The All-Star Guitar from Ion Audio turns your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch into a guitar. It is designed to work with the All-star Guitar app – and includes 10 free songs, but is also compatible with other apps including Apple’s own Garage band. You can make it sound like an acoustic guitar, electric, or bass. You can strum the strings and LEDs light up on the neck to show you the fingering.
When I first tried out the All Star Guitar I was totally blown away but how good it sounds, the sound quality is amazing. Instead of actual strings the All Star Guitar has virtual strings on the iPad that you can strum or pluck individually plus 14 fret-board buttons (84 buttons total) on the neck.
When the All Star Guitar arrives it is in 3 pieces and requires assembly – but it is very simple, in fact my nine year-old son assembled it without any help. Once it is assembled it is the size of a full sized electric guitar. There is a hinged panel on the back you need to open to insert your iOS device. The iPad compartment is padded and it holds the iPad very securely, also included is a special adapter plate that you can use with an iPhone or iPod Touch. The guitar connects to your iOS device via a 30-pin connector inside the case, and is compatible with iPad 1, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPod touch (4th generation). Once your iOS device is in place you just need to switch on the Guitar (which takes 4 AA batteries), switch on the iPad and open the All Star Guitar app or another compatible app.
When you use it with the All Star Guitar app there are 3 different options: Freestyle, Song Jam and Guitar Basics. The app is a free download and comes fully functional in Freestyle and Guitar basics modes, Song Jam includes Smoke on the Water, plus with the Guitar you get a code you can redeem for a pack of 10 additional songs, other songs are available as In-App Purchase.
In all modes: you can choose from four different guitar styles- Acoustic, Bass, Clean Electric or Dirty Electric. Each one has a different visual as well as a different sound, you can set it to strum or tap (if you can to pluck the cords individually), and in the Electric Guitar modes you can also add distortion if you wish. There are different special effects you can add. In the settings you can change the tuning on the guitar, auto-mute (which mutes unnecessary lower strings in certain chords) and can change the orientation for left-handed players.
Freestyle: In this mode you can just play however you like
Guitar Basics: This teaches you how to play different chords. The fret board buttons on the neck light up to show you where to press. The strings are labeled with the appropriate finger number to remind you which finger should be on which string, and there is a picture of a hand to tell you which finger is 1-4.
Song Jam: This includes Smoke on the Water, plus with the Guitar you get a code you can redeem for a pack of 10 additional songs, other songs are available as In-App Purchase. When playing a song you can set the speed anywhere from 70%-100%, so that you can play it slower when first learning and at full speed once you have mastered it. In this mode the song is played by the original artist (complete with vocals) and you can jam along, the fret buttons light up at the appropriate times to show you the fingering. Even at slow speed Smoke on the Water isn’t suitable for an absolute beginner, but the song packs include a variety of songs including beginner ones.
As well as being compatible with the All Star Guitar app the guitar is also compatible with other apps including Wi Guitar (which teaches you how to play chords and includes 12 different guitars in the full version), and Garage Band.
Overall, this is a really nice iPad/ iPhone/ iPod Touch accessory, its construction is really solid and it feels like a quality, well-made item. The sound is amazing. It isn’t a child’s toy but a full size guitar equivalent – suitable for use by adults and older children – Teens and Tweens (my nine-year-old loves it but his hands are a little on the small side for playing it comfortably.) I would recommend it both to people who can already play the guitar, but want a fun way to play on different guitar styles, (and in a way that’s much kinder on your fingers than traditional guitar strings) and to beginners wanting to learn to play the guitar. Highly recommended!
Available from: Amazon.com. Ion Allstar Fitted iPad Holder with 30-Pin Dock Connector (IGT06), iWorld Australia and many other stores. RRP US$129.99.
The All Star Guitar is featured in our Great Gifts for Dads Christmas Gift guide – check it out for more great gift ideas
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
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