Jamorama is a guitar platform in a relatively short time frame. They have developed a decent beginner’s course and a slick website focusing on learning the guitar together with a community of like-minded individuals.
So what makes Jamorama different and why should you care?
Besides the social aspect, Jamorama offers a very cost-effective solution for budding guitarists that are looking for a more structured way of learning. Learned all they could from free lessons from YouTube and random guitar sites.
Another aspect that is similar to ActiveMelody is Jamorama. It has only one teacher, so if you enjoy absorbing different ideas from several styles of instruction. Then you should find more value on GuitarTricks or JamPlay.
How it Works
Jamorama prides itself on being a social platform for guitar players where you can interact with other members via the forums and get advice on how to improve and practice the guitar.
The site recently went through a redesign and now offers a clean and slick User Interface; besides, site navigation is straight-forward, allowing prospective students to learn hassle-free.
Regarding instruction, the lessons page has the following features: course content appears through the sidebar along with a progress bar and a button to mark lessons as complete.
As with most online platforms, Jamorama offers a simple but effective video player although it lacks some advanced functionalities such as A/B looping or speed control. Features found in other sites such as GuitarTricks, Artist Works, and JamPlay.
The presentation of the lessons occurs in a polish and professional manner, and the videos all have HD quality. On some specific lessons, a chord chart is available for reference. That makes it intuitive and straight-forward to follow, although, on most lessons, it’s only the instructor and his guitar.
Most lessons come with PDF files packed with exercises. And are available from the lesson dashboard page. One bonus is the addition of learning through the Gamefield framework. It rewards points and batches and reflects on your overall progress through the program.
What are you going to learn?
As a Jamorama premium member, you will have access to all the courses ever released on the site. If you had trouble in the past, trying to learn on your own or via YouTube videos, Jamorama could be an excellent affordable choice to get the fundamentals in place.
Jamorama focuses their efforts on beginner guitarists, through their Beginner Guitar Method course, they expect you to grasp the fundamentals of playing the guitar in 10 weeks.
For the complete novice, meaning you never picked up the guitar, start at Stage 1. Through the first five weeks, you will learn how to strum with confidence, read chord charts, and play easy riffs.
On the following five weeks, you will progress to Stage 2, where you will learn more advanced techniques compared to the first level. Such as advanced chord shapes and strumming patterns. There are other helpful courses such as Lead Guitar for Beginners, where you will learn your first scales and specific techniques such as hammer-ons and pull-offs.
Some people will find Jamorama too basic if they already have some competence in playing the guitar. As it lacks a comprehensive curriculum targeted at advanced players.
However, it would be unfair to say that there is no value for the intermediate and advanced beginner guitar player. You can get your hands dirty on courses such as finger-style, Blues guitar, and speed picking.
The absence of advanced material is problematic for someone who has been playing for some years and has already gained experience through other courses. For those players, Jamorama will most likely not be worth the price of admission, so we recommend you try either Artist Works, GuitarTricks or Jamplay.
One thing to note about Jamorama is that they focus on teaching steel-string acoustic guitar, although most of the things you will learn to translate well to the electric guitar.
On Jamorama, you only have one instructor named Mark McKenzie. It has a similar teaching hierarchy to Active Melody, which works well for some people.
There are many styles covered such as Blues, Rock, Acoustic and Finger-style but for the jazzers out there Jamorama won’t add much value to your education.
Quality of Instruction
As we previously mentioned, the quality of instruction lies on the shoulders of Mark McKenzie. The main benefit is that you get a consistent curriculum and style of teaching, so for people starting, this can be helpful.
But who is Mark, and why is he qualified to teach you?
Mark McKenzie has over 20 years of experience teaching the guitar and acclaimed international touring and recording musician. Also, he is a regular contributor to Guitar Player Magazine. He is the man behind the popular YouTube channel The Guitar Guy.
Mark’s teaching style is friendly, engaging, and easy-going, and he patiently explains techniques in a way that beginners can easily follow.
Besides, he is a great teacher; his lessons are engaging, fun, and to the point.
He calmly explains more complicated concepts such as playing lead guitar, making it easy for beginners to follow. He has a beautiful voice as well. So it means that you don’t get annoyed by listening to dissonant vocal melodies when he is demonstrating on how to play specific parts of a song, for example.
Unfortunately, Jamorama can improve by leaps and bounds as there are only a tiny amount of songs they could offer. But you will learn plenty of riffs and licks through the course but not full songs.
At the time of this writing, there are only eight-song lessons available on Jamorama. Compared to GuitarTricks that offers over 700. So if your main goal is to learn how to play a lot of songs, then Jamorama might not be suitable for you.
Perhaps with time, the site will upgrade its song list, but at the moment it doesn’t come close to more established sites. It is surprising, because of Mark’s background, since one of the critical traits of being a successful recording artist, is to play a wide variety of songs.
Apart from course materials, lessons, and exercise files, there are no tools such as a metronome or a tuner to help you out on your journey through the site. Although not a big deal, it’s worth pointing it out since all the major’s membership sites have some variation of these tools.
Also, the Jamorama Chord Book, as the name implies, is a practical chord reference book available as a PDF download, exclusive for members.
It’s packed with a plethora of essential chords, displayed through high-quality colored photos plus suggestions on chord variations and chord progressions. It is a beneficial extra resource, well worth downloading and suitable for beginners and intermediate players.
Although there are no mobile apps for Jamorama, the site is super mobile friendly and works well on both smartphones and tablets. It means you can learn how to play the guitar on the go, login, and start learning from anywhere.
A Social Guitar Platform
Jamorama proud itself as being a social platform and they promote the idea that learning guitar is better with a community. It’s how they tried to differentiate themselves from the competition. And the site works a lot similar to Facebook but with an emphasis on guitar.
As a member, you can create and update your profile, like posts, join guitar groups, receive notifications, write status updates, and share content with fellow students.
There is also an active forum, a place to chat about guitar topics and ask questions about more specific topics such as the classical guitar, gear, and general discussions.
At the time of this writing, few active discussions are going on in the forums, which is surprising for a site that claims to be the social media platform for guitar players.
With so many options to choose from Jamorama offers a lot of value for the beginner guitar player at a very affordable price, but it lacks a wealth of content compared to most platforms.
If you like learning from one teacher, then Jamorama could be the best choice for you. And as you advance as a guitarist, you may have to invest in further training down the line depending on what your ultimate guitar playing goals are.
The most significant benefit of Jamorama is that you only have to pay once, and the course content is regularly updated. And Mark McKenzie is super passionate about playing guitar and can give interesting insights for aspiring professional guitar players.