JamPlay Review – Features – FAQ
When my daughter announced to me that she wanted to learn guitar, I stopped to think about it for a moment. I know my brother had learned many years ago and he was really glad he did, so I believed it would be a great experience for her.
Being a web guy myself, my first thought was whether she could learn guitar online, or will she need a tutor physically present all the time. So I set out on a bit of a mission to look at the top sites for learning guitar online.
There were 3 popular destinations that kept cropping up everywhere, so I decided to take a serious look at each one in depth to make the best educated decision I could. (I made a table to compare the top guitar learning sites here).
This Jamplay review is one of the results of my search.
I had a ton of questions that needed answering because I had no idea about learning guitar myself since I never had the urge to learn. That’s one of the beautiful things about having children, you get to explore a lot of stuff that may never have piqued your interest as you were growing up.
When I arrived at the Jamplay website, it was colorful, dynamic, content-rich, and looked well designed giving me the feeling that I was at least dealing with a professional group. At the time of my visit, they advertise that they have served over 380 thousand guitarists and they have in excess of 4,600 video lessons in HD suitable for beginners and improvers.
Let’s have a look at the features of the Jamplay system…
Massive Quantity Of Lessons
Jamplay is an extremely active publisher of guitar lessons online, more than the others that I’d seen. In fact, they publish 11 hours of new lessons every 30 days, so there is always something new to keep you inspired. Their database already has over 4600 videos in it, and each lesson is professionally filmed in their studios in Greeley, Ohio. Also, each piece being recorded is filmed with at least 3 cameras from different angles, so you can get a better feel for the actual techniques, and can catch all the details and nuances.
All video is filmed in high definition and streamed in five different qualities so that you can view the appropriate quality for your device, and just about every device is supported. Presentation is responsive and mobile ready so there should be no problems accessing content.
- over 380,000 guitarists served
- massive 4,600+ HD videos available
- lessons filmed with 3-5 camera angles for clarity
- streamed in 5 qualities for your devices
- just about all devices are supported – responsive and mobile ready
- 11 hours of new lessons every month to keep you inspired
Streaming Video Quality…
They offer lessons specifically for beginners, as well as lessons in style (or genre), individual skill-learning lessons, lessons to learn particular songs, their special artist series, live lessons, and they even have a dedicated bass guitar site. I’ll talk in more detail about each of these below.
Interactive Tabs With Audio Playback
Jamplay uses one of the most advanced sheet music and tab players on the web, giving you a unique ability to experience interactive tabs without any web plugins.
Each lesson offered is complimented with interactive tabs and learning material to aid your development as a guitarist. Interactive tabs give you the following benefits:
- Works on mobile devices and tablets
- No flash or other plugins required
- Fully responsive to your browser and window sizes
- Slow down playback without pitch loss
- Print capable in native formats (no images)
- Full tab along with standard notation capability
At Jamplay, your progress is always tracked for you, so that you can keep an eye on what you have done already and plan accordingly.
The built in speed controller allows you to adjust the rate of playback from 10% to 25% to 50% to 75% or 100% of the original, giving you full control with the Jamplay custom video player.
You never need to worry about what device you will be connecting to Jamplay with because their video lesson player is fully responsive and will work beautifully on any size of device.
With Jamplay’s video player, you not only have the slow motion player controls, but you can also loop the video from any point to any other giving you great control. Loop any section of the video.
Another great feature that comes in very handy is the video bookmarking facility at Jamplay. You can also create custom titles for your bookmarks – very nice.
With jamplay, you’ll never have a problem creating hard copies (i.e. printed copies) of any of the supplemental documentation, as everything is print ready from all your devices.
At Jamplay they’ve gone to great lengths to make sure all their content can be viewed perfectly on any device – a must these days!
