Uncategorized

JamPlay Review – Worth The Time?

JamPlay Review
JamPlay Review

We did a review on multiple online guitar teaching programs, some of which include GuitarTricks and TrueFire. This post, however, will be featuring a well-known rival to the aforementioned programs: JamPlay. I see a lot of beginners torn between picking a worthy program, especially since all 3 of them are paid. This review will unleash what JamPlay can really provide for its members, and we will let you decide if it is what you are truly looking for or not.

To start off, we are going to see what makes JamPlay stand out from the other programs. According to their website, their membership offers a community where you can have your own profile, friends list, user forum, and a messaging system. They also provide live chat with members and teachers. This means that whenever you have a guitar problem, you can ask for help in the chat room. According to JamPlay, the chat room is available 24/7.

JamPlay also features a comprehensive chord library that displays over 950,000 chords. Moreover, if you are feeling a bit inventive, they grant you the ability to make custom chords and tabs. They also have what they call a “Badass Scale Library” that displays scales from the simplest to the hardest. Along with that, there’s a demonstration video for each scale to give you an idea of how it should be played.

Besides the essentials, JamPlay decided to add a bit more spice to their program. They have a custom library of over 500 JamTracks, professionally recorded by the JamPlay team, to refine your lead playing. Moreover, there’s a library exclusively for licks and riffs for more inspiration. Last, but not least, JamPlay included space for some more fun with their games. Similar to what you would see in the Yousician Franchise, the games in JamPlay work on your chord memorization, music notation, note identification, and pitch recognition, all of which are crucial to efficiently play the guitar.

See Also: GuitarTricks Review, TrueFire Review, Yousician Review

Lessons

Now to the important bit: lessons. JamPlay’s lessons tackle all levels right from the beginners to masters. And in case you are interested in learning only a particular genre, JamPlay has got that, too. They have 77 genre courses with over 1,900 lessons and counting.

As you may know, some guitarists simply play the guitar just to play songs. There are over 360 song tutorials for those kind of players. Also, you don’t have to go through the whole courses from beginner to advanced. Instead, there’s a separate course for skill building, where you can find lessons for skills like music theory, ear training, lead improvisations, etc…

It’s natural for a normal human being to get lost in whatever courses they may have partaken. For this reason, there’s a Report page designed to report your progress. You can also bookmark certain lessons to get back to later and write notes to highlight the important instructions.

What To Expect

JamPlay Assessment

For those curious about what to expect once you become a member, the very first thing JamPlay will do is inquire about your background and goals. Based on your answers, JamPlay will customize your profile and recommendations. It pays to be honest in this assessment as it will save you time and make your task of looking for the desired lesson or course easier. If you’re not feeling up to it, you can just skip it and edit it some time later.

Assuming you are a beginner, your first aim will naturally be the beginner course. Once you enter that course, you will be presented with numerous courses, each from a different instructor. There are courses for both acoustic and electric players. In case you happen to be a bass player, you simply click on the ‘Bass’ tab.

Most of the courses start with a basic introduction to the fundamentals of the guitar, as they rightfully should. The videos range in length from 2 to 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the lesson. The videos are of great quality and definition. The instructors are clear and to the point; no pointless chatter.

JP Video

Below the video, you can find a few tabs: The ‘About’ tab gives an idea about the video and its content; the Supplemental provides the material that the student may find useful for practice or reference; My Notes is pretty self-explanatory (you may use it to jot down whatever you find important for later reference; Comments and Ask A Teacher can be used to inquire about any doubts you may have; lastly, the ‘Download Lesson’ is for those who want to have access to the lesson without the Internet.

Note, however, that you have a limited number of credits to permit you to download a lesson. Usually, new members start out with only 5 credits. To acquire more credits, you will have to purchase them.

