Best Guitar MIDI Controller For Beginners in 2020

We’ve all heard of midi keyboard controllers but now, they also have midi guitar controllers.

The idea is exactly the same . . .

Like an average midi keyboard controller, a guitar midi controller mimics your average electric or acoustic guitar. Don’tworry, you don’t need an additional compressor pedal or something.

As far as size goes, it’s pretty similar to a travel guitar, maybe even smaller.

It’s actually a pretty neat concept considering the quality of guitar samples thanks to sites like Splice have increased dramatically, you can simply get one these guitar midi controllers and create a proper tune.

All you need to do is connect it to your DAW and that’s it. Hopefully, you’ll have a chair to sit on while you play with it or even a drum throne, in this case, could work.

Quick Picks

Here are 3 models we pick out from the options that you can compare based on the features, budget and performance.

BEST PICK
Jamstik 7 Smart Guitar
MIDDLE PICK
Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 Black | Adaptive Multi-Instrument MIDI Controller Plug n' Play USB Lightning iOS iPhone iPad Mac PC
BEST VALUE
Casio Dg-20 Guitar Synth Midi Controller Dg20
Jamstik
Artiphon
CasioCasio Dg-20

Top 5 Guitar MIDI Controllers Reviews

When it comes to the best guitar MIDI controller for beginners, we make researches on the widely ranged options on the market. Based on individual features and personal budget, here we list the top 5 guitar MIDI controller for reviews.

#1 – Jamstik 7 Smart Guitar – The Best Formatted MIDI Controller

Jamstik 7 is a type of wireless MIDI guitar controllers equipped with interactive instruction programs for studying guitars. With pretty light weight and compact size, it enhances go-anywhere performance as long as 72 hours.

The strings it comes with are actual steel strings that give you the look and feel of a real guitar. Plus once you hold it, it actually feels like something solid due to the weight. It doesn’t feel like some ‘toyish’ version of a guitar. The Jamstik is the best for simulating guitar strings using a MIDI format.

The Jamstik is compatible with pretty much everything (Mac, PC, Android, etc.) including Bluetooth capabilities. It comes with a nice little strap too so you can hold it against your chest and strum away.

So this is a great product for beginner guitar enthusiasts and producers alike. Just connect it to your favorite DAW (Logic, Ableton, FL Studio, etc.) and start creating your own beats. A lot of producers who don’t like playing chords on a digital piano or synthesizer can use this to play and record chords as well.

Bonus part, you can connect this to your video game console and start shredding on Guitar Hero as well. How cool is that?

#2 – Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 – Adaptive Multi-Instrument MIDI Controller

This little MIDI guitar controller became one of the most popular musical instruments on Kickstarter. Same idea as the Jamstik but you can turn it sideways and use this as a keyboard as well.

Again, it’s aimed for beginners and professionals alike. Unlike the Jamstik though, this one doesn’t have that professional guitar feel to it.

That said, the Artiphone Instrument 1 is in a class of its own. Once you start strumming on it, you get used to it pretty fast.

The only downside is it’s not so compatible with PCs but perfect with mac, iPads, etc. Also just like the Jamstik, this isn’t a toy either. In fact, playability wise (Especially as a guitar), this might grow on to you faster than a Jamstik.

Unlike the Jamstik though, the Artiphon comes in two colors. You can have black or white.

#3 – Casio Dg-20 Guitar Synth MIDI Controller

Casio tried to dabble into the MIDI controller market few years back and this is what they came with.

This Casio MIDI guitar is actually a great product but back then, the market wasn’t big or knowledgeable enough about music production.

Today it’s exploding and I hope that Casio brings this MIDI guitar controller back.

Although the Casio DG-20 MIDI guitar is considered a classic today, do not be fooled for one second. This is one of the best guitar MIDI controllers around. Even to this day.

#4 – Jammy Guitar – Digital Sound Guitar– MIDI Controller

Jami is the portable MIDI guitar that looks incredible (Especially with its nice glossy finish). It comes in five pieces that you need to set up and then off you go.

5 pieces sound like a lot but once you get it, it becomes second nature. Why the five pieces? Well, it’s got the neck which is two pieces. So the neck and the part you strum with (Playing the guitar) have to be linked together.

The remaining three basically make up the body.

Doesn’t it sound that complicated now, does it?

Jami can work as a stand-alone guitar that you can plug into an amp with a quarter-inch cable, or you can plug it in into a computer and start using your favorite DAW.

The responsiveness of this guitar is probably one of the best. No wonder a lot of artists are not gravitating towards it.

It comes with some really cool tutorials and is a simple plug and play device. Included are other things as well like USB cable, a guitar pick and whatever you need to get this thing going. There is a learning curve to it but to be honest, that just depends on how fast you start getting along with this MIDI guitar.

Good job by Jami. Although new to the MIDI guitar market, this one seems to be a winner for sure.

#5 – Yamaha EZ EG – Easy Learning MIDI Guitar

Although originally marketed as a tool to learn guitar (It does a great job at that by the way), many home producers have plugged it into their music software (DAW) and unofficially started using it as a ‘MIDI guitar controller’. This is particularly the case for users of Cubase.

