If you’ve been on a mission to find the best online guitar lessons, you certainly came across the two leaders: Guitar Tricks and JamPlay. They’ve deservingly established their reputations as the best sites for guitar lessons, making the choice super hard to make for beginner guitarists.
As a brief background, Guitar Tricks is one of the oldest guitar lessons’ sites in the industry, launched back in 1998. Since online lessons weren’t that common at that time, Guitar Tricks is often referred to as the pioneers of online guitar courses. JamPlay is relatively new, introduced in 2006, yet it managed to catch up rather quickly and made it to the top platforms in no time.
So, Guitar Tricks vs. JamPlay; which of the big two should you choose? And how should you choose, to begin with? Read our full comparison to put an end to your dilemma once and for all and get started with your guitar lessons.
GuitarTricks vs. JamPlay – Feature for Feature Comparison
To lay the foundation for our full comparison, take a look at how the two platforms compare on the vital features we all seek when picking our courses.
Free Trial Period
|14 days||30 days|
|Money-back Guarantee||60 days|
|Private Online Lessons||Yes|
HD Video Lessons
|Not all of them||Yes|
Guitar Tricks vs. JamPlay – In-detail Comparison:
Now that you’ve taken a look at the broad overview of how Guitar Tricks and JamPlay stand head to head on particular elements, let’s delve deeper into the details of the two websites. First, I’d like to compare the two websites from a skill set perspective.
Not to make any assumptions, but the majority of guitarists looking for online guitar lessons are beginners. And the umbrella of beginners includes those who previously learned to play the guitar but didn’t continue and now want to refresh their knowledge, those who have never held a guitar before, those who have taken private lessons but still lack the confidence to play, and more.
Regardless of what your situation is, if you consider yourself a beginner, I would recommend Guitar Tricks rather than JamPlay for you. When you’re a beginner, you want a clearly structured learning path to keep you on track and walk you through the reasonable steps to mastering the guitar. That’s exactly what Guitar Tricks offers through its Core Learning System.
The Core Learning System begins with a “Guitar Fundamentals 1” course split into 7 lessons, followed by “Guitar Fundamentals 2,” and then you have the freedom to choose a genre path among Blues, Country, or Rock, similar to picking a specialization, if you would.
That’s not to say that JamPlay fails to cater to beginners. Far from that! They have a dedicated beginner’s section on their website, but it’s just organized differently. You choose between “Beginner Acoustic” or “Beginner Electric” guitar courses, and you choose your instructor too!
I believe that the flexibility and tailoring of experiences that JamPlay attempts to deliver is quite impressive, but not for beginners. When I was just starting out, I don’t think I would be able to make up my mind on an acoustic guitar versus an electric guitar, let alone instructors! Each instructor even offers their own set of lessons for beginners, which adds to the perplexion.
Instead of minimizing the choices as much as possible to avoid confusion like Guitar Tricks does, JamPlay takes a different approach. Yet, to be fair, there’s an indication of which instructors are doing better than others; thumbs-up and thumbs-down reactions by users.
What about the actual lessons, though? Both GuitarTricks and JamPlay are superlative! Whichever website you decide to go for, you’ll effectively learn to play the guitar. Their beginner courses are genuinely comprehensive and coherent.
Winner: Guitar Tricks takes the lead when it comes to the best online guitar lessons for beginners. With a starting point like the Core Learning System, you’re guaranteed a top-tier beginner course to take you by the hand.
Intermediate & Advanced Players
Once you move past beginner guitar courses and you advance towards becoming an intermediate and then an advanced player, your guitar playing needs become more specific.
So, when you seek guitar courses, you’ll certainly want to learn from professional teachers, have access to a variety of genres to choose from, and maybe even exclusive features like personalized feedback.
With that being the case, the lessons JamPlay offers would make more sense. For starters, you get to choose from a whopping number of 100+ different teachers, all professionals! Guitar Tricks does have outstanding instructors as well, but they only amount to around 30 teachers.
