Guitar Aficionado is supported by readers. If you buy something after clicking on one of our links, we may get an affiliate commission from that & it won’t cost you anything.
Online guitar lessons can be a sure way of learning to play your instrument quickly and adequately. But they only work if you make sure you’re learning from the best.
JamPlay launched in 2006 and has steadily grown to be one of the largest online guitar lesson providers, with around 120 different instructors and more than 500,000 students. Fender Play, in contrast, is a relatively newer addition. It was introduced in 2017 by the legendary American guitar manufacturer.
But when it comes to choosing between JamPlay vs. Fender Play, you might find yourself wondering which one is for you. This is where we come in!
In this article, we’ll compare the two platforms to give you an idea about their course structure, instructional videos, user interface, learning styles, and pricing to help you find the one that best suits your level and your personal goals.
JamPlay vs. Fender Play – Feature for Feature Comparison
Quick side note before we start, I’ve had some readers ask about the easiest way to learn guitar. I’ve shared that here for those that are interested.
Ok, back to the article.
Before we explore each platform in detail, let’s take a look at an overview of the main features offered by both of them.
|Free Trial Period||30 days||14 days|
|Money-back Guarantee||30 days||14 days|
|Private Online Lessons||No||No|
|HD Video Lessons||Yes||Yes|
JamPlay vs. Fender Play – In-Detail Comparison
Now that you have an idea of the essential features offered by both JamPlay and Fender Play, let’s delve deeper into what each of them has to offer at each step of your guitar learning journey.
JamPlay offers a dedicated beginner’s section divided into Beginner Acoustic and Beginner Electric guitar courses. It also gives you the flexibility of picking your instructor, with each instructor bringing something unique to the table by offering their own set of beginner lessons.
While it’s undoubtedly an impressive offering, this flexibility in tailoring your learning paths and choosing from a massive pool of teachers can be counterproductive and overwhelming for a total newbie. But that’s not to say JamPlay doesn’t offer a goldmine of content for newbies willing to customize their learning plan, so it all depends on your preference.
Moving on to Fender Play, it also features its own curriculum for newbies called My Path.
First, you pick your desired instrument out of 4 options: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, or ukulele. Then, you need to choose out of five genres: rock, blues, folk, pop, or country.
After that, you can access your My Path curriculum, which consists of 5 levels, with each level gradually increasing in depth and complexity. You also get occasional song lessons thrown into the mix for more variety.
Winner: Fender Play’s beginner guitar lessons are more focused and less overwhelming than JamPlay.
Intermediate and Advanced Players
Once you’ve learned the basics, it makes sense to want to focus on a particular style. This is where JamPlay’s impressive catalog of teachers truly shines, as each will bring something slightly different to the table. A more skilled guitarist will also undoubtedly benefit from courses by featured big-name touring professionals.
JamPlay also has a slight edge if you’re looking to branch out into more niche genres such as gospel, reggae, and flamenco. The site also offers songwriting and music theory courses.
Moreover, JamPlay has other offerings that’ll be mainly of use for intermediate and advanced guitarists. This includes a dedicated online library of chords and scales, a chord finder to help you discover the name of any chord you play, an online guitar tuner, and a metronome to improve your timing.
On the other hand, Fender Play doesn’t have a comparable number of instructors or advanced levels geared towards already-proficient musicians. The content organization also makes it a little challenging to find the required skill level for each course.
That said, that little content varies between theory, chords, tone, and scale lessons, and the site also offers chord diagrams, sheet music, and tabs to simplify the learning process.
Winner: JamPlay is a more suitable choice for proficient players as it offers more advanced lessons and a much larger content variety.
JamPlay has 20 dedicated bass teachers, and their structured courses are on par with their acoustic and electric guitar ones. Likewise, some of Fender Play’s teachers also give bass and ukulele courses.
This is pretty impressive considering that even some of the market’s most prominent names like Guitar Tricks don’t focus on other instruments besides acoustic and electric guitars.
The Detailed Breakdown of Each Platform
Now that we’ve covered which platform is more suitable for which skill level, it’s time to look at all the other features offered by JamPlay and Fender Play to give you a more well-rounded idea of what’s on offer.
JamPlay goes well and beyond regarding their video player to ensure an excellent user experience. They offer a multitude of features, but the standout ones are the ability to set the playback speed and loop certain parts of video tutorials. Both features are crucial if you want to drill new techniques or learn a more complicated passage.
The videos themselves are very well produced. You get a very immersive experience thanks to the four camera angles and HD content. Most of their video lessons have a quality of 1080p HD, while the newer videos are in 4K.
