengths, and more. 

Electronics & Hardware

The rechargeable battery lasts approximately 12 hours for all the practicing and playing you’ll be doing.  Now, the digital tech partly comes in with the LED lights.  The LEDs can be synced to free companion apps such as Spark, UberChord, and Guitar 3D apps on both iOS and Android systems.  You’ll have access to multiple instructional videos, 10,000 chords, scales, and over 35,000 songs to play.  An AI system patiently teaches you what notes you must play via the lights on the Fret Zealot and will move on to the next one when you’ve played it right. 

Sound

Well, the sound depends on what your guitar sounds like, but since the Fret Zealot helps you learn chords and teaches you how to play specific songs, you’ll sound a lot better with it than without. 

Spec Summary

  • Design: N/A
  • Smart Features: Digital syncing
  • Strings: N/A
  • Batteries: Built-in/rechargeable
  • App/s Included: UberChord, Spark, Guitar 3D

Fantastic concept.  Excellent learning tool.  Direct access to digital software. 

Final Thoughts on the Fret Zealot LED Guitar Accessory

It’s a great tool that gets you connected to software to learn the tricks of the guitar trade quickly and efficiently.  It may be better than a digital guitar since you’re learning to use the electric guitar you already have to its maximum potential.  Now, that’s a way to encourage a passion and talent for music!  It may be pricey for such a small guitar accessory, but considering the prices of guitar lessons, it may prove to be a cheaper investment. 

Is There a Future for Digital Guitars?

Man Playing Jamstick 7 Digital Guitar

As you may have already guessed, there aren’t many digital guitars in the market.  In fact, some have made their way through and most have been pulled from the shelves.  If sensor technology was state-of-the-art to improve latency to pull off more difficult and aggressive playing techniques, we’d see better sales and more digital guitars in the market.  Primarily, buyers want an electric guitar with some digital perks without paying more for separate synthesizer equipment or high-end studio recording gear. 

Is there a future for digital guitars?  I reckon there is.  When more options hit the market, when the tech is improved, and when prices are just right, we’ll let you know.  For now, jam on these options, learn a few new tricks, and take your ax on the road! 

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