October 03, 2022By Brad Tolinski 0 Comment
Spark 40, Positive Grid's 40-Watt smart guitar amp – and its powerful sibling, the 10-Watt Spark MINI – are among the best-selling practice amps of the last few years. The reasons are obvious. Both are remarkably compact, yet provide a spacious and elevated tone that one would associate with larger and more expensive amps. They also have many other unique, smart features that separate them from the rest of the pack.
For example, via its free accompanying app, both Spark 40 and Spark MINI feature Smart Jam, an A.I.-powered virtual band that provides drum and bass parts that jam along with your riffs. Additionally, both amps include Auto Chords, a feature that will analyze any song you desire to play and automatically display its chords in real time. You also get access to over 10,000 tones via Spark’s ToneCloud community of user-generated presets.
The versatility of these two small amps is almost miraculous. But how do all of these abilities help you to learn to play the electric guitar? For that answer, we turned to several successful guitar teachers from the US and the UK, to chat about their own experiences with Spark 40 and the Spark MINI.
Bluetooth Jamming Buddy
“As a guitar instructor, I find that Spark’s ability to double as a Bluetooth® speaker make it totally indispensable to my teaching methodology,” says Jim Maguire, a private instructor based in Katy, TX. “I use the Bluetooth® speaker function to play music while students play along through the same speaker. Being able to control the amp from my phone app means that I can adjust volumes, tones, and change presets with ease during the lesson. It’s straightforward and is very ‘plug and go’ for new musicians learning to play electric guitar.”
In addition to using his Spark as an invaluable performance aid, he also uses it to teach his students how to to adjust amp settings and program effects via the Spark app.
“When I teach a student a new song, we can look up the song in the ToneCloud and find a good approximation of the tone instantly. Then I can show them—using the Spark app—the components of the sound. Everyone loves this! We are able to talk about guitar effects and building a pedal board without having to spend hundreds of dollars on individual pedals, thereby wasting money on things they don’t understand yet.”
Across the pond, Mark Ellwood of the Guitar School UK in Wales, enjoys the portability of the amps. He says the fact that you can take the battery-powered Spark MINI anywhere means there is no excuse not to practice.
“It’s perfect for practicing on the move—so there is little reason to miss a day of playing,” he says with a laugh. “Seriously, my students are blown away by how easy it is to use, and how the tones for their favorite songs are available instantly at the touch of a button. Anyone can use it. I wish there was something like Spark MINI available when I began learning guitar. It’s a total game changer!”
Spark MINI with Spark Control, a wireless foot controller for the Spark amps
Parents Dig It
Alex Williams, the Director of Education at Allegra Music Academy in the San Fernando Valley, CA points out that even parents of younger guitar students love Spark. “Mom and dad like Spark MINI because it’s small, portable, has a very cool aesthetic…and at a little over $200, it’s pretty inexpensive to order online,” he says.
Do Your Own Thing
Sam Farkas, an instructor at Green Hills Guitar Studio in Nashville, TN likes the fact that it inspires creativity and self-expression in his students. “It allows each student to easily find their own sound, play along with backing tracks, and takes up a minimal amount of space in the practice room,” he says. “Spark is the best and easiest thing to use for anyone learning to play electric guitar.”
Final Thoughts: Why Spark is the Best Practice Amp for Learning
While each teacher had their own reason for using Spark amplifiers, they all agreed that it’s a wonderful tool for learning to play electric guitar. Maguire makes the added point that Spark’s portability makes it easy for his students to connect and play together—which is perhaps the best thing about learning to play guitar.
“When I host my student jam nights, everyone can easily bring their Spark 40s due to its small size,” says Maguire. ”These amps also enable them to have good tone at a low volume. We can compare presets and tone and we even use the Smart Jam feature or backing track to provide a beat when our drummer cannot make it. The Spark MINI amps are even more perfect for this situation.”
So if you’re searching for the easiest and least difficult way to learn to play electric guitar, Spark 40 or Spark MINI is a good place to begin. But why take our word? Just ask some of the busiest and best guitar teachers on the planet. From Texas to Wales, it appears they are all on the Spark bandwagon.
Want a compact home rig that truly rocks? Spark 40 delivers vivid, spacious sound and elevated tone from the smart amp that started it all. Jam, play and practice more with millions of songs. Access over 10,000 tones powered by our award-winning deeply powerful BIAS tone engine.
A mind-blowing portable powerhouse, Spark MINI delivers innovative smart guitar playing to go. With multi-dimensional high-quality sound, all-new Smart Jam, video creation, and Bluetooth® audio streaming, it’s the biggest smallest rig ever.