JamPlay Online Guitar Lesson Review
JamPlay is one of the largest online guitar lesson web sites, boasting more than 5,000 online guitar lessons in HD from 79 different guitar teachers with a combined 2,379 years of experience. Whether you’re into blues, funk, rock, Hawaiian slack key, metal, folk, country, R&B, jazz, or anything else, you will find a teacher in that genre.
- 79 teachers to choose from (experts in every style)
- More than 5000 HD videos (about 11 hours of new video added every month)
- Progress tracking with progress reports
- Play videos on any device, anytime, anywhere
- TONS of songs lessons (350+)
- Breakout sections on specific skills (speed, etc.)
- Live lessons bridge the gap between online lessons and private instructors
- Extras – community forum, jam tracks, games, bass lessons, etc.
- Song lessons heavily weighted towards metal, country, and 80s/90s rock.
- Some fantastic teachers (e.g., Hawkeye Herman for blues), and some not so great.
- 100% Money Back Guarantee for 7 Days
- Monthly Membership: $19.95/month ($0.67/day)
- Quarterly Membership: $49.95 for 3 months ($.056/day)
- Yearly Membership: $159.95 ($0.44/day)
Who is it for?
- Beginners – Tuning, posture, technique, how to read TAB, etc.
- Intermediate – Get a structured learning system to learn particular genres and songs
- Advanced Players – Song writing, advanced techniques, study particular guitarists
My Experience with JamPlay
The Members Area
Once I got into the JamPlay member’s area, I was impressed and even a bit overwhelmed.
There was so much great stuff to learn!
The way the instructors teach things and the way they are laid out are perfectly for beginners, intermediate and advanced players.
You can start wherever you want – beginning or in a particular style/skill/song.
And you can learn however and wherever you want. You can stream JamPlay lessons on your phone or tablet, or watch videos in up to 720 HD video when you’re on a computer.
There are 4 initial phases of the course, but you can also build customized lesson plans to focus on only what’s most important to you.
Phase 1 – The Fundamentals
Phase 1 is where you’ll find the beginner lessons. There are two different “beginner” sections, however – one section for complete beginners who don’t know anything about playing guitar, and then there’s a section for self-taught guitarists which helps you fill in the gaps in your learning.
Going through these sections will make sure you have the necessary foundation to get the most out of the following Phases.
Beginner Lessons – For those Who Have Never Played
- Holding The Pick
- Proper Fret Hand Posture
- Chords and Scales
- The Guitar Body and Maintenance
- Playing Posture
- Strumming Techniques and Rhythm
- Music Theory
Beginner Lessons – For Self Taught Guitarists
- What Makes A Chord a Chord
- Reading Tab and Sheet Music
- Scale Relationships to Chords
- Time Signatures
- Building Your Own Practice Routine
- Utilizing The Metronome
- Understanding Music Modes
- Putting Together Chord Progressions
Phase 2 – Styles and Skills
Phase 2 is really where JamPlay really shines. There are so many different styles of music to learn it’s incredible. You’re literally on a gold mine of tutorials in every genre you could want to play.
And when it comes to skills training, you’ll find a ton of material on speed and technique, rhythm, improvisation, etc. There are so many lessons to choose from that you can always find something you want to work on.
Music Styles You Can Learn
I told you there were a lot! And once you’re ready you can drill-down into specializations and skills.
Guitar Skills You can Master
- Lead Concepts and Techniques (melodies, solos, improv)
- Speed and Technique (technical precision)
- Helpers and Tips (hammer-ons, pull-offs, rakes, harmonics)
- Reading Music and Rhythms
- Singing With Guitar
- Theory and Improvisation (how to respond to “in-the-moment” situations)
- 12 String
- Rhythm Training
- Ear Training (how to identify chords, keys, etc)
- Studio Skills (create a personal home studio)
- Instrument Care and Maintenance
Did you notice the module on Studio Skills – this is the kind of stuff that makes JamPlay one of the most comprehensive courses on the planet.
Not because of the number of videos (GuitarTricks has more) but because of the different things they teach you. It’s an all-encompassing course, which many others are not.
Phase 3 – Learn Your Favorite Songs
Phase 3 includes over 350 songs to learn. However I will say that not all genres are represented as well as the Rock and Metal song lessons.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of great music to learn, and they teach you through online video along with guitar tabs, so it’s a good system.
But I wish they had more songs outside of Metal and Rock. For example, if I wanted to learn more R&B Soul classics, I would only find a song or two.
That’s not the worst thing in the world, though. Because you find tabs for songs all over the internet. And this program will teach you how to read tabs effectively.
Here’s a quick sample of some of the popular songs they teach you.