Jamplay Structured Phases Of Learning
At Jamplay they want everything to be as flexible as possible and so they have made their training available in 3 phases. That means you have the freedom to learn what you want, when you want. The 3 phases are
- Beginner Lessons – getting all the basics down
- Genre Lessons – with a skill building focus in each specific genre
- Song Lessons – learn to play your favorite songs
Level 1 of our instructing approach works to show you the flat out basic principles, such as tuning, posture, technique, reading tablature along with playing basic chords. Our Level 1 sessions get going as if you have just picked up a guitar for the first time, and follow bit-by-bit through the whole beginner program.
Genre lessons – Skill Building Focus
Level 2 focuses on genre specific techniques and skills. After you’ve got a really good grasp of what’s taught in level 1, then you can choose your favorite genre of music and move onto stage 2. Stage 2 assumes that you already have a basic understanding of the guitar.
Level 3 – Lots of guitar players just want to be able to pick up the guitar and play their favorite songs. After the first 2 phases where you learn the basics and skills, phase 3 lets you get right into playing songs, and our teachers take your requests and teach you to play them.
JamPlay’s Massive Learning Community
Many people don’t realize it at first, but there is a massive community of users at Jamplay. In fact, they total 350,000+.
Friends List: All members of JamPlay form a great community of aspiring musicians. Find & make new friends for guitar help, or just some ol’ fashion time-killing. Learning any instrument can be tough, so make friends who can help support you on the way.
JamPlay Profile: Upon signup, you can create your own member profile comprised of facts, photos, musical background, and a wide variety of additional traits. Members can search to find, contact, and add you as a friend.
Live Chat: Interactive chat room running 24/7. Chat in real-time with your fellow Members and JamPlay teachers. Hop in anytime to ask guitar questions, or general conversation.
Messaging System: Your own private, personal online message center to manage your communication with other JamPlay members and our administrative staff. Fully equipped with Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, and Compose features to manage your messages.
User Forum: A very active user forum. Discuss current lessons, pose your questions to our teachers, and keep up to date with the buzz around the JamPlay.com Community.
What About The Teachers?
This is one area where JamPlay not only excels, but they actually take the game to a whole new level. I mean, where else in the world are you going to get access to 78 qualified instructors that are just waiting to get you playing like a pro. These guy have a combined experience of 2,738 years, Wow!
Yes, knowledge is vital, but experience is critical too. And there’s no shortage here…
It’s true that learning 1 on 1 is very beneficial, but not taking the opportunity to learn from several professional players would be a very foolish move. The Jamplay team spends most of their time finding new talented performers and teachers and getting them into the studio for filming for their members.
With over 20 Acoustic guitar teachers to teach us the basics and the skills, and even more than that for the electric guitar lessons, we have no shortage of skilled teachers to get us pumped and primed!
Not only them, but 30+ famed individual recording and performing acoustic artists, along with heavy metal and rock artists from various bands teach us their songs as well as their playing techniques and composition ideas in the Artist series of lessons. Just check them out here…
Remember as members, we get access to all of these teachers and performers!
Live, Interactive Video Guitar Lessons
Wow… where does it end? As if everything we looked at wasn’t enough, this is the icing on the cake for me. This runs 7 days a week – no joke!
This is exclusive to JamPlay, and you won’t see it anywhere else. It’s called Jam Chat, and it means that you can interact with the instructors via text-chat and webcam-webcam video stream. There are daily sessions covering a wide range of topics, and this feature allows you to bridge the gap that may otherwise be there between convenient online guitar lessons and the traditional personal instruction… what an amazing idea.
- Open participation for all members
- Free with a JamPlay Membership
- Broadcast your own video stream
- Get help from pro instructors
- Regular open mic nights, show your skill
- Webcam-to-webcam capability
- 30,000 Hours Delivered since 2009
- 8+ hours of live sessions – daily
JamPlay Compared With Other Methods Of Learning
Compare learning guitar with JamPlay versus some of the more traditional and modern alternatives, both free and paid, and you decide what you think is the better deal:
Other Highlights Of JamPlay
- Unlimited Lesson Viewing
- Live Lessons here
- Scale Library (any scale)
- Custom Chord Sheets
- Backing Tracks
- Interactive Educational Games
- Interactive Community
- Chord Library (950,000+)
- 600+ Jam-Along Tracks
- Lick & Riff Library
- 22 Free Lessons here and another 160 can be accessed from that page
Here are some of the most common questions about the Jamplay learning system.
