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While it’s true that it’s overwhelming to narrow down the best online guitar lessons from the superabundance of options, we beg to argue that it’s even more so when market giants are involved.
To be clear, we’re referring to GuitarTricks and JamPlay here. GuitarTricks is one of the early entrants to the online guitar lessons market, being a player since 1998. In contrast, JamPlay only made an entrance a couple of years back; in 2006. Despite that, it rapidly competed with the big players and is today among the best-selling online lessons.
Do you see the dilemma we’re speaking about? We were trapped in confusion for a while until we decided to give both a try and see which deserves the top ranking to put an end to the Guitar Tricks vs. JamPlay puzzle.
GuitarTricks vs. JamPlay – Feature for Feature Comparison
Before we go in-depth into the specifics of each platform, here's an overview of how Guitar Tricks and JamPlay stand head-to-head on the key factors.
Intermediate – Advanced
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Private Online Lessons
Guitar Tricks vs. JamPlay – In-Detail Comparison
As you see, both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay actually have a lot to offer, and it's still not all that easy to make a solid decision just with an overview of the essential factors. So, it's time for the real competition to start, beginning with the target skill set.
If you're a beginner, you're unlikely to find a platform that tops Guitar Tricks, and that includes JamPlay. Guitar Tricks fully acknowledged that learning a new instrument is already challenging enough and that if the courses weren't logically structured, beginners might quickly drop the learning altogether.
With that in mind, they introduced their flagship online guitar lesson, the Core Learning System, targeting beginner guitarists.
Split into Guitar Fundamentals 1, Guitar Fundamentals 2, and Intermediate Style courses; the Core Learning System walks beginners through the pure basics of music theory all the way to playing the major full chords and more.
By offering you a structured learning path, Guitar Tricks' Core Learning System enables you, as a beginner, to fully focus on the learning of the guitar rather than on which course to take next or whether you should start with a specific topic before the other.
Besides, Guitar Tricks doesn’t let you go once you complete the Core Learning System; you choose a genre guitar style, and they walk you through the learning process of that specific genre and its techniques. Whether you’re interested in blues courses, country, rock, or acoustic styles, Guitar Tricks has your back!
Moving on to JamPlay, the platform also offers learning guitar lessons but in a slightly different manner. To get started, you specify whether you’re interested in “Beginner Acoustic” or “Beginner Electric” video lessons, after which you’re presented with a set of beginner courses based on your choice.
The lessons are offered by various guitar instructors, and it’s up to you to choose the guitar teacher. Are you wondering how to choose? That was our question too, and it’s also why we’re not big on what JamPlay offers for beginners.
While we entirely appreciate that JamPlay doesn’t want to force any teachers on learners or a particular playing style, such flexibility is offered too early on in the learning process and could actually be counterproductive.
Not to generalize, but when most beginners find themselves confronted with so many options, they’re more inclined to postpone beginning guitar playing or give up on the idea altogether. For this skill set, we actually think it’s best to offer limited options to minimize the confusion – which is what Guitar Tricks does.
Winner: GuitarTricks outranks JamPlay when beginner lessons are involved. The way they shape their offerings to beginner guitar players at the early stages of their guitar journey is something worth admiring. With a beginner course like the Core Learning System, beginners are granted a solid foundation to pave the way for their musical path.
Intermediate and Advanced Players
It’s only natural that once you’re no longer a beginner, you’ll want your online guitar lessons to be as diverse as possible, and you’ll seek guitar lesson websites offering you a high level of flexibility to meet your needs as an intermediate or advanced guitarist. Accordingly, JamPlay is a no-brainer in this case.
JamPlay enables you to choose your lessons based on your preferred guitar types, offering lessons for both the electric guitar and acoustic one. Plus, you’ll choose the guitar instructor.
And since you’re advanced guitarists, you’ll be able to select the instructors with the needed skill level. JamPlay is home to 100+ professional guitar teachers, some of whom are solo artists while others were originally part of bands.
For instance, Lita Ford was a member of The Runaways Band, Bumblefoot was a member of Guns ‘N Roses, Steve Stevens and Tosin Abasi are touring guitarists! So, as an advanced guitar player, you get access to equally advanced instructors to get a hands-on learning experience.
As for GuitarTricks, its instructors are nothing short of qualified and professional – our only comment is that they're relatively few compared to JamPlay, almost approaching the 50 mark.
Therefore, it won't be a walk in the park to find a guitar teacher specializing in the exact aspect you're looking to learn. But that's not to say that they're not there! GuitarTricks does feature multiple renowned instructors, such as Anders Mouridsen, specializing in songwriting and also a producer and guitarist!
Additionally, GuitarTricks has a feature that makes up for the fewer options, which is personalized feedback. Through GuitarTricks, you could request live lessons or private lessons with instructors by booking a suitable date, time, and session duration suitable for you.