Genre and Skills

JP Genre

As we had alluded, JamPlay promises a wide range of genre and skill-based courses to its members. This allows players to focus only on the playing style and/or technique that they are interested in learning. Adding this kind of approach was a good move by JamPlay as it saves the members’ time and energy instead of manually picking the lessons that are of their concern.

As per JamPlay, Genre and Skills is a Phase 2 course. It’s recommended to go through Phase 1 (Beginner Course) first to get a good idea on various concepts and techniques that you may expect in Phase 2 in a more detailed manner. However, if you’re past the beginner level, then you can directly go into Phase 2.

Songs

JamPlay Songs

Now into the part that most players look forward to: Songs. Most players learn the guitar just for the sake of playing songs (and show off to others ;)). Nothing is wrong with that; it’s still a valuable skill. JamPlay offers a huge list of popular tunes for you to learn. You can learn to play a full song with just one lesson video. Note, however, that, depending on the difficulty and/or length of the song, the video length might be longer. Some song tutorials can be up to 120 minutes long, so you may have to divide the tutorial video into multiple sessions.

If you are one of those lucky folks who have unlimited play and practice time for the guitar, then you won’t have a problem with the duration span. Also, the tabs are included with the video tutorial in the Supplementation tab. However, same with downloading the video lesson, you have a limited amount of credits to download the tabs – unless you purchase additional credits, that is.

JamPlay has song tutorials for every skill level out there. That means that even if you are a total beginner, you can still learn a song from their list. The musical note that is below the Skill tab can show you the difficulty of the tune. The smaller the width of the this icon, the easier the lesson is. You can also click on the tab itself to order the songs from easiest to hardest or vice versa; otherwise, you can keep them in their random order.

Songs is considered Phase 3 in JamPlay. It’s preferred that you finish the first two phases to speed up your song learning, but that’s completely optional. That’s the good thing about this program. You can choose what to learn and what not to learn. Unlike some other guitar learning programs, you have to go through the specified lessons in order to unlock the next, which is somewhat frustrating if you are a more experienced player looking to have some fun.

Songwriting

JamPlay Songwriting

Now that you have acquired all the necessary skills and learned some songs, time to produce songs that others will learn! This is Phase 4, Songwriting. It’s the last phase in JamPlay‘s program – and important one, at that. To have the privilege of being called a musician, you need to be able to make music of your own. This is exactly what this phase is intended for. You will utilize all the skills and techniques that you had learned and mastered from the previous phases and apply them in Phase 4 to produce your own tunes.

This course starts out with the basics of songwriting and works its way up to the more complex aspects of this skill. As you may know, people’s taste in songs varies from one individual to the next, so JamPlay ensures to include an array of perspectives into account. As is the case with every phase, there are both electric and acoustic guitars-based courses. However, there doesn’t seem to be more instructor options for the electric guitar as there are for the acoustic guitar.

Artist Library

JP Artists

A unique quality in JamPlay is that they offer exclusive courses from notable guitarists like Steve Stevens from Billy Idol and Tosin Abasi from Animals as Leaders and many more. Each of these artists has a different style and taste in playing. If you happen to be a fan of any of them, then this is a good chance to learn more about their playing techniques.

JamPlay warns that these artist-based lessons are not set in a specific chronological order, meaning that, as a beginner, starting directly from these lessons may not be to your advantage. You may come into a foreign technique that you are not familiar with, so it’s favorable to finish Phases 1 and 2 prior to going onto the Artist’s lessons.

Libraries and Tools

JP Licks

Apart from the Songs in Phase 3, JamPlay has a separate library for licks and riffs from different genres. The video tutorials are short and easy-to-follow. Like the song tutorials, this library’s licks and riffs range in difficulty. and length. The video duration, however, won’t be as lengthy as it is with the song tutorials. You can filter your preferences by type, genre, skill, and teacher for quicker search results. This is the perfect place for those who want to catch eyes without playing a full song.