– How many lessons do Jamplay offer?
Jamplay currently have 4636+ lessons from 78 instructors, averaging 16 minutes in length. Every last one of these lessons is available for you to learn from once you become a member. If you have ever bought an instructional DVD before, imagine having hundreds of them for just $19.95 a month. And they add at least 11 hours of new content per month.
– How long is each lesson?
An average lesson is around 16 minutes from start to finish. Some lessons are 5 minutes while others are 60, depending on the subject and teacher. It is important to keep in mind that you are not simply getting a website which offers a random collection of 2 minute clips. Instead, you are gaining access the most comprehensive, complete set of guitar lessons in the world. Everything is well arranged and caters to your needs.
– Do I need anything special to view the videos?
The only thing you need to enjoy the JamPlay guitar learning experience is a computer and internet connection. To watch their Super High & 720p videos, you will need high speed internet. If you have a slower connection, there’s no need to worry. Their system makes lower resolution / bitrate videos available.
– Can I watch the lessons anytime?
Absolutely! You can view any of their lessons any time of the day, any day of the week, 24/7. You can also view any lesson as many times as you want. There are zero restrictions on how many times you are allowed to view any of the lessons. You can watch every lesson from every single teacher on their site if you have 1,088 hours of free time!
– How many teachers do they have?
They currently have 78 teachers and are always adding more. Each of their instructors presents their material from their own perspective, in their own unique manner. This allows you to learn from a knowledgeable, but diverse group of individuals. If you check out a lesson from Steve and don’t quite understand, you can check out a similar lesson from Jim whom may make a lot more sense to you. This is the true beauty of Jam Play. For more information, visit their instructors page.
– Do they ever add new lessons?
They take pride in being the most active publisher of video guitar lessons on the web. Having 3 studios located across the United States, they typically film, edit and publish 5 new lessons each and every week. JamPlay will never be complete and will always be receiving updates in the form of new instructors and new lessons so that you can rest assured there will always be something new to learn.
– Will JamPlay work on a Mac or mobile?
JamPlay is compatible with Macs, iPads, iPhones, iPods, and most Android phones, Blackberry phones, and PCs. The only exceptions are flashed-base objects. These include, but are not limited to, their games and live chat.
– How much is a membership?
They currently offer all of their content for $19.95 per month. That’s only $0.67 cents per day for the ultimate in guitar learning!
– What are the payment options?
They accept credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club), as well as payments via PayPal.
– Do I get everything with a “membership”?
Absolutely everything. A JamPlay subscription gives you access to every lesson they have published, dating back to the first day they were in business. There are no additional charges or fees for viewing any lesson, or for watching any lesson multiple times. Once you subscribe to their service, there is nothing you can’t do or learn!
– Can I upgrade my membership to save money?
Definitely. You can upgrade your monthly membership to a quarterly or annual membership anytime you’d like. This option is available on your account settings page once you become a member.
– Can I ask an instructor a question?
A membership to JamPlay gives you access to many, many ways to get answers to your questions. This can be through the live lessons, forums, or JamChat!.
– What does the 100% money back guarantee mean?
JamPlay are so confident in their product that they will offer you a 100% money back guarantee. If you are ever unhappy with your membership, they will give you an unconditional, no questions asked refund. Refunds requests must be made in the first 7 days of membership.
– How easy is it to cancel my membership?
You can cancel your membership anytime via a cancel link in the members area. You can also call or email them anytime and they will take care of it for you. There are no hoops to jump through or questions to answer. Canceling is literally just a click away.