Additionally, advanced players, in particular, will love that JamPlay offers some courses led by touring guitarists, such as Steve Stevens, Tosin Abasi, and Ron Thal (Bumblefoot), to name a couple. Having such teachers takes your learning to a whole new level! But then again, Guitar Tricks also has some superb instructors like Anders Mouridsen, too.
To discuss genres, both Guitar Tracks and JamPlay offer a large scope of genres. However, JamPlay is more all-encompassing and offers almost double the number of genre lessons. If you ever considered reggae, gospel, flamenco, or other niches, you’ll find them there.
Lastly, on your guitar journey, it’s always a good idea to pause and get some personalized feedback. Guitar Tricks grants you just that in its “pro” section. You can attend one-on-one live lessons with guitar instructors through a very hassle-free booking process. Not to mention, you select the time, date, and lesson length. Talk about convenience!
Unfortunately, JamPlay doesn’t offer such one-on-one lessons. Yet, they offer their own version of them in the form of live guitar lessons where you interact with guitar teachers and even get exercises and homework. That’s actually one of the best ways to pick up on a certain playing technique of a musician, so I always perceive this feature to be distinctive.
Winner: JamPlay takes the cake if you’re an intermediate or advanced guitar player. The diversity of instructors and genres it provides will keep you immersed no matter your skill level!
So far, we’ve been speaking about learning the guitar or just referring to acoustic and electric guitar lessons. But, what if you’re looking for bass guitar lessons?
Lucky you! You won’t be facing any dilemma here, since Guitar Tricks doesn’t offer bass guitar courses. JamPlay does, though, with 20 instructors and in a wide range of genres. They pay attention to these courses as much as they do with their acoustic and electric guitar ones, so you’re still guaranteed pro instructors and structured lessons.
Winner: JamPlay, no doubt!
The Detailed Breakdown of Each Platform
Great! So we’ve pinpointed which site is better for which skill level, but we still haven’t covered the very intricate details of each platform, right? Let’s do that now in a detailed breakdown of each aspect you could think of relating to any online guitar lesson.
When it comes to online courses, I tend to put the videos as a priority. And by videos, I’m not just referring to their quality but also to the camera angles and the video player itself; how easy it is to use, what features it includes, and so on.
Impressively, both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay hit all the sweet spots you’d want in a video player. My favorite feature which I happened to find in both of them is the ability to set the playback speed. On both websites, you can either increase or decrease the speed in 25% increments.
Moreover, I always play my lessons on full screen to avoid getting distracted by other tabs and also to see the hand movements vividly. Both websites also have a full-screen viewing option. Also, Guitar Tricks allows you to loop a part of a video, download a lesson, and more.
I love it when platforms allow me to download videos since my internet connection isn’t always the best, so that’s an edge! That feature isn’t available on JamPlay though, you have to use the website itself at all times.
Since I mentioned camera angles, they’re pretty amazing on both sites! But JamPlay went the extra mile by having four camera angles, so you literally have a 360-view of the teacher and the guitar. Go for the highest video quality and use the full-screen view and you’ll feel like you’re in a music studio.
As for video quality, I was surprised by how JamPlay once again went over and beyond to ensure a minimum quality of 1080p HD for the majority of its lessons, while all the new ones are in crystal clear 4K. Guitar Tricks’ video lessons are sometimes offered in HD, but the older ones aren’t. They’re mostly at 540p, but the quality is still pretty rich, though!
Lastly, you know how every software developer is jumping on the dark vs. light mode trend? I most certainly didn’t expect to find that in an online guitar lessons’ website, but guess who did it? Yes, JamPlay! You get to pick between a light and a dark theme; it’s just mindblowing!
On the video player, you can also write notes or share comments with the community or teacher. Not to mention, that’s also where you’ll find backing tracks. JamPlay even has a dedicated library for backing tracks with 700+ tracks.