- James Brown – Super Bad Super Slick
- CCR – Down On The Corner
- Elvis Presley – Heart Break Hotel
- John Mayer – Daughters
- Nirvana – Lithium
- Staind – Outside
- Metallica – Blackened
- System of A Down – Toxicity
- Much Much More
There are a lot of great songs you’ll learn in the following genres: R&B/Funk, Rock, Bluegrass/Folk, Metal, Blues, Classical, Gospel, Holiday Songs, Country, Fingerstyle, Jazz and Punk.
Phase 4 – Songwriting
In Phase 4, you get to really explore your own creativity and learn how to compose and structure your own songs. For example, you’ll get access to detailed lessons in the following example subjects:
- Choosing Chords
- I, IV, V Progression
- Song Technique
- Writing Lyrics and Melody Lines
- Octaves and Alternating Currents
- Deconstruction of Writing Lyrics
- Enhancing the Development of Songwriting
- And much, much more…
Beyond The 4 Initial Phases
Once you’ve gone through the core lessons in phases 1, 2, 3 and 4, you get some extra stuff that will boost you over the edge. JamPlay doesn’t stop at just the lessons – there’s an entire system in place for you to help you master your instrument.
The Artist Series
The Artist Series is pretty cool. It’s a set of lessons that are taught by specific, industry “insider” guitarists who take you into their unique styles.
These guys range from major music industry session players to lead guitarists in some of the biggest bands in history.
Did you ever think you’d be able to learn to play with rock-legend Steve Stevens from Billy Idol? I didn’t.
But JamPlay makes that possible.
In The Style Of
The Artist Series goes a step further though. There are also a ton of lessons that are taught, not by the artists themselves, but by qualified instructors in the styles of:
- Tom Morello
- Jimi Hendrix
- Carlos Santana
- Keith Urban
- BB King
- John Mayer
- Many More…
There’s some awesome stuff in here, that you don’t want to miss. It’s the kind of stuff that will give you the motivation to get through the basic lessons quickly.
Another little gem that comes with a monthly subscription is the Live Lessons. There are daily sessions of text chat and webcam-to-webcam video streams directly with the instructors at JamPlay.
So if you’re thinking that online lessons can’t be as good as in-person instruction – you’d be wrong. Jamplay bridges that gap and does a pretty good job with it.
Bass Guitar Lessons
Want to learn bass as well? Well, there are plenty of lessons included with all the acoustic and electric guitar lessons so you can be a jack of all trades.
More Bells and Whistles…
There’s a bunch of other stuff also included with your subscription, including:
You can chart your progress with custom reports. See how you’re doing and how far/fast you’re learning.
Thousands of other guitarists are part of the JamPlay community and are there to help you out.
This is probably one of the most comprehensive scale libraries available online. You can see any scale in any key and a fretboard diagram.
Interactive games help you learn and master the guitar faster. Games Included:
- Fretboard Memorization
- Music Notation Quizzes
- Note Identification
- Pitch Recognition
The Best Part
What I really like about JamPlay is how many instructors you can choose from. If you’re watching a ton of lesson videos, you have to like the personality of the person teaching because they are talking to you for so many hours. Furthermore, different instructors have different strengths and taste in music. With JamPlay, you can try out different instructors until you find a good match, or switch between different instructors to get the best lessons from each.
The other cool thing is that you can go through at your own pace and there’s so much cool stuff to learn.
If you know what you’re doing already, you can get right to the skills (singing w/ guitar) and styles (r&b, funk, etc.) and create your own course.
One thing that left me wanting more was more variety in the song lessons. While there are well over 350 song lessons, not all genres are equally represented. For example, there’s tons of rock, metal and country, but not a ton of straight up blues or funk songs. Granted you can get a lot of what you want from the lesson sections (as opposed to learning songs), but I would still like to see the song database continue to grow.
Also, while some of the instructors are professional musicians and/or simply great teachers, other less than inspiring. This may have to do with what genre you want to learn. Personally, I’m into blues and rock and found some great blues lessons, but didn’t feel inspired to watch many of the metal lessons.
I’ve gone through a lot of online guitar lesson courses, and this is definitely one of the best. In fact, I’d recommend this to anyone that wants to learn guitar fast and easily. The videos and content are all top-notch and make it really fun and easy to learn. The community board and live lessons make it even better.
I I’d also recommend a program GuitarTricks in addition to JamPlay. While there is a bit of overlap between the programs, there are some things exclusive to each program that are worth the price of the subscription alone.
So I’d say if you can afford it get both (it’ll only cost you 30 bucks, and they both have money back guarantees).
If you’ve tried JamPlay or another online guitar lesson course, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave your experiences, comments and questions in the comment section below. And if you found this article useful, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or anywhere else.