JP Tracks

When you start producing your own music or practicing scales, you will find that backing tracks come in handy. They make the task much more fun and immersive. This is basically what JamTracks is for. This section is composed of interesting backing tracks for lead players. You will have different genre, key, and teacher options to choose from. Along with each track, you have the tab transcription and some scale recommendations to play this track with.

Speaking of scales, JamPlay has an impressive collection of scales with varied types – diatonic, pentatonic, blues, symmetric, and exotic. And to improve your chord dictionary, there’s also a chord library with chord voicing to give you an idea of what the chord should sound like.

As for the guitar necessities, JamPlay offers metronome, guitar, and bass tuners (Tuners require Flash Player to function). For the tuner, you have the option to tune either by ear or using a digital tuner. The latter requires a microphone/line-in to be plugged in. If that’s not possible, then you may use the Tune by Ear option. While not as accurate as the digital tuner, consistent tuning by ear will improve your musical ear. Consider it as ear training.

Other

The other minor features that JamPlay provides are live courses, monthly giveaways for subscribed members, and chat help for any obstacles you face during your learning journey. There is a JamChat that’s constantly alive with discussions, advice, and just random chit chat. It can come in handy especially during the times where you feel like you stumbled upon a closed path. People there can be inspiring and motivating.

Cost

Now you are probably itching to know what is the membership cost. For starters, you can get a taste of what their lessons look like for free. They have a YouTube channel by the name JamPlay where they upload brief lessons of different techniques and styles. While they may not be as efficient as the paid lessons, which go into a deeper clarification, they are certainly useful to get a quick idea of what you may encounter if you become a member. If you are completely unable to cover the cost, then you can choose other free programs – like JustinGuitar, for example.

JP Membership

Now you are probably itching to know what is the membership cost. For starters, you can get a taste of what their lessons look like for free. They have a YouTube channel by the name JamPlay where they upload brief lessons of different techniques and styles. While they may not be as efficient as the paid lessons, which go into a deeper clarification, they are certainly useful to get a quick idea of what you may encounter if you become a member. If you are completely unable to cover the cost, then you can choose other free programs – like JustinGuitar, for example.

If you are planning to invest in your learning journey, then JamPlay has a couple of options for you: You can pay a monthly $19.95 or you can go with $159.95 for a whole year. By opting for the latter, you save 33% from the amount you would have paid should you go monthly. JamPlay also offers a Pro membership that grants you more privileges in the program. For instance, you can have a 1-on-1 consultation, 25 ownership credits, a free shirt, and 7 guitarist tool-kits, opposed to only one in the standard year membership. If you calculate the value of all those privileges, JamPlay estimates that you receive $1,094.05 in value. All of that for just, $299.95. You can’t go wrong on that.

However, all of these are just luxuries, and if you are not really craving them, then there’s no need to spend such a huge amount. Your primary aim should be to learn how to play the instrument. Here are some codes you can use to lower the price:

Coupons

  • 1BA1E2 to get 25% off your first month.
  • 33C6CE  to get 10% off any membership to opt to choose.

Last Words

As we said and continue to say, JamPlay tries its best to provide the quality its members expect, and they never fail to impress us. We are not, by any means, saying that they are free of imperfections. They do, indeed, bear some flaws. To name one, their collection of songs may not be what the vast majority of people might be anticipating to learn. There isn’t much pop song tutorials. Most of what you would see is just songs from influential guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. However, they continue to add song tutorials, so there’s a good chance that they may cover the more favored styles of songs to most people.

This, in a nutshell, is the least of what you should expect upon becoming a JamPlay member. Before anything, JamPlay will give you some sort of an assessment to gauge where you should start with the courses. Taking it is optional, and you can always go back and edit it from your profile page if you feel like it.

Happy Learnin’!

We are open to any comments and opinions, so feel free to share yours!

See Also: GuitarTricks Review, TrueFire Review, Yousician Review


This post contains affiliate links. We get a small commission every time someone buys through these links. You won’t be charged any additional costs, however.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.