Loopers are simply fantastic, they are useful for any guitarist,
This JamPlay review might clear things up for you
If you are reading this, it probably means that you are a bit guitar curious. I get it. I fell in love with the guitar about 18 years ago and haven’t let go since.
Also, you are probably looking at JamPlays.com to see if they can help you learn how to play guitar in an efficient and fast way.
Guitar has always been a popular instrument. Whether you are learning it as a hobby or as a profession, there are more and more sites that offer online guitar lessons.
Online learning is easy and cheap. With that, the competition within sites is enormous.
Lucky for you, competition between suppliers is great for the consumer.
So I am really going into details on this JamPlay.com review so that you can get the whole picture.
A lot of these sites are good, but you deserve the best.
You need to know what you’re getting
Like most of the competitors, JamPlay is also an online guitar lesson site that covers almost everything you would need for your learning process.
It is also amongst the top of the game.
JamPlay offers both guitar lessons as well as bass lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced level, as well as lessons for many styles and a large song list.
All of this makes for over 5 000 detailed lessons from 89 instructors.
There are also some extra features, such as high-quality videos with slowdown option, tools, forums, promotions, free trial period… which are pretty standard extras that you can find on most good online guitar lesson sites.
But the choice of instructors and the concept of developing lessons on certain levels are the key factors that determine whether the page is good for you or good in general.
The standard for beginner lessons is very high because these lessons have the largest target group and creating lessons for beginners, although sensitive, is by far the easiest. That is why a lot of sites have nailed their beginner category.
Even though JamPlays have some well-developed lessons for beginners, I wouldn’t say that this is their stronger category.
However, if you are interested in the intermediate level, you can find a lot of material on JamPlay.com
Thanks to the great selection of instructors who are excellent guitar players, JamPlay is a great platform for this level.
The advanced level (taking into account the loose ‘advanced level’ standard in online guitar lesson sites) is well-developed and largely justifies its title.
What makes JamPlay stand out?
By getting to this JamPlay review you probably already have a general idea of the site and are looking for the details.
JamPlay is one of the top online lesson sites that offers guitar and bass lessons and are very serious about it. They take an example from the older sites and have managed to create a site that is putting up a great fight for the top spot in the game.
With getting a subscription you get the standard privileges you usually have with other online guitar lesson sites.
The JamPlay Intermediate Lessons are what sets JamPlay apart from the others
If you are beginner you might be better off with GuitarTricks or GuitarJamz, but if you have already passed the beginner stage, then JamPlay is the site for you.
- Userfriendly site
- A great selection of lessons and instructors
- Checking the work you’ve done through badges
- The free membership doesn’t require any personal info or credit card details
- Live Q&A
- Too many instructors in the beginner category
- Lack of lessons for learning songs
- Some lessons can be way too long
Let’s get into the details
You will find the most important part of the site in the Lessons section.
This section is divided into four categories:
Category 1 – JamPlay Beginner lessons
The beginnings for all guitar players are pretty much the same. The difference occurs only in the time period you need to master the material.
With many instructors and different approaches, you may find yourself struggling to find the best one for you.
What JamPlay could have done, to avoid this situation, is to make a combination of the best lessons packaged in one or two courses. This way the users will not miss out on important moments that some of the instructors fail to mention.
If you are are an absolute beginner, and feel like you need slower and more detailed lessons, I suggest try the Step by Step program at GuitarTricks.com.
Category 2 – JamPlay Genres and Skills
This is the best thing that JamPlay can offer.
Unlike the previous one, this category is very easy to navigate and easy to use.
It is divided into Jazz, Blues, Fingerstyle, Metal, Hawaiian, Bluegrass, Rock, Celtic, Classical, Country, Surf, Funk, Flamenco, Folk, R&B, Reggae, Brazilian, Gospel, Pop, and Acoustic Rock.
The choice is diverse for both guitar and bass. Which is really refreshing. Because unlike the first category, when you get to this category you already know what you are looking for and it is nice to have the choice.
In addition to choosing based on a genre, this category also has a second option where you can choose lessons based on the skill you want to practice.
You can find lessons for speed, helpers and tips, singing, reading music, lead, improvisation, 12 string guitar, rhythm, ear training, studio engineering and how to do proper maintenance of your instrument.
Category 3 – JamPlay Song List
This is a category that is definitely not a strong side of JamPlay.
The choice of learning songs is small. It lacks songs from cult bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, GnR, Iron Maiden, RATM, etc. It also lacks songs from great guitar players such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, John Petrucci, etc.
Within the existing songs and limited genres, there are no categories in which they are separated so navigating and looking for a song is challenging.
The same applies to song levels.
Even though there is a bar that shows the difficulty of the lesson, this doesn’t help much
In my opinion, a better option for choosing beginner lessons is GuitarTricks and for a higher level TrueFire.
Category 4 – JamPlay Songwriting
The Songwriting Sector consists of lessons taught by 8 instructors. The same problem appears here as in the lesson for beginners.
Although it has covered a lot of material and several genres with different approaches, the most important information is scattered in over 150 lessons. Many of the courses are too long (usually over 300 minutes) and that makes it difficult to find the thing you are looking for.
JamPlay Home Page
Let’s go back to the beginning – The Home Page.
Here you can find links from the last few lessons that are have watched so that you can track your progress.
Below you will find Upcoming Courses Releases and Recent Arrivals & New Courses featuring lectures dedicated to a particular genre, style or technique.
Last in this vertical home page is one of the most useful and rare tools – the Live Question and Answer feature.
There is a schedule for these live broadcast Q&A, but it’s still a nice feature to have Customer Support Service in real time.