Who Is JamPlay Really Suitable For?
There’s something for just about everyone in JamPlay, but those that will benefit most are:
The beginner or self-taught guitarist wanting to know more.
The intermediate-advanced player looking to master specific styles or skills. JamPlay offers specific tuition in 11+ different areas including “theory and improvisation”, “ear training”, “studio skills”, “instrument care”, etc
Those who want to learn a specific style of music that they can’t find taught elsewhere (eg. Metal/Celtic/R&B/Soul/Funk, etc)
Those interested in singing and playing guitar together. In the “skills” section.
Those who want to get the chance to learn from established music industry guitar players.
Those who want to save a lot of cash compared to hiring a private tutor.
Students looking for more flexibility to learn what they want, when and where they want, at their own pace.
Those looking for the biggest variety of styles to learn. There’s 20+ styles to choose from at JamPlay.
What Are People Saying About JamPLay?
The BAD stuff first!
While I have found a couple of so-called “bad comments” on my journey, they’re really not deal-breakers in my mind, you decide for yourself.
For example, “it’s hard to replace face to face tuition”, but with the live sessions and JamChat, most students seem satisfied.
Some say it’s expensive at $19.95 a month, but when I hear that kind of comment, I always ask, “expensive compared to what?”. Sure, it’s not cheap! But when you look at what you are getting in terms of content, even compared to other online programs, as well as your other offline options to learn guitar, you start to see that it’s actually really good value.
Also, you can upgrade anytime to an annual billing at $179.95, meaning you really only pay $14.99 per month or only $0.49 per day. There’s also a coupon code in the comparison chart here that will get you another 10% off any subscription, meaning you can get in for $161.95 annually (only $13.49 per month).
A few commented on the 7 day refund period, saying it is too short, without enough time to go through the whole program. Personally, I got through enough in the first day to decide that I can use this system without any problems. So I’m not really sure what the problem really is. Maybe some users want to learn to play the guitar in a week, dream on! I just saw it as a 7 day guarantee, for added peace of mind.
A few comments said that the section for learning songs was a bit limited in the styles, but on further inspection I’ve found that those comments were older ones and not really valid now. Now we can access song lessons in 13+ styles including
- R&B/Funk Guitar Songs
- Rock Guitar
- Bluegrass / Folk Guitar
- Metal Guitar
- Blues Guitar
- Classical Guitar
- Gospel Guitar
- Holiday Guitar
- Country Guitar
- Jazz Guitar
- Punk Guitar
- Teacher Composition Guitar Songs
- Fingerstyle Guitar
I saw a few comments that say there is no free trial at JamPlay. I’m guessing that these were more old comments, as I got in on there free trial page.
And The Good Stuff!
I must say that I found a lot of positive comments about Jam Play all over the place, and you can find them fast and easily for yourself too on Google search. So I’ll just paste a few below.
“The way the instructors teach things and the way they are laid out are perfect for beginners and advanced players.”
I found a lot of people commenting about how great the community aspects to JamPlay are, and about the “live” sessions. The live sessions are exclusive to Jamplay, and another great way to connect with instructors.
“You have a first-class experience instructors faculty that is one of the best if not the best in the entire Internet. My special admiration for my instructor Jessica Baron. She is one in a million. She is so a delightful person, that you never get bored. Thanks again.”
There’s a lot of positive feedback about the volume of content, the quality of the video playback, the skills training, and the pricing too.
“I’m not a great guitarist by any means but you helped me improve from just playing cords and basic strumming to being able to add bass notes and picking a little. I wanted to improve my playing and through Jamplay I definitely have. Your pricing is great as well. I look forward t o another year of learning and improving my guitar playing ability.”
