Pros and Cons of the Yamaha EZ-AG

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.


    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

    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

    • 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.


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

    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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