There are few drop-down categories you will find on the main bar.
This category consists of JamPoints и Badges.
JamPoints is a part of JamPlay where you can gain points through activities on the site. This is great positive reinforcement and almost makes learning a game. The collected points can allow access to bonus features.
Even though it sounds fun, the downside of this is that there is information that you cannot get if you are not an active member of the site, but are a paying subscriber.
This is not the case with the other online guitar lesson sites where you can get a free trial and navigate the site in its entirety.
MyBadges is a signature part of JamPlay. You can check your work and submit a lint to a video that you have uploaded on FB or Youtube. It’s a great way to actually share your practice. The next thing to do is wait for feedback.
In case you are not satisfied with your feedback, you can find a link to the lesson that so that you can watch it again.
This is a great way to see what you have learned.
The other 3 categories are profile, list of friends and messages. This part helps you personalize your account and stay organized.
The Artist Series is a group of lessons that teach famous styles. These lessons are usually taught by instructors that specialize in the style or the actual artist, if available.
You can find studies on the guitar styles of artists such as Tom Morello, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Steve Vai, Santana…
The licks and riffs library – the title is pretty self-explanatory.
This feature is very easy to navigate and easy to use. You can choose type – lead or rhythm, genre, skill level, and teacher. With this, you can easily filter your lessons to find exactly what you are looking for.
The last category is performances, interviews, and concerts
Performances are a section in which you will find a demonstration of everything you missed during the lessons or you couldn’t learn from the formal lesson videos.
In the interview category, you will find interviews with famous guitar players, from which the most famous name would be Tommy Emmanuel. You might not think this is crucial for your learning process, but it is a great way to get inspiration or understand what it takes to become a successful guitar player.
The part with the concerts is more like an advertisement for some of the members of the site where there are recordings from their concerts.
While there is a good collection of gigs, do not expect a concert from Dream Theater.
Let’s switch to the next section – Live courses.
You will find a list of active sessions by scrolling down the main page.
You also have access to sessions that are stored in archives.
I won’t spend a lot of time talking about the tool category of JamPlay, it’s really self-explanatory and what you would expect.
Chords library, scales library, jam tracks, metronome, guitar and bass tuner, chord namer and training games.
This list is standard amongst the best online guitar lesson sites, and JamPlay is no exception.
The last section is Extras where promotions, information about the JamPlay monthly getaway, JamPlay apps, as well as articles and reviews regarding JamPlay are placed.
Basically everything that couldn’t fit into the previous categories.
So after you have gotten a detailed picture of all the things that JamPlay has to offer, let’s look at the JamPlay price and if it is worth the money.
Ok, so it is pretty standard for every site to have a free trial period.
The JamPlay free trial is for 7 days which is not a lot, especially if you consider day job, schedule and free time. You won’t have a lot of time to test the site.
The JamPlay cost is $19.95 for a month. You can save up and pay for 4 months for $49.95 and for a year for $159.95.
Compared to its competitors you don’t save that much money if you pay for the annual JamPlay membership.
Of course the most important thing is the lessons, but still, it’s nice when you know that you are saving more if you are committing for a year.
If you are a bit frugal, like myself and want to get a good deal, you can, of course, check to see if there is a JamPlay coupon available. JamPlay coupons can be found multiple times a year and it would be silly if you don’t take advantage of one.
You can save up to 10% of any package and 25% for your first month on monthly subscriptions.
There is also an option which is valid for 7 days. If you ask me this is a very short period, which can be a theme with JamPlay. Compared to other sites, for example, GuitarTricks offers 60 days money back guarantee.
So what do the users say?
Considering I am a professional guitar player with 18 years of experience I can be a bit tough when it comes to reviewing things related to my field.
As with every review, I consider user opinions very important and always do my research. It helps me see other people’s perspective.
I spend a big chunk of time looking at customer reviews on several forums and comments on E-commerce sites.
Here are some of them.
If you are not sold on the idea, there are options
If you have already mastered the basics in playing guitar and are looking to jump to intermediate, JamPlay is the best option for you.
However, even though JamPlay is a well-developed site for guitar lessons, there are some weak points. And depending on your aim, you might want to check out other sites too before committing to one.
- If you are a beginner, I recommend you check out the online guitar lesson site GuitarTricks.com.
Their strong side is definitely the beginner section. They offer a Step by Step program which is perhaps the strongest weapon at GuitarTricks and it’s hard for other sites to compete with it. The monthly subscription rate is the same and they also have high-quality videos with the slowdown option.
- If your aim is to learn songs, I would recommend checking out JustinGuitar.com.
This site has the thing that JamPlay and GuitarTricks are missing – the popular selection of songs by Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, Bon Jovi, GnR, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top etc. And what’s even better than the previous two – it’s totally free.
- Another site that focuses on non-beginner lessons is TrueFire. You might want to check it out just so you can have an alternative. TrueFire focuses specifically on intermediate levels. The monthly rate is standard for TrueFire, with a membership of $19, but the yearly membership doesn’t offer a lot of saving and actually comes up $40 more expensive than it’s competitors.
Long story short
This JamPlay review contains the most important information that you need in order to decide whether to join or not.
JamPlay covers almost all of the most requested categories in the online guitar learning sector.
Of course, as good as it is, JamPlay cannot be best in everything. There are other sites that excel in specific categories and JamPlay cannot compete with all of them.
If you are a beginner and are interested in learning the basics at a slow pace, you might be better off trying some other site.
However, if you already know the basics and want something more challenging, JamPlay is great.
The excess of information might make JamPlay seem a bit confusing and crowded. But with its unique approaches and high standards, JamPlay is an overall good site to learn how to play guitar or bass.