“I simply LOVE jamplay!! It has been a very positive experience for me. This involves far more than just the lessons (as great as they are), but to the quick response to questions, the friendliness and helpfulness of the Jamplay community, and all of the bells and whistles”
“After being self taught for some years, I was struggling. I love JamPlay because it is easy to use, and the lessons are taught by lessons which build on each other in a way that is needed. Also I can choose a teacher that I think is more my style. This is not to take anything away from any other instructor because they are all very qualified. I started with Lisa Pursell, and love it because I’m a blues type of guy. In fact I caught her on a live chat the other day, and I was able to ask lesson questions. You can’t beat that. I love JamPlay. thank you for everything.”
“..I can now just pick up my guitar whenever I am in the mood, sit down at my PC & start learning..”
“I am having a great time learning the guitar and Jamplay is just the vehicle for me. I can access it any time day or night, I can go over a lesson as often as I need to and it provides a great motivation to continue learning. I will obtain live instruction sometime, probably this coming fall, but only to supplement what Jamplay is able to provide and maybe only to get hands-on help getting through tough spots. I think some constructive criticism would also be beneficial. I like the presentation, and I really like the ability to access more than one instructor.”
“I’m having a lot of fun and learning many new and exciting things about playing guitar. Particularly the Bluegrass with Steve Eulberg and Rock with Brad Henecke lessons.”
There’s also a testimonial page on the Jamplay site itself, which looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while. I guess they don’t see the need to add any more comments, as their reputation is pretty solid now.
Here’s My Content Breakdown – What You Get Inside
The content at JamPlay is structured for success. The core teaching takes place in 3 phases that you can access at any time you feel appropriate.
Phase 1 is entitled “Beginners“ but actually it caters to 2 different types – the complete newbie, and the self-taught guitarist.
For those who have never played, the topics include
- Holding The Pick
- Proper Fret Hand Posture
- Chords and Scales
- The Guitar Body and Maintenance
- Playing Posture
- Strumming Techniques and Rhtythm
- Music Theory
- 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
So, although phase 1 is meant for beginners, there are many for whom brushing-up on the basics may be a good idea, as it is very easy to develop bad habits even through regular practice. The basics are always important.
Phase 2 is entitled “Style & Skills”
This section is just amazing! The variety of content covered in terms of styles and skills is astounding.
The training covers all the popular genres, and then some – actually at least 20 styles are featured at the time of this article, including:
- Hawaiian Slack Key
- R&B / Soul
- Slap Bass
On top of the style trainings are the skill trainings. It is phenomenal how Jamplay have put it all together. The sheer scope of the teachings is what sets them apart from other services. They cover diverse topics from Lead Concepts & Techniques, thru Reading Music and Rhythms, to Recording and Micing Guitars in a studio, they cover it all. Here’s a list of the topics:
- 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 (a section I was very excited about)
- 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
and they are all covered in enough depth and detail to be actually useful!
Phase 3 is entitled “Learn Songs“
– Video Instruction
Learning from tabs or other methods is a difficult, frustrating process. JamPlay take you step-by-step with their video lessons for guitar songs.
– Accurate Tabs
Finding accurate tabs can be nearly impossible…until now. JamPlay hire pro musicians to tab out each and every song they teach. Stop hoping for accuracy and start learning!
– Full Song Demos
Jam along to the tune with our full demonstration.. aimed to display how the full song is arranged, and how to put together each section of the song.
– Supporting The Artists
A portion of your membership is paid to the artists each and every time you learn a guitar song from JamPlay. Support music with your educational experience!
Here you will find accurate Tabs and video instruction so you can learn to play some of your favorite songs. The styles covered at time of writing include:
- R&B/Funk Guitar Songs
- Rock Guitar
- Bluegrass / Folk Guitar
- Metal Guitar
- Blues Guitar
- Classical Guitar
- Gospel Guitar
- Holiday Guitar
- Country Guitar
- Jazz Guitar
- Punk Guitar
- Teacher Composition Guitar Songs
- Fingerstyle Guitar
All song lessons come with accurate, interactive tabs along with the full video lesson and song demonstration! Often times, their songs are also taught by the original band member or composer, giving you an unparalleled learning experience!
