JamPlay vs Guitar Tricks: The Best Online Guitar Lesson For You
Online Guitar Lessons for Beginners > JamPlay vs Guitar Tricks
If you’ve shopped around for online guitar lessons, at some point you would have come across the JamPlay vs Guitar Tricks debate.
While both platforms offer their unique functionalities, they’re both big legends in online guitar lessons.
That means that they’re both great options and the main decision you need to make is which one is best for you.
Now, there are countless apps for learning guitar. And with so many options available, finding the perfect online guitar lesson tailored to your needs and aspirations can be both exciting and overwhelming.
This is exactly why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide exploring both JamPlay and Guitar Tricks, breaking them down by features, and providing a side-by-side comparison as well as a final verdict.
JamPlay vs Guitar Tricks at a Glance
If you don’t have time to read the full article, take a look at this short comparison overview below before we dive in.
|Founded in 2006
|Founded in 1998 and considered a pioneer in online guitar learning
|Less beginner-friendly since it’s slightly less structured than Guitar Tricks
|Yes – great structure to lessons for gradual progression
|14-day free trial
|14-day free trial
|30-day money back guarantee
|60-day money back guarantee
Now that we know a bit of information about each platform, let’s examine each aspect in more detail.
Background and Basics
Let’s take a look at the basics of each app. What does it look like at first glance, and how long has it been on the market?
Guitar Tricks is a video-based guitar curriculum platform that has been around since 1998 – that’s a lot of skin in the game!
Their decades of experience, expansive song library, and strong community base make them an attractive option for anyone looking to learn the guitar.
JamPlay also uses video-based learning and has existed since 2006, which also makes it a veteran in the world of online guitar learning.
In that time, the app has acquired a large portfolio of experienced instructors, each specializing in various genres and techniques.
JamPlay recently merged its video lesson library with TrueFire, another online learning platform, which resulted in an ever larger, more comprehensive video library.
Beginner-Friendly: Is It Suitable for Amateurs?
You might find that some online learning platforms are not so well suited to beginner players at all. This becomes obvious when examining factors such as the suitability of course material, the usability of the app, and the details of the lessons.
I always like to examine apps with these key elements in mind. After all, you wouldn’t want to download an app only to realize it’s a bit too advanced for your current skill level.
Not only is this annoying, but it’s enough to stymie your guitar-learning journey altogether!
With that in mind, let’s see if both platforms are good for beginners.
Guitar Tricks is truly great for players of all levels – especially beginners. Thanks to their decades of experience, they quickly learned that if lessons weren’t easy to follow, beginner players might drop out altogether.
As a result, Guitar Tricks has developed a Core Learning Program and excellently structured lessons that take you through all the essentials – from music theory to chords and scales. The progression of lessons is very clear, allowing beginner players to take things at their own pace.
JamPlay does offer course material for beginner players, but what sets it apart from Guitar Tricks is that it’s slightly less structured.
The platform presents beginners with a huge variety of teachers offering beginner lessons and leaves it up to you to choose which one you would like to try.
For some beginners, the prospect of choosing a certain style, technique, and approach to teaching so soon in the game can be quite daunting.
This flexibility for beginners can of course suit another style of player who really appreciates flexibility and freedom when starting off.
Price: Best Bang for Your Buck?
Pricing is a huge factor when choosing online guitar lessons.
Not only do you want good value for money, but you also want to know that the money you’re spending is a good investment in your guitar learning journey.
Both platforms use a monthly subscription and occasionally offer promotions and discounts, enhancing affordability for users seeking high-quality guitar education without breaking the bank.
The below prices were recorded as of November 2023.
Guitar Tricks costs $19.95 per month for full access. There’s also a free version you could try that’s very limited but might be a nice way to get an initial feel for the app.
JamPlay costs $29 per month for all access. They also offer a cheaper version that has a smaller course library and no song lessons.
Free Trial: Can You Try It Out First?
A free trial is an important part of testing out whether an app will really suit your needs or not. It allows you to take a look and see if you enjoy not just the course content, but also the style and user interface too.
While both apps offer trial periods, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to cancel your subscription before your trial period is up.
Guitar Tricks offers a 14-day free trial period for you to test things out. After that, you can decide whether or not to go for the paid option.
Similarly, JamPlay also offers a 14-day free trial period. You can test all the features such as learning videos, tab, notation, jam tracks, slo-mo, looping, tuner, and lots more!
Refund Policy: Can You Get Your Money Back?
Having a secure refund policy can bring you peace of mind when purchasing. Having the option for a refund is critical if you’re truly not happy with the product.
Guitar Tricks offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, meaning that if you request a refund within 60 days of purchasing the full-access subscription, you can get your money back.
