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While tons of online platforms offer top-notch music education, not all of them are created equal. Picking the right one for your specific needs still requires doing some research, and it largely depends on what your experience level, end goal, and budget are.
But don’t worry! We’re here to make your decision a little bit easier. In our JamPlay vs. TrueFire comparison, we’ve picked two of the top online guitar lessons providers and compared all their points of strength and weakness.
JamPlay vs. TrueFire – 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 get into what sets TrueFire and JamPlay apart in detail, let’s have a quick overview of how the two compare.
|Free Trial Period||30 days||30 days|
|Money-back Guarantee||30 days||14|
|Private Online Lessons||N/A||Yes|
|HD Video Lessons||Yes||Yes|
JamPlay vs. TrueFire – In-Detail Comparison
Your music skill level should generally be the first thing you consider when deciding between TrueFire vs. JamPlay for guitar lessons. Certain lesson services will be better suited to certain proficiency levels. So, let’s see which one will suit you best based on your skill set.
JamPlay caters to beginners with its dedicated beginner’s section that branches into either Beginner Acoustic or Beginner Electric guitar courses. You also get to choose your instructor, with each one offering their own beginner lessons and content.
Picking your teacher can be a bit daunting to total newbies who don’t feel comfortable enough to customize their music lessons. However, there’s still a lot of beginner material on offer that’ll undoubtedly improve your music skills if you’re willing to put in the effort.
TrueFire has a lot of beginner material available, too, offering five learning paths focusing on different music styles: rock, acoustic, blues, jazz, and country. However, it doesn’t have any clear starting point or progression path. Instead, it gives you the freedom to forge your own path and focus on what interests you most, which isn’t the best approach for beginners.
Winner: JamPlay. While both platforms provide some wiggle room for customizing your course, JamPlay offers a bit more structure.
Intermediate and Advanced Players
With the issue of finding an intro course by a suitable teacher out of the way, JamPlay has a lot to offer its students. A more intermediate or advanced guitar player will significantly benefit from JamPlay’s massive roster of teachers, each offering a different teaching style and approach, especially well-known touring artists who offer classes at no additional cost.
JamPlay’s advanced lessons vary between technique lessons and song lessons, with other specialty courses such as songwriting and music theory thrown into the mix. You can also branch out into more niche styles such as flamenco, Brazilian, gospel, and reggae.
As for TrueFire, their seemingly limitless treasure trove of guitar tutorials and wide range of music genres is also much more suited to more experienced guitar players. Players with more experience can opt to bypass the core courses and move straight ahead to a specialized or supplementary course.
Additionally, TrueFire also offers its guitar students additional resources when they want to give their brains a musical workout. This includes practice jam tracks and standard notation, interval training, and visual/auditory chord recognition exercises.
Bass enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that both JamPlay and TrueFire offer dedicated bass courses. This is quite impressive considering that even some of the biggest names in the market, such as Guitar Tricks, don’t teach other instruments. The only caveat is that they both require a separate subscription.
JamPlay has more than 20 bass instructors in its arsenal, including Bryan Beller and David Ellefson’s likes. TrueFire is also excellent for budding bassists, offering courses for absolute beginners all the way up to advanced players.
Moreover, TrueFire’s core bass course has the same structure as the one for guitarists to give students a well-rounded musical education. TrueFire also boasts plenty of big-name bass instructors such as David Santos, Stu Hamm, and Ariane Cap.
Winner: While both would be great for learning to play bass guitars, TrueFire has a slight edge thanks to its comprehensive lesson plan.
The Detailed Breakdown of Each Platform
Now that you’ve read our comparison of what you can expect from TrueFire vs. JamPlay based on your skill level, let’s take a look at other features offered by each platform.
JamPlay’s video player is highly user-friendly – you can watch your lessons in full-screen mode, and you can also change the playback speed and loop certain parts of your course. Plus, you can watch most of the videos in 1080p quality, and the newer ones are shot in 4K. We’re also huge fans of how immersive the tutorials are, thanks to the four camera angles.
