Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful.
Better clear this up...
By Some dude...
I knew what I was getting when I ordered this, but I can see how it could confuse people. I want to make sure this is said.
This item is not a guitar, nor is it any kind of guitar like instrument. It's an exercise tool, for keeping up speed, and dexterity, when playing a guitar isn't possible/desired.
The keys to tighten the strings aren't for tuning. They're to adjust tension, to approximate the guitar string tension you want to simulate. The strings are real, but they are very short. The whole device is much shorter than a guitar. It's use is pretty much limited to "pretending" to play, in order to stay in practice. It is very compact, and can be carried in a purse, or pocket. It is basically silent. The only sound will be from the strings being touched, and the rapping of the plastic strum section, if you choose to do that.
The fretboard is some kind of wood substitute. It looks like pressed fiber board, with wood grain. Maybe a veneer of some kind. It's just to give the fingers the feeling of a real fretboard.
It's perfect for what it's meant to be used for. If that's not what you want, then hopefully this review will prevent you from being disappointed.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
Very limited in terms of what it offers. 2.5 stars if I could.
By A. M. Glaeser
I own multiple full-size guitars, and one Yamaha “Silent Guitar” that I travel with on domestic flights, but I was reluctant to travel internationally with this since carry-on guidelines within Europe and Asia tend to be more stringent than those in the US. I wouldn’t want to check it. I was looking for something even more portable that would allow me to maintain my fingertip calluses, and provide an opportunity to work on chord and fingering transitions. I bought the six-fret version of the BestMaple practice guitar. One-day delivery via Prime was great; it arrived in time for my trip.
The item is compact, comes with a carrying case, and has strings that will maintain your calluses. On the unit I received, the fretboard had some odd localized staining/bleaching going on that didn’t affect the functionality, but made it look like the wood was from a reject pile. Although advertised as six frets, it really only has five that are accessible, and the fretboard area above where the sixth fret would be is reduced in size. Fingering a chord without playing it leaves you to guess as to whether you are fingering it cleanly. As the ad indicates, you get no audio feedback. As with many new things, getting used to it is a process. There is an issue of just holding it, particularly if you want to simulate using a pick or strumming. Eyelets at the top and bottom and a long shoelace/strap so you could hang it from your neck and have it be stationary while you finger chords would be a potential improvement; I may attempt to modify the item in this way in the future.
I have looked at other “travel guitar” offerings at music stores. To get more, you end up paying substantially more. I suppose for the price, this device serves its base purpose, but you should have extremely modest expectations. It certainly doesn’t shine. If all you are interested in is maintaining calluses, then using the edge of a credit card on your fingertips for 10-15 minutes a day works, and it’s free. There are many finger-independence and finger stretching/reach exercises that can improve your guitar skills; they don’t require a guitar, don’t weigh anything, are accessible online (see YouTube for many examples), and are particularly useful when you don’t have a guitar handy. And if you really have to have strings and a partial fretboard, well then this product is adequate, and perhaps a good fit for your needs. I would add that the neck profile is unlike that of any of the five guitars I own. It is “fatter”, and I find that the plastic becomes sticky and interferes with chord changes that involve sliding up and down the neck.
Three stars is the best I can muster, and I consider that to be a very generous rating. I traveled with it, and despite the convenient form factor, I didn’t use it very much, and resorted to a credit card for maintaining calluses. It is not something I anticipate using very much in the future, and I suspect that most guitarists who are beyond the beginner stage will find this item to have rather limited utility. I certainly wouldn't buy it again, and would advise potential purchasers to look on eBay for heavily discounted, lightly used offerings.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful. See all 19 customer reviews...
It's a good quality left-hand exerciser
By S. Noyes
It's a good quality left-hand exerciser. It's a shame it doesn't make semi-proper tones, even many octaves too high, but that's beyond the scope of this design, so bear in mind that you won't be plucking or picking strings, (although it does have ribs one can finger pick or flat pick against), and any tones you hear are irrelevant. So agai - for what it is, it's a good one. :-)