Pros and Cons of the Yamaha EZ-AG

EZ-AGWe
often recommend the Yamaha EZ-AG as a way for a beginning guitarist to get the most
from their Gigajam lessons and software. Here’s a quick rundown on the pros and cons.

Pros

    1. Is a midi controller- can be used as an input device for notation and sequencing
    programs –guitarists do not have to input via a keyboard.

    2. Has built in hardware synthesiser.

    3. Is a very cheap midi input solution (approximately £140 ex VAT + £40 for Midi-USB
    interface).

    4. Is funky – kids like it

    5. The buttons on the fret board do not hurt fingers – many children give up on the
    guitar because the strings hurt their fingers. With the EZ-AG, they learn the fingering
    and patterns, etc and succeed without sore fingers. They are then more willing to
    ‘put up with the sore fingers’ when transferring to a ‘real’ guitar.

    6. It is always in tune.

    7. It has a range of sounds

    8. Can be used as a Bass guitar:

    • It has a number of Bass voices – when used with a bass voice the sounds are transposed
    to the correct octave and the midi data when analysed appears in the bass clef.

    • The frets are closer together and smaller hands can manage it better.

    • The bass patterns and knowledge can be learned and acquired and practised on the
    EZ-AG.

    • The performances can be analysed using Xtractor and Analyser.

    • The learner can quickly adapt to the ‘proper bass’ fret spacing and feel.

    9. Can be used with batteries/or with a mains power supply.

    10. Can be used with a standard guitar ¼ inch jack lead to connect to an amp – for
    performance purposes.

    11. Has a built in ‘Capo’ function.

    12. It works.

    Cons

    1. Is not a ‘real’ guitar – this poses some problems for some music teachers (esp.
    guitarists).

    2. Constantly sends ‘System Exclusive’ data as well as midi performance data which
    can cause problems with various combinations of interfaces/OS/SequenceXtra (in Xtractor)
    – e.g. will only work with MOTU Fastlane on Mac version of Xtractor.

    3. Needs a power supply/batteries.

    4. Is a bit ‘plasticky’.

    5. Controls are in a daft place on the neck where everyone picks up the instrument
    and triggers several keys at once causing the device to need a re-set (power OFF/ON).

    6. Has only 12 frets.

    7. Can’t bend strings.

    8. Can’t glissando in an analogue manner – can do a ‘digital (i.e. stepped)’ glissando.

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