There used to be a time when you could get away strumming your heart out to an air guitar to get you through a bored weekend, but today's punk rock kids want something gadgety. In steps the Paper Jamz guitar, a string-less, paper replica of a guitar that allows you to play three songs by pretending to strum along to the music.
Available in five different styles with a range of different songs loaded on them, the Paper Jamz guitars work by simply touching the surface. You place your fingers on the fingerboard and strum your other hand across the pretend strings to play. By placing different fingers on the frets, you will produce either a major, minor or seventh chord.
In practice, it works, although unless you are under 12 it will become tiresome very quickly.
There are three different modes: Perfect Play, where the tune will automatically play, so even if you don’t know it you can still play along. Rhythm mode, which plays the backing track but you’ll need to strum perfectly, and finally FreeStyle mode, where you can pretend you're Jimmy Page or Slash and just go nuts.
For those interested the whole experience is based on something called Active Graphics Technology and that means the technology is in the printed surface of the guitar reacting to the player's skin as you press against it, rather than actually having to press dedicated buttons.
With over 30 chords to learn there is plenty to keep the kids happy although we've already found that it can become incredibly repetitive - luckily there is a headphone jack so they can bore themselves, not you.
The biggest question, however, is going to be which guitar you go for. Not only are the designs different, but the song choices are different too with five guitars only offering three tracks a piece.
Tracks include everything from Two Princes, to All Star, as well as Born To Be Wild, but you won't be able to pick and choose, you'll get what's on the design you buy and you just know that's going to cause a headache come Christmas time.
As for volume, it will go loud, but only really loud enough for you to enjoy rather than an impromptu concert. For that you'll need an optional extra - the Paper Jamz amp.
Paper Jamz is pretty good fun and at £25 quid it will fill the school holidays. How much it will fill the time after those school holidays is down to whether or not your kids are into music.
This is your classic Christmas stocking present; great for a week, but unlikely to entice you much more after that.
Still, while the fun lasts, you'll have a blast.
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