That's not an option on JamPlay, but live sessions are. From time to time, instructors hold live sessions to network with students and learners, and sometimes initiate engaging activities, like learning games and challenges to keep you motivated.
Yet, apart from guitar teachers, JamPlay offers more guitar courses in diverse genres than GuitarTricks, which makes sense. A beginner is unlikely to be thinking of taking guitar courses in niche genres. In contrast, intermediate and advanced ones are highly likely to want to learn to play in different genres – including reggae, flamenco, and gospel, to name a few.
Winner: JamPlay! JamPlay is the clear winner for advanced and intermediate guitarists, going multiple steps beyond beginner courses by offering a well-rounded selection of instructors, genres, and lessons to appeal to all advanced players.
Most online guitar lesson platforms don't offer bass guitar lessons – acoustic and electric guitar lessons continue to dominate the guitar lesson scene. While Guitar Tricks isn't an exception to that rule, JamPlay impressively does.
JamPlay has nearly 20 instructors offering bass guitar lessons, and they're equally as qualified as acoustic and electric guitar ones. Plus, JamPlay hasn't stopped there; they promise to keep expanding their instructors' roster and bass guitar lessons, which is very promising.
Winner: JamPlay – the Guitar Tricks vs. JamPlay dilemma isn’t really applicable here since the Guitar Tricks site doesn’t offer bass guitar lessons, to begin with.
The Detailed Breakdown of Each Platform
You now have an idea of which platform to go for in accordance with your skill level, but that's not the only factor to consider when choosing between Guitar Tricks and JamPlay. There’s the overall site experience, video quality, song library, cost, and more! So, let’s get into all of it.
Online guitar courses ultimately depend on video lessons, which is why the quality of the videos and the video player's features can be deal-breakers.
We'll start off by sharing the common aspects between the two platforms' video lessons. With both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay, you're allowed to adjust the playback speed to the pace you prefer through the video player, and the speeds are adjusted in 25% advances or reductions.
Plus, with both, you can maximize the video lessons to watch them in full-screen mode, and their camera angles are just-right, sufficiently depicting the guitar teacher and the guitars without distracting you by any other elements.
Now onto the differences, we were astonished by JamPlay’s video guitar lessons, mainly because they’re shot from four different camera angles, granting you a 360-view of your guitar teacher and their precise movements. At one point, you get so immersed in the video lesson that you feel that it’s a physical course instead of an online one.
That's not even all yet; JamPlay's minimum quality for its video lessons is 1080p HD, and it's not uncommon to come across plenty of 4K ones that showcase the tiniest details – keep an eye on the newly released courses.
Besides, through the video player's interface, communication features enable you to share comments with the rest of the learners on JamPlay as well as your guitar teacher. Also, if you like to take notes as cues for yourself, that's available.
On the side, you’ll also find the backing tracks that lead to JamPlay’s full-blown backing tracks library – it includes more than 700+ options, so whichever backing track you’re looking for, your chances are pretty high in finding it.
As for Guitar Tricks, our top favored feature was the ability to download the lessons! We've all been in situations where the internet connection was just plain poor, and it gets super annoying when you really want to attend your lessons, but you just can't.
Being able to download the lessons means you won’t worry about your internet connection, and you’ll be able to watch them on-the-go! Sadly, downloading lessons isn’t an option on JamPlay.
The video quality on Guitar Tricks is average, with most video lessons being 540p. To be fair, there are some HD video lessons, but they’re not the norm.
Finally, when it comes to backing tracks, Guitar Tricks boasts a library dubbed as the “Jam Station”, “jam-packed” with jam tracks – backing tracks, in essence. From acoustic guitar tracks to rock, blues, country, funk & soul, and more, you’ll find a jam track to jam with a band and play solos.
Winner: JamPlay. While the two platforms share many similarities, JamPlay's four camera angles, HD video lessons, and communication features on-site give it the edge over Guitar Tricks.
How many times were you so interested in a product or service, but upon visiting their site, you were just driven away by how sophisticated its navigation is? We can think of a handful on the top of our minds, including a lot of guitar lessons' websites, for that matter.
Fortunately, that’s not the case with our two giants. Guitar Tricks’ site is super contemporary and modernistic, with intuitive navigation that’s straightforward and hassle-free. You won’t face any issues to navigate through its pages and sections, and we found it structured and uncluttered as a whole.
Plus, the site makes it easy to track your progress because you won't have to do it yourself. When you complete a video lesson, it'll automatically get ticked off, and the next time, you'll start from the next video lesson.
Moreover, many sites have plenty of bonus guitar tools, like an online metronome or chord finder that can help you play guitar effectively, but for some reason, they're always hidden or not easy to find.
With Guitar Tricks, we were so happy to see that they’ve established a “toolbox” with all the guitar tools they offer, like a chord finder, tuner, scale finder, metronome, and more learning tools to hone your skills!