Some categories of style have a lot more songs available than others. Check out the full songs list here, including free lessons.
Beyond the 3 phases there’s more
The Artist Series: The JamPlay Artist Series features lessons taught by progressive guitarists from all styles of music.
These lessons focus on each artist’s particular style, and are taught by the artist himself
- Take lessons with rock legend Steve Stevens, guitarist for Billy Idol.
- Lead guitarist for Animals As Leaders, Tosin Abasi brings his knowledge of extended range guitars to Jam Play.
- Take lessons with Dave “David J” Weiner.
- Self-taught acoustic guitarist Erik Mongrain shows off some of his innovations and moves in this Phase 2 Artist Series.
- Joel Kosche, guitarist for Collective Soul and solo singer/songwriter, will dissect his style of playing and demonstrate all of the juicy tidbits.
- Bumblefoot – Unconventional… Diabolical… Just plain crazy! Learn a fresh, quirky and MUSICAL approach to extreme guitar playing!
- Tackle advanced playing techniques and theory application with metal talent, Emil Werstler.
- Renowned guitarist Kaki King teaches musicality, altered tunings and percussive elements in her artist series.
- Kris Norris kicks off the JamPlay.com Artist Series with a wide array of ideas and lessons; from changing strings on a floyd rose, to advanced sweeping / legato techniques and soloing applications.
- Trace Bundy is a self taught acoustic guitarist that plays in the percussive/tapping genre. He was named “Most Promising New Talent” in 2008 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
- Miche Fambro, a dynamic songwriter and performer, delves into the world of acoustic guitar. Instead of focusing on specific techniques, Miche heavily covers meta guitar concepts that can truly facilitate growth as a musician.
- James Malone teaches intermediate to advanced lessons on various topics in his style of death metal guitar.
- Randall Williams is a dynamic, powerful, classically trained acoustic musician who interest is found in the dynamic and relevant world of folk. One of Randall’s specialties includes the style of cut or partial capo.
- Learn roots music and techniques from Nashville session player Guthrie Trapp.
- and more…
The second feature of the Artist Series is done not by the original artist, but “in the style of”… by a qualified instructor familiar with that artist’s playing style, including styles of
- Joe Satriani
- David Gilmour
- Tom Morello
- Jimi Hendrix
- Rolling Stones
- U2’s The Edge
- & more…
You can get the full details about the JamPlay Artist Series here.
Price Options & Discount coupons
There are a few price options for JamPlay
Monthly – $19.95($0.67 per day)
3 Monthly – $49.95($0.55 per day)
Yearly – $159.95($0.44 per day)
Learn Guitar Coupon Codes:
the code 33C6CE – gets you 10% off all guitar products (monthly, quarterly, yearly)
the code 1BA1E2 – gets you 25% off your first month
Learn Bass Guitar Coupon Codes:
the code 0713E7D01A – gets you 25% off first month
the code 4B926862C0 – gets you 10% off all bass products (monthly, quarterly, yearly)
Free Trials – Try JamPlay For Free
There actually is a free trial of JamPlay where you can Try Everything Free for 7 days here – no limitations!
JamPlay feel very strongly that theirs is the single most affordable and effective resource to take your guitar playing to the next level. They’re so confident that they’re willing to provide you with a free JamPlay membership. Check them out for a week, free of charge. No games. No tricks. No credit cards.
Try out a free JamPlay trial for a week and see what you think. If you feel that their site is a good fit for you, then you can extend your membership accordingly.
Find Out More About JamPlay
JamPlay has a great reputation overall, and it’s very hard to find anyone with anything bad to say about them. I guess they’ve just built a solid profile over time by providing a top quality, powerful service for beginning and improving guitarists. Everything is done very professionally on their end, and if you’re looking to get started with them then you won’t be disappointed with the service. Click on the image below to find out more.
You can also take a look at the table I created to compare the top 3 learn guitar online platforms.