Note: Although JamPlay is a great service. I believe that in 2023, Guitar Tricks is by far the best online guitar learning platform if you want the best bang for your buck.
In my last post, I did a complete Guitar Tricks review where I went over everything including what was included in the course outline, the tools they offered, their membership options, and much more.
In this post, I wanted to contrast the Guitar Tricks post with a review post outlining what you need to know about another popular premium lessons provider. Therefore in this post, I’ll be doing a complete JamPlay review.
JamPlay and Guitar Tricks are currently the top two premium guitar lesson providers out there. Therefore, I figured it would make sense to follow up on my previous post with a JamPlay review so that you can read both reviews and then make a decision for yourself about which online guitar lessons provider is right for you.
JamPlay Review (Cody’s Take)
JamPlay is a great online guitar lessons platform and I rank it #2 in my list of best guitar lesson providers. It comes with a vast number of courses, it’s fairly priced, and there are over 130 instructors. That being said, in my opinion, I still believe that Guitar Tricks is the better option. If you want to learn from the best, have access to the most intuitive online dashboard, and learn hundreds of new songs in their library, Guitar Tricks is the way to go.
Disclosure: I may earn a commission for certain products in this article. All recommendations are genuine and verified by myself!
What Is JamPlay?
JamPlay is a premium online guitar lessons provider. The company was founded back in 2006 by three co-founders who set out to offer a subscription-based service to users seeking how to play guitar online.
JamPlay currently offers 9,000+ lessons covering a variety of topics. A few notable facts and features about the JamPlay guitar lessons services include:
- They currently offer lessons from a total of 130+ different instructors.
- They currently have over 500,000 members.
- 383 songs in their song library.
- 12 platform tools such as A/B looping, chord library, lick and riff library, etc.
- Option for one-on-one lessons with an instructor
- Mobile apps so that you can take your guitar learning journey on the go.
- Provide a full 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the service.
Being the second-largest online guitar lessons provider, in terms of the number of lessons offered, JamPlay has a comprehensive library of resources to help guitarists advance their playing skills.
In the next section, I’ll provide an overview of what each phase in their lessons section has to offer.
JamPlay Course Overview
JamPlay has such a huge collection of video lessons that at first glance it might be overwhelming to navigate.
That being said, under the “Courses” section, there are really 3 main ways to get started:
- Learning Paths
- Beginner Courses
- Genres and Skills
Deciding which path you want to take will ultimately depend on what you’re aiming to learn. Ultimately, Jamplay’s learning paths cover the 4 most popular genres of guitar music: rock, blues, country, fingerstyle.
If you want to learn any of those four genres then I’d recommend starting with their learning paths section.
Alternatively, if you want to focus on the basics, but don’t want it to be so attached to a particular genre of music then I’d recommend checking out a few beginner courses.
In the sections below, I’ll break down each of part of Jamplay’s curriculum in further detail.
The learning paths section is a major upgrade from last time I reviewed this platform. It’s aim is to really provide everything you need to go from a beginner to an advanced guitar player all in one seamless journey.
As I mentioned above, the learning paths offer ways to learn 4 different styles of music. Here is what’s included in each:
- 8 courses
- 225 lessons
- 96 jamtracks
- 8 courses
- 212 lessons
- 111 jamtracks
- 8 courses
- 187 lessons
- 134 jamtracks
- 8 courses
- 206 lessons
- 51 original songs
The way each of these learning paths are laid out is extremely simple to follow. Essentially you will go through 3 stages:
- Stage 1: Beginner
- Stage 2: Intermediate
- Stage 3: Advanced
Each stage has a collection of courses, jamtracks, and tabs all designed to help you follow along, practice, and ultimately become a better guitarist in that genre.
Although there are currently only 4 genres of music available in this Learning Paths section, I presume JamPlay will add more in the future. I enjoyed the simplicity of following these Learning Paths as some of the others sections of their website seem to be overwhelming with the sheer amount of content available.
What JamPlay calls “Phase 1” is specifically built for beginners just starting to learn how to play guitar however isn’t tied to any specific musical genre. This phase is broken into two sections: acoustic guitar and electric guitar.