By the same token, the videos on the Fender Play site are all in HD with great production value and multiple angles. Unfortunately, the video player itself is very basic, and unlike JamPlay, you can’t loop videos or adjust their playback speed.
Winner: JamPlay is a clear winner here thanks to its excellent HD contents as well as its sophisticated video player.
JamPlay’s user interface is very sleek and uncluttered, with a clear navigation bar at the top for easy access to all the content on their site. After logging in, you’re taken to your member dashboard, where you can access your lessons and track your progress. The website even has light and dark theme options, which was certainly a pleasant surprise!
Likewise, the Fender Play website design is also neat and easy-to-navigate, and that also goes for their Android and iOS apps. If you prefer to visualize your guitar learning progress, Fender Play also offers a progress tracker, allowing you to see what skills classes and songs you’ve completed.
With Fender Play, you can also earn a Streak if you log in for three consecutive days and watch at least seven minutes of content, which is excellent for maintaining the drive to keep learning.
Winner: Fender Play’s website and mobile apps are more polished, inviting, and user-friendly.
JamPlay has a pretty solid song library consisting of about 450+ songs in total. But while that’s a pretty decent number, it still falls short of its competition.
Despite being the newer of the two sites, Fender Play’s song library is more extensive than that of JamPlay. It currently features over 700 song lessons, and it’s still rapidly growing with new songs added each week.
The only downside to Fender Play offerings is that many songs in their library are riffs and not the whole song.
Winner: The Fender Play song library is the winner here as it’s much more extensive, ever-growing, and offering a wider variety of content.
JamPlay boasts an impressive roster of instructors with about 40+ for acoustic guitar lessons and 50+ for electric ones. What Fender Play offers, in contrast, is a bit more modest, with only 18 teachers, but the smaller catalog doesn’t at all mean they’re not well-trained and capable of offering excellent lesson content.
While neither JamPlay nor Fender Play offers one-on-one private sessions, JamPlay still has a slight edge over Fender Play. JamPlay provides live Studio Sessions, which are as good as a private guitar lesson, enabling you to interact with guitar teachers to hone your technique. You also get guitar tabs and guided homework for additional practice later.
You can attend these live sessions with your basic JamPlay membership without any additional charges. They’re also in 1080p quality, so it really feels as if you’re face-to-face with your teacher!
Winner: JamPlay offers a broader variety of teachers and the chance to interact with them via live sessions.
JamPlay’s subscription costs $19.95 per month. But you can save a little bit more with annual plans, which cost $159.95 and can, therefore, save you around $60 and is cheaper per month.
In contrast, the price of the monthly and yearly Fender Play plans is much lower, costing $9.99 per month or $89.99 per year, respectively. This is almost half the JamPlay subscription price, and it’s not for lack of features.
On top of that, if you’re thinking of purchasing a Fender guitar, a Fender Play membership gives you 10% off Fender guitars, amps, and gear.
Don’t worry, though, if you’re not yet ready to commit. That’s what trial periods are for. Jam Play offers you a month-long free trial, while Fender Play offers a shorter 14-day free trial.
Winner: Tie. While Fender Play’s price is lower, we believe that both websites offer great value for money, and JamPlay certainly offers a few more features to make up for the uptick in cost.
Can a Newbie Choose Their Instructor on Fender Play?
Unlike JamPlay, Fender Play doesn’t allow you to choose your instructor. The teachers also vary by video, which can be useful as it means getting exposed to different teachers. But bear in mind that the quality will undoubtedly vary.
Does JamPlay Have an Active Online Community?
Yes! JamPlay has an active forum, and you can also share comments with the community or your teacher on the video player.
Can I Learn to Play Backing Tracks on JamPlay?
Absolutely! In addition to its song library, JamPlay also has a dedicated backing tracks library comprising more than 700 tracks.
Whether you’re a total newbie or have some guitar playing experience under your belt but want to learn further and hone your guitar playing skills, instructional guitar-playing services can be the answer you’re looking for. But the question of JamPlay vs. Fender Play is far from being clear-cut.
If you’re a beginner, Fender Play’s lesson plan will provide more structure and won’t overwhelm you too much. An advanced guitar player, in contrast, may prefer JamPlay’s vast scope of courses and theory as they’ll be more suitable for honing their skills and improving their techniques.
JamPlay also has an edge in the sheer number of teachers and music styles available, although its song library is a bit lacking. However, Fender Play has an advantage in its user interface and its more extensive song library, and the lower price also doesn’t hurt.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!
Last Updated on April 9, 2021.