Similarly, JamPlay’s interface wasn’t troubling at all. In fact, it’s equally straightforward and structured. By simply hovering over the navigation bar on the top of the site, you’ll be able to transition from one page to another with no loopholes or errors in the process.
And when it comes to progress or curriculum tracking, JamPlay creates you a member dashboard that automatically tracks your progress with the guitar tutorials, so you won't have to worry about keeping track of yourself.
Yet, our ultimate favorite part about JamPlay’s interface was how up to the minute the site is to the extent that you could choose whether you want to use it in light or dark mode. That in itself is called effort and genuine dedication to encourage people to learn to play guitar!
Winner: Tie. Both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay have highly inviting user interfaces to draw in any guitarist passing by – from beginner to advanced player. In fact, their interfaces should be enough reason for anyone looking to learn guitar playing or up their skills to get started!
What are we all in guitar for, isn’t it songs? With that being the case, a vast song library full of modern and diverse songs always wins!
GuitarTricks goes above and beyond to offer as many guitar songs as possible in its library in this area. Its song library encompasses above 1,000 song lessons to jam along with. Whatever song lesson you're looking for, you'll find it in a “Made Easy” version if you're a beginner guitarist and a regular version for advanced players.
That includes songs by Machine Head, Sharon Aguilar, Faith Evans, Taylor Swift, Blink-182, and much more! And yes, we know how it’s not just about the availability of songs and their diversity and that it’s also about how easy it is to find the songs we’re actually looking for.
We want to assure you that Guitar Tricks makes it a piece of cake to find the song lessons you're looking for by offering a well-functioning search bar that allows you to filter the songs by name, artist series, song genre, difficulty level, and more. We couldn't ask for more!
In comparison, JamPlay’s library isn’t nearly as all-encompassing as GuitarTricks’. Featuring nearly 500 songs, it makes your options quite limited when it comes to song lessons. However, if songs aren’t your primary learning focus, you should be good to go.
Winner: Guitar Tricks comes in first! Not only does Guitar Tricks offer an all-around library of song styles and artists, but it also makes it easy-breezy to find any song in a second!
Our final comparison point for today is cost, and as much as we wished for this one to be a determining factor, it actually isn't. Both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay cost $19.95 per month if you're seeking a monthly subscription, but the annual membership is different.
With Guitar Tricks, the annual membership costs $179.99, while JamPlay’s annual membership costs $159.95. Yes, it’s a difference, but it’s a minor one.
Plus, with both memberships, you get a solid money-back guarantee. Guitar Tricks grants you a 60-day money-back guarantee, while JamPlay offers you a 30-day one, which should be enough for you to try out the platforms and see which you like better.
Lastly, speaking of trials, Guitar Tricks has a two-week free trial option, as opposed to Jam Play, which offers an entire one-month free trial.
Winner: Tie. The price differences between Guitar Tricks and JamPlay are insignificant, and they both offer a free trial and money-back options in case the experience doesn't match your expectations.
Is Guitar Tricks Good?
Definitely, especially for beginners! By providing well-structured beginner lessons covering guitar basics taught by highly effective instructor artists, Guitar Tricks is bound to transform you into the musician you yearn to become.
What Is the Cost of JamPlay?
JamPlay costs $159.95 per year for the yearly membership and $19.95 for the monthly membership, which is basically $0.67 per day.
Is JamPlay Any Good?
Most certainly! It’s one of the most comprehensive and well-rounded online guitar lessons’ platforms. Boasting more than 5,000+ video tutorials in different genres and led by renowned guitar tutors with practical, hands-on expertise, JamPlay is the way to guitar mastery!
How Much Does Guitar Tricks Cost?
Guitar Tricks costs $179.99 per year for its yearly membership and $19.99 per month for its monthly membership.
So, Guitar Tricks vs. JamPlay, two of the best online guitar lessons; but which will you choose? Let’s wrap it up one more time in case you’re still unsettled.
For beginners, we'd highly recommend Guitar Tricks. Guitar Tricks fully understands beginners' needs and offers a fully structured learning experience and the path to help you start on the right foot and at a reasonable pace. And if you want one-on-one lessons, they offer that for beginners. Plus, they have a gigantic library of songs and styles to keep your learning going.
In contrast, if you’re an intermediate or advanced player, JamPlay is the way to go! By granting you the ability to tailor your learning style and experience and giving you plenty of instructor choices, you get the precise outcome you want, no questions asked. Not to mention, if you’re interested in bass, you’ll only find it on JamPlay.
And let's not forget that engagement levels are high with JamPlay! Instructors hold q&a sessions live where you interact with other players and the instructor, which makes for an immersive experience overall.
Whichever you choose, be sure that you’re in good hands! And remember, there’s not much of a difference between them in cost, so choose the one you’re most comfortable with!
Last Updated on January 5, 2022.
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