However, TrueFire’s lessons and video player quality varies slightly from one video lesson to the other. While you can enjoy some videos in 1080p HD quality, Soundslice interactive tabs, and other advanced features, older content only comes with basic controls.
Winner: JamPlay. Both platforms have some neat features, but TrueFire’s features are inconsistent across their content.
JamPlay boasts an attractive interface with a navigation bar at the top to easily navigate and access all their content. You can even choose from light and dark theme options, which we weren’t expecting to find on an online guitar lesson website. The only downside is that the interface can feel a little cluttered and crowded.
You’re immediately taken to your member dashboard, where you can access your lessons after logging in. The dashboard also includes a summary of your learning progress always to motivate you to keep learning.
TrueFire’s interface is sleek and uncluttered, and the font is large enough to read. Menu items are well-prioritized and easy to navigate, and the left sidebar offers plenty of additional customization options. Additionally, the longer you use the program, the more relevant the recommended courses will get.
Winner: TrueFire’s interface is everything we could ask for and more, while JamPlay’s design still has some weak areas.
One feature that differentiates JamPlay from Truefire is the former’s dedicated song lessons with about 450+ songs in total by famous artists and bands such as Fall Out Boy, Fleetwood Mac, and Jimi Hendrix. While the size of the library is slightly modest compared to the likes of Guitar Tricks, it’s still pretty respectable.
However, suppose you’re hoping to learn one of your favorite songs on the guitar. In that case, TrueFire will disappoint you since it doesn’t teach individual songs and only focuses on different tunes and riffs.
Winner: JamPlay. If you want to play individual songs, JamPlay is the clear winner as it offers many individual songs in almost any style you can think of.
JamPlay’s instructors’ catalog includes about 40+ for acoustic guitar and 50+ for electric, each offering specialized content in various musical areas. You can also choose to learn from a seasoned artist with lots of professional experience under their belts, such as Mike Mushok, Glen Drover, Tyler Grant, and country guitarist Brent Mason.
TrueFire also boasts a magnificent roster of instructors, including renowned musicians and even Grammy winners. Some of the industry leaders you can learn from including Steve Vai, Robben Ford, Tommy Emmanuel, Pat Martino, and Stu Hamm. You get to choose your instructors based on your guitar skills and what musical style you prefer.
As for private guitar lessons, JamPlay doesn’t offer one-on-one private lessons, but its live Studio Sessions are just as effective, giving you the chance to interact with your teachers and get personalized feedback.
Conversely, TrueFire offers private lessons for a monthly tuition fee, but they’re not in real-time. You can only record a video, send it to your tutors, and then wait for their personalized feedback. They also offer an In The Jam section, where you can jam along with top musicians as you read from the sheet music.
JamPlay’s membership is priced at $19.95 per month. You can also save around $60 per month if you go for their annual plan, which costs $159.95. In both cases, you’re eligible for a 30-day money-back guarantee if the course wasn’t to your liking.
On the other hand, TrueFire’s monthly pricing is slightly higher, costing $29, and the yearly plan costs $149. You can also make a one-off payment of $1,499 for a lifetime membership. Other than that, you have the option to buy and download single courses for a $10-$60 one-time fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does JamPlay Have a Mobile App?
Yes! JamPlay has Android & iOS apps where members can view all their content whenever they want.
Does JamPlay Have a Backing Track Library?
Yes! JamPlay boasts a library dedicated to backing tracks with more than 700 tracks ready for you to learn.
Does TrueFire Offer Artist Master Classes?
Definitely! TrueFire occasionally offers live masterclasses by renowned artists at an additional cost. However, you might catch them on sale sometimes, so always keep an eye out!
When it comes to deciding between JamPlay vs. TrueFire, the choice may not be as clear-cut as both provide top-of-the-line online music education by leading instructors.
Total beginners and aspiring guitarists will be better off getting a JamPlay membership since their content is a bit more structured. TrueFire’s content, on the other hand, is better suited to intermediate and advanced guitarists.
Both TrueFire and JamPlay offer plenty of musical genres, but if you want to play your favorite songs or backing tracks or you’re looking for a more niche style, however, then JamPlay will be your best bet.
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.