Although many of the techniques you’ll use are the same for both, there are a few intricacies that distinguish them. Therefore, depending on which type of beginner guitar you have, you can take lessons tailored to each type.
The acoustic beginner guitar lessons section currently offers 17 lesson bundles (mostly from different instructors).
For each lesson bundle, you get a brief overview of the instructor, how many lessons are within the bundle, and the total length of all the lessons combined. Clicking on the “Go to Series” button will take you to a page that outlines the complete list of lessons offered and you can either start from the beginner or skip to a specific lesson.
Similar to the acoustic guitar beginner lessons, the electric guitar beginner lessons provide 12 different instructors to choose from. Everything in this section is formatted the same as above, only the lessons are electric guitar-specific.
Genres & Skills
Jamplay calls their Genres and Skills courses “Phase 2”. Obviously, they recommend that you complete the courses in phase 1 before moving on to phase 2 so that you’re more prepared for the more advanced material within.
This phase of JamPlay’s course is cool because it offers guitarists so much to choose from. This section will really allow you to learn the specifics of a particular genre of music or hone certain skills such as playing lead guitar, rhythm training, ear training, and more.
Focusing on the genres section, JamPlay currently offers students an impressive collection of 21 different genres to choose from which include:
- Acoustic Rock
- Jam Bands
Similar to the layout in phase 1, there are many times multiple instructors you can choose from. For example, if you want to learn more about playing blues, there are 28 different lesson bundles available.
Each bundle specifies whether the instructor will be using an acoustic or electric guitar and the number of lessons offered in each bundle as well as their average video length.
The second part of this phase is intended to focus on building specific guitar playing skills and techniques.
For instance, if you want to learn how to play guitar and sing, there are lessons for that. If you want to learn how to improve your playing speed there are lessons for that too. The full list of guitar skill-based topics include:
- Speed and Technique
- Helpers & Tips
- Singing with Guitar
- Reading Music
- Lead Concepts and Techniques
- Theory and Improvisation
- 12 String
- Rhythm Training
- Ear Training
- Studio Skills & Engineering
- Instrument Care & Maintenance
To get to the skill-based lessons be sure to click on the button on the left-hand side as I’ve outlined in red in the screenshot below.
JamPlay calls their songs library Phase 3. Their library of song lessons includes a collection of over 380+ songs in total.
There aren’t many sorting options on JamPlay’s songs lessons page however, you can click on the header of any column in the table to sort the songs in ascending or descending order.
Like their regular lessons, song lessons are broken down piece-by-piece covering all aspects of the song you need to learn. There are also multiple camera angles used so that you can get a clear picture of what the instructor is doing.
As a musician, learning how to play songs is great. It allows you to work on your playing skills and you can perform recognizable songs for others. However, writing your own songs is a whole other world that ends up being even more rewarding once you get the hang of it. That’s why I’m really happy to see that phase 4 of JamPlay’s lesson plan is all about songwriting.
This phase will really allow you to understand how a song is written. From chord progression to melodies and lyrics, the instructors of this phase provide you with the knowledge to give you a solid songwriting foundation.
This phase, just like the beginner’s lessons, is also broken into two categories: acoustic guitar and electric guitar. The acoustic songwriting section offers lessons from 8 different instructors whereas the electric songwriting section offers only 1 lesson bundle (although it is quite comprehensive with 41 lessons totaling 542 minutes of video content).
Read Next: 7 Best Songwriting Courses 2022 (Write Your Next Hit Song)
Artist series is another feature offered to JamPlay members. Essentially, this section is broken into two parts:
- Artists lessons – These lessons focus on an artists’ style and are often taught by the artist themselves. A few artists JamPlay has in this section include:
- Steve Stevens – plays in Billy Idol,
- Dave “David J” – plays in Steve Vai
- Joel Kosche – plays in Collective Soul
- In the style of lessons – These lessons focus more on learning the habits of legendary guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, etc. The instructor for each “In the style of” lesson goes into detail about certain chords each artist used, particular scales, gear, etc. Although not everything artist study follows the same format, they are all fairly comprehensive.