JamPlay offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your membership within the first 30 days, they will provide you a refund – no questions asked.
Weekly Commitment: How Much Time Do You Need to Commit?
A weekly time commitment from an online learning platform can be super helpful for drilling in that feeling of showing up consistently to practice guitar.
Consistent playing can help you see some real progress.
That’s why I designed my own program – Tony’s Acoustic Challenge – around having fun while playing regularly. I wanted to make sure that students were enjoying their time playing guitar, which means they’re more likely to do it every day. Over time, this ensures consistent and meaningful progress!
Try this FREE lesson where I show you the three secrets to learning guitar in just 10 minutes a day!
Otherwise, let’s take a look at what Guitar Tricks and JamPlay have to offer.
Guitar Tricks allows users to decide how much time they want to give to practice themselves. It works well for flexible schedules but lacks a bit of that consistency and accountability.
If you’re someone who needs a bit more structure to your practice time, then this might not be for you.
JamPlay has a similar model – you decide when you want to practice and for how long. Again, great for flexibility but I find it lacking a bit in terms of accountability.
User Interface (UI): How Does the App Feel?
While the user interface of a guitar learning app might not initially seem so important, it is one of the main factors that keeps you coming back to play.
The UI of an app is the design that allows you to navigate to and interact with the features, content, and functions of the app.
A good UI saves you time when it comes to understanding the app and navigating where you want to go, which is why it’s an important point to consider!
Guitar Tricks has come a long way since its beginnings in 1998. Today, the app has a modern look and feel and intuitive navigation.
It’s very easy to find the content you’re looking for and it even has a “Toolbox” where you can find all the best features such as a metronome, a chord finder, a tuner, and more.
JamPlay has a similarly modern and easy-to-use user interface that ensures you won’t get lost or bogged down with bad design!
The app allows you to track your progress in a dashboard, bookmark lessons that you might want to come back to, and collect points and badges.
It even has a light or dark mode option, allowing you to choose depending on what your eyes feel like!
Both JamPlay and Guitar Tricks have a whole variety of great features tailored to speak to lots of different playing and learning styles. And it’s in the finer details of these features that you see the key differences between both apps.
If you don’t already know what kind of features are important to you and the stage you’re at, definitely try a free trial period to find out. This is the best way of knowing whether something like variable playback speed is crucial to your decision.
One of the most helpful things about Guitar Tricks is its lesson notation. Every lesson includes a lesson notation allowing you to view exactly what the instructor is teaching you. This is not only great for guidance while you’re playing, but also for referring back to and for previewing lessons.
Some lessons include a jam track – recordings of a band playing music with the lead guitarist (i.e. you!) taken out. This can be very helpful for practicing what you’ve just learned and maybe even dabbling in some improvising.
Another great feature that’s particularly appealing to beginners, is the variable playback speed. This allows you to play back lessons at whatever speed you’re most comfortable with. You can go as slow or as fast as you like.
And for anyone who needs a bit more connection, there’s an interactive forum where users can chat, share experiences, and seek advice from fellow guitar enthusiasts.
In case you’re missing some personal guidance and feedback, there is also the option of doing some one-on-one lessons at an additional cost.
One of the most defining features of JamPlay is its wide selection of different instructors and lessons that cater to all sorts of styles, genres, and skill types. This provides users with an unparalleled sense of freedom when it comes to who they learn from.
The app also provides useful features like scale finders and chord libraries, allowing users to brush up on their theory and fundamentals.
JamPlay has some similar features to Guitar Tricks such as the one-on-one lessons, a lively forum, and the jam track, but it also offers masterclasses with huge names like Bumblefoot of Guns’N’Roses!
Looking for an Alternative?
After a long hard look at JamPlay vs Guitar Tricks, maybe you’re still on the fence. And that’s okay! There’s a lot to take in when considering learning platforms like this and there’s a lot that you need to determine about your guitar learning journey too.
Read our other guitar app comparisons to get a better grasp of your options:
If you feel like something different altogether, maybe joining a vibrant community of musicians on a lifelong guitar-playing journey is more for you!
Watch this FREE guitar class where I show you the three secrets to learning guitar in just 10 minutes per day.
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Remember, the secret to a fulfilling guitar journey is consistency, not laborious practice.
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In the realm of online guitar education, Guitar Tricks, JamPlay, and my class, Tony’s Acoustic Challenge, are all great options, each with its unique strengths catering to diverse learning needs.
Guitar Tricks impresses with its meticulously structured curriculum, making it an excellent choice for beginners seeking a clear and progressive learning path.
JamPlay stands out for its diverse lineup of instructors and genres, offering a wide musical spectrum for learners to explore.
And Tony’s Acoustic Challenge is best at getting you excited to play guitar every day!