Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Yamaha EZ-AG, say what!?

Welcome back to another Mississippi Son Guitars blog!

Now this is a cool treat! Have you ever seen anything like this?

It looks like a guitar, but is it a guitar? Yes. Does it sound like one? Sure. Is it a learning aide? Yep. Is it fun? Heck yes!

This Yamaha EZ-AG was one of a couple MIDI guitar models released by Yamaha in the 1990's. Ironically the AG stands for acoustic guitar.  MIDI stands for musical instrument digital interface. Essentially, this guitar can sound like whatever digital tones you can throw at it.

It has a few preloaded songs that show the chord positions lit up in red on buttons on the fretboard! You read right; the first six fret positions light up to show your finger positions or what can better described as chord shapes.

It also has a built in song list with different modes for learning them. It has modes for rhythm, progressions and transitions.  There are multiple tunings and the guitar always stays in tune. ;) There is also an adjustable capo that lights up the current capo neck position.

The guitar sports 20 preloaded sounds but there are an in/out MIDI ports to connect the guitar to an external computer for limitless possibilities. There is also a jack for plugging into your favorite amplifier or PA. 

The 20 sounds include 9 guitars, 8 basses, a banjo, shamisen and a grand piano!

I like quite a few of these but the reason I purchased the EZ-AG was for a midi tool for piano sounds.  It does not dissapoint!

Check out the video at the end of this blog!

The EZ-AG feels very strange at first with it's plastic body and button finger board. It becomes comfortable over time but will never feel just like a real guitar. Don't let that deter you from buying one because this is one of the coolest travel/alternative guitars I've ever played.

Power comes from a DC plug in or 6 AA batteries.

It's smaller size and portability make it a great candidate when traveling by plane for both work and vacation. Be prepared to get lots of questions by both curious travelers and airport security.

Yamaha also made an EZ-EG model that included a whammy and slightly different  design. You guessed it, the EG stands for electric guitar.

Current market value as of this post is around $200 for a good condition model with no playability issues.
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