The guitar covers a great complex of six strings and twenty-five sounds. It feels like like folk guitar, classic guitar, 12 string guitar, finger bass and more.

They all enable to be listened to while playing on. You can also connect it to some devices for audio output.  

It comes with digital CAPO that conveniently get ready to play and plug with exquisite music delivery.

The responsiveness of the strumming enables you to maintain dependable chords.

Guitar MIDI Controller Buying Guide

[BG] Best Guitar MIDI Controller

While it covers extensive details that you can refer to when comparing the options available, to buy the best product is not so simple and direct a decision as it seems. Take a look at some vital factor before making a purchase.

Who Uses Them?

Most guitar beginners, budding music producers and professionals up to coming musicians who travel a lot prefer this instrument. A major advantage of these MIDI guitar players is you can connect them to most smart devices (IPhone, IPad, etc.), record your tune on the DAW and send it off to be mixed right away.

They speed up music production drastically which is always a good thing. If you add a Subpac while making beats with a MIDI controller, then things could get even more awesome.

From what I’ve heard, lots of people are actually learning how to play the guitar as well. All thanks to MIDI guitar controllers.

Also, there are people who prefer using MIDI guitar controllers over MIDI controllers to make beats. It is because they are more used to playing guitar.

In addition, they now also have Guitar MIDI Pickup and Guitar 2 MIDI converters. The only difference with these vs a guitar MIDI controller is these two attach to your ‘existing’ guitar. That is also a good option for some people.

Anyways, here are the top MIDI Guitar Controllers on the market today and later, we’ll look into guitar MIDI pickups and guitar to MIDI converters.

What Is A MIDI Guitar?

A MIDI guitar is somewhat of a new concept. Few years ago, when the MIDI keyboard controller was introduced, it revolutionized home music production.

Today we have something called a MIDI guitar controller. Same idea except instead of a keyboard, you use a guitar. So whatever you play on your guitar, shows up on your computer DAW (Another name for music making software).

A MIDI guitar is already proving to be a fun learning and music making tool for guitar players (Beginners, amateurs and professionals) worldwide.

Which Brand of MIDI Controller is the Best?

MIDI guitar controllers have only recently gained popularity so expect to see more of the big players dabble into this market. In fact the biggest MIDI guitar brands today made their debut through a Kickstarter campaign. So I guess it’s fair to say that there is still some time to go before MIDI guitars really make a dent in the music production space.

The Jamstik MIDI guitar controller connects all your typical home studio devices through Bluetooth. So no more wires lying around all over the place. They also have a product for all you air guitar fans.

Today Artiphon is on a mission to create some ground breaking instruments that will help music delivers worldwide. They did a phenomenal job with the Artiphon Instrument 1 and have some more new fire in their pipeline. Both Artiphon and Zivix are groundbreakers in this industry so it will be exciting to see what they come up with next.

Casio is far known for their brilliant keyboards. It established themselves as not only leaders in the musical equipment industry but in producing other electronics as well. Their popularity seemed to have died off in North America (At least in the musical instruments department) but they are still very big worldwide. It is very nice to see that they took a shot at creating MIDI guitar controllers some 10 years ago.

Yamaha has produced the top-selling guitars of all time so it’s only fitting that they get into the MIDI guitar controller market as well. Although they released the Yamaha EZ EG MIDI Guitar almost a decade ago, they really need to start developing some new stuff. The music production game has changed drastically and they need to get back in the MIDI guitar game.

FAQ

How to Use Guitar as A MIDI Controller?

You can use a standard guitar as a MIDI controller by using a guitar to MIDI converter or guitar to, that’s why you need a MIDI guitar controller. Once you have one, then you can connect your MIDI guitar controller to your favorite DAW and use your guitar MIDI controller in any style you like. Whether it’s electric, bass, acoustic, classical, whatever . . . you can literally create any sound.

How to Make MIDI Guitar Sound Real?

Want to hear the biggest secret here? This depends on the sound samples that you have within your DAW. If you have quality guitar samples, then you’ll create phenomenal guitar sounds. It all depends on what you put in. Garbage in, and garbage out. A good place to get quality guitar samples is Splice. If your MIDI guitars don’t sound like a real guitar, your sound samples are of low quality.

How Setup MIDI Guitar in HALion?

Same way you would connect any MIDI controller on any DAW. If you can connect a MIDI keyboard, you can setup a MIDI guitar controller as well. It’s the same concept. Instead of a keyboard, you playing / user interface is a guitar. That’s it.

Final Thoughts

When you are ready to buy a best guitar MIDI controller as beginners, it requires effort to compare and evaluate the options. It is that the top picks from the market present excellent features or benefits. You have to also pay attention to the dynamics and vital factors that impact results. Take your time to choose the best value that meets your needs. Nice shopping.

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Peter Thomas
Peter is a well-known guitar teacher in Ealing. He’s taught hundreds of guitarists of all levels, covering everything from rock and pop to jazz and classical.Have a question, need some help, or want to give your opinion? Drop us a comment below!