Live Archived Lessons
JamPlay used to offer live lessons that were scheduled quite frequently. This is what it used to look like:
Although now, it seems that they’ve discontinued this feature. That being said, they still provide a list of archived live workshops so that you can go through and rewatch them if there is a particular topic that piques your interest.
Like any good online guitar lessons provider, JamPlay comes with a few tools to help you progress in learning how to play guitar. The basic tools included in the JamPlay dashboard are:
- Chord Library
- Scale Library
- Lick and Riff Library
- Backing Tracks
- Guitar Tuner
- Bass Tuner
- Mobile Apps
Each of these tools are all pretty comprehensive and useful in their own right.
That being said, it will take some time to learn how to use each tool but I’d definitely recommend playing around with them.
Progress Report Page
JamPlay’s progress report page gives you a nice overview of which lessons you’ve completed and which ones you are still in the process of watching. If you watch a lot of lessons this might get to be a little cumbersome after a while. However, to fix this, JamPlay gives you the option to create custom playlists allowing you to sort the lessons yourself (just drag and drop).
Before you decide whether or not you should signup for a membership-based on this JamPlay review, you’d probably like to know what the actual video quality is like. How many camera angles do they use, is the video high-def, etc.
To help answer these questions I’ve included a free sample video below that you can check out below. This video is hosted on YouTube, however, the video player that you’ll see as a JamPlay member will be much different (I’ll talk about this next).
Video Player Layout
JamPlay’s video player is definitely something that should be highlighted. It isn’t just your normal video player. Rather, it is a complete dashboard that gives you so much more than just the video itself. Within the video dashboard, you can access supplemental information provided by the instructor specifically for a certain lesson, add your own notes, make a comment, ask the teacher a question, and even download the lesson.
It really is a cool dashboard that provides some features that I believe are beneficial to students. A couple things I will say about the dashboard are that 1) I think the overall look and feel could be updated as it feels a bit outdated to me and 2) since there are so many additional add-ons it can be a little slow to load at times compared to just loading a regular video.
Membership Options – What’s the Cost?
Hopefully, this JamPlay review has given you a better understanding of what JamPlay has to offer. At this point, you may be wondering what the membership cost is.
Well, JamPlay essentially offers two membership options:
- Monthly – $14.95/month
- Annual – $5.33/month (Save 60%)
For additional savings, I’ll provide a couple of coupon codes that you can use to save a few extra bucks. If you want to sign up for the annual plan use the following link and coupon code to save 10%:
Furthermore, if you want to buy a full monthly membership instead, use the link and code to save 25%:
Before making a final purchase decision I would recommend checking out JamPlay’s 30-day free trial. You do need to provide your credit card information upon signup but if you cancel within the 30 days there’s no charge to you.
P.S. You can also bundle your JamPlay subscription with their bass lessons platform. Check out my list of best online bass lessons here.
I think JamPlay is a solid choice for a premium online guitar lessons provider. A few things that really stand out about JamPlay are its abundance of features and “extras” such as their tools, community chat, lick and riff library and so much more.
I love their newly added “Learning Paths” section but just wish the rest of their website was a litte more clear to navigate.
A large part of their lesson videos are high-quality and comprehensive (although I did find some oldies). JamPlay also offers a pretty comprehensive list of intermediate to advanced lessons through their music genres and style & technique lessons section.
A couple of downfalls that I did find with JamPlay was that one topic can be covered by various instructors, and although that’s great since it gives you options, it can also cause some confusion. Certain instructors may go more in-depth on a particular subject than another so you don’t really know if you’re missing out on certain information if you choose one instructor over another.
You almost need to have a quick read through the lessons offered by each instructor to see if they cover the same topics, which can be a time suck. I also thought that the overall look and feel of the dashboard and video player were a bit outdated. Although they both did their job well, the design could be touched up a little.
Overall, JamPlay is a great contender for the best online guitar lesson provide although I still believe Guitar Tricks reigns supreme.
Their “unconditional refund” is a sham, even if you cancel well within the 30 day period. I was sent a really aggressive email saying would not refund me when I requested one. The lessons are long and boring and you don’t remember what has been taught. This company make millions a year and yet they quibble over 12 dollars. Guitar tricks is so much better and run by nice people.