Yamaha’s Sonogenic SHS-300 probably isn’t going to make the keytar cool again

Despite plenty of derision down the years, the keytar refuses to die. In fact, Yamaha is inviting a new generation of players to embrace the pleasures of the strap-on synth with the Sonogenic SHS-300. This could be seen as a trimmed-down version of the Sonogenic SHS-500 that was launched earlier this year.

A compact, battery-powered instrument, the SHS-300 contains a speaker and various sounds, also offering Bluetooth wireless and USB connectivity. For beginners, the big sell is the Jam function mode, which enables you to play along with songs (via the Chord Tracker app) and never hit a bum note. This works for both chords and melodies.

This is very much a consumer-level product rather than a pro one, then, though we wouldn’t bet against a band or two using the SHS-300 in a kitsch capacity. For most of us, though, it’s yet another keytar curio, and probably not one that’s going to make the instrument any more desirable.

The Sonogenic SHS-300 is expected to cost around £230/€243 and is available in blue and white finishes. Find out more on the Yamaha website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.