JamPlay is $19.95 a month, with 7-day money back guarantee. It really should only take a few days to know whether you like a lesson site or not. It is always best to start a new website trial on a weekend or a point where you will have some time off. After all, if you are serious about learning guitar, you need to make sure all your money is well spent.
- To get a free trial week of Jamplay click here
The Jamplay Forum
As usual the first place I head is to the forum, and the first thing I notice is that the forum isn’t very active anymore. There are some recent responses, however it is clear their focus here is not on the forum. For some students this may not be a big deal, but I happen to be a more social guitar player. lol If you look through the Stickies in each of the Topics, though, you’ll find a plethora of info written over the years by both members and staff of Jamplay. All in all, if you have questions about lessons, songwriting, general guitar points, even promoting your own band, the forum of JamPlay will probably suit your needs.
Lessons for All Levels
While JamPlay has its share of beginner lessons, it does seem to be a little more geared towards intermediate and advanced players. This is really not such a bad thing, as many players out there have gone over some of the basics before and sometimes need a nudge into something a little more challenging. This site is certainly not lacking on challenging lessons. They show you all the basics if necessary, but you quickly move into more complicated lessons.
Live Lessons is a cool and unique feature
On their homepage they have a list of live lessons, and a schedule listing upcoming live lessons. What caught my eye immediately were the live lessons titled “Pentatonic Precision” and “Melodic Magic.” These lessons sounded pretty cool and they give a time when they will start so you can mark it in your schedule. Below live lessons they also have a news and updates section on some of the more specific lessons to come. I noticed they had many upcoming tutorials on specific Beatles guitar solos, and I just might be the biggest Beatles fan ever… so I have plans to check them out in the future, too. You can stream all lessons free on the website, but to download lessons to your computer or device you have to pay a small fee.
Live chats with instructors
The member chat is typically lively and social. Several instructors are scheduled throughout each day to teach and answer questions in a semi-organized environment. Topics are chosen by the members, depending on what everyone wants to talk about. Most of these discussions tend to be more advanced, although beginners and intermediate players are also encouraged to attend and ask questions.
Software tools and games
Diving a little deeper into the site we find a tool section that has a number of useful items such as a chord library, scale finder, metronome, and the usual tools for guitar players. In this same tools section JamPlay also has music theory quizzes and games. Most musicians have trouble with music theory so it is a great attempt to put some fun into the learning process. Of course, points are kept track of so you can see where you stand with other players.
Earn points and badges (practice practice practice)
Along with the points for the games they keep track of your past lessons; JamPlay has aa badge and point system for each lesson completed. Apparently the JamPlay points will be used in the future for special access and privileges. They even have individual progress reports to keep track of all lessons, playlists, and progress. If you are the type who likes keeping track of scores and achievements, then JamPlay provides you plenty of opportunities during your online courses. They even offer a referral service of one free month for every other person you get to sign up, which is a great deal!
Professional video quality and multi-angles
The video lessons on JamPlay are great, most provide close-ups at multiple angles. This is a huge plus and one of the best things about the site. There are times where you just can’t tell where the instructors fingers are with online video lessons, but not on JamPlay. The video lessons are professional, with a lot of video editing, and a variety of angles.
Want to learn Hawaiian, Flamenco, Gospel, Celtic, Rock, Jazz, Country?
The real treat on this site happens to be when you get into the intermediate and more advanced lessons. I always love unique styles, and they have lessons for genres like Hawaiian slack key, Flamenco, Celtic, Gospel, and of course the usual genres you see on most other sites. I decided to immediately try out some reggae lessons, and even learned a few new tricks. Variety is the spice of life and this site clearly has a lot to choose from. As you advance further into lessons they phase into specific songs. Of course these songs are mostly all rock, pop, country, and metal, but they seem to have the most popular ones that most students ask for. And you can also request future songs.
Learn how to write your own songs (mostly acoustic)
The final phase of advanced JamPlay lessons focuses on songwriting, using all the skills you have learned. Unfortunately for me, there are way more acoustic songwriting lessons and very few electric-centric pieces. It would be great if they had more of a balance so electric guitarists would get the same push to create their own music. Nevertheless they have more than enough lessons to get you started on songwriting.
Sound Like a Pro Guitarist (2:05:07) Join Will Ripley, a professional guitarist and teacher, on a journey through useful guitar techniques that can elevate your playing from amateur level to sounding like a pro in no time. Go to the video
Pentatonic Precision Week 1 (1:01:35) This is the first week of the “Pentatonic Precision” workshop on JamPlay.com with Chris Liepe. In this course we are going to learn a single scale pattern and explore EVERYTHING you can do with that pattern over 10 weeks. It’s time to get creative, have fun, and realize how little you need to know to actually play music. Go to the video