Similarly, Guitar Tricks has what they call a “Jam Station” to help you practice playing solos. In essence, jam track is Guitar Tricks’ synonym for backing tracks. So, if you have a specific recording in mind, check its backing track in the “station” and you’ll probably find it.
Winner: I think it’s quite evident, but let’s just say it: JamPlay. I genuinely appreciate the effort, and JamPlay does all it takes to be a few steps ahead of the game with its video tutorials.
Who doesn’t like a website layout that’s welcoming and easy to use starting from the home page?
Guitar Trick features a sleek, present-day website interface that’s very inviting and intuitive. Your progress is automatically tracked, and navigating from one section to the next isn’t tedious by any means. I also loved how they have a “toolbox” with a scale finder, chord finder, tuner, metronome, and more guitar tools.
By the same token, JamPlay’s website design is very neat and orderly. You also have a member dashboard tracking your progress as well. On top of the website, there’s a navigation bar that easily takes you from one page to the next; no confusion.
Winner: For the first time, I can’t choose. Both are winners, in my opinion, facilitating the learning guitar process for guitar players through top-notch designs and friendly user interfaces.
Song lessons are equally as important as guitar lessons. For that, you’ll need a massive song library to become a master guitarist by learning songs. That’s where Guitar Tricks shines with its grand song library of 1,000+ song lessons in diverse styles. Even the most complex songs come in “Made Easy” versions for beginner guitar players.
Not to mention, in that library, you can search by name and then sort by the song’s genre, its difficulty level, and more. It’s so easy to filter out songs to find what you need and their offerings are truly all-encompassing.
JamPlay also has a decent library of song lessons and they’re absolutely perfect. It’s just that the songs aren’t as many as Guitar Tricks’, with about 450+ songs.
Winner: Guitar Tricks prevails when it comes to song lessons. If you want to learn your favorite songs, you’re more likely than not to find a song lesson for it in Guitar Tricks’ huge library.
Now that we’ve explored the vital differences between the two websites, how do they differ in cost? If you’re expecting this one to be the determining factor, it won’t. JamPlay and Guitar Tricks come at the same price for the monthly memberships, $19.95 per month for full access.
The difference comes when you opt for the annual membership, but it’s just a slight difference. The annual membership price for Guitar Tricks is $179.99, while JamPlay’s is $159.95. As I said, it’s not a very significant difference.
By the way, both of them offer a money-back guarantee. Guitar Tricks has a 60-days guarantee set in place, while JamPlay has a 30-day one. So, you can opt out anytime during that period.
Even before you opt for a membership, Guitar Tricks offers you a free trial period for two weeks, while Jam Play offers you a month of free usage of the platform. Since beginners can have some issues with committing to online courses, these platforms understand the struggle very well and manage to keep you hooked in their own way through such strategies.
But in all cases, I highly doubt you’ll actually find yourself requesting a refund or quitting after the free trial period.
Winner: Once again, I feel neutral. Both offer excellent value for the money and you certainly get what you pay for and a little more.
How Much Does It Cost to Join Jamplay?
JamPlay offers two subscription options, a monthly subscription and an annual one. The monthly membership fee is $19.95 while the annual one is $159.95. They also tend to offer some huge discounts during the holiday season; keep an eye out for those.
Is Guitar Tricks Good for Beginners?
100%! Its “Core Learning System” is the ideal start for beginners. The beginner courses provide a very solid foundation and will put you on the right track.
How Much Does Guitar Tricks Cost?
Guitar Tricks has two memberships, a monthly one and an annual one. The monthly membership costs $19.95 and the annual one costs $179.99.
Is Guitar Tricks Worth It?
Yes! Guitar Tricks is a robust platform with pro guitarist instructors and excellent video lessons that truly make a difference in your guitar journey.
Does Guitar Tricks Teach Theory?
Yes! I can confidently say that every guitar teacher on Guitar Tricks is very well-acquainted with music theory and makes a point to allocate some time during video lessons to discuss the theoretical aspect of music.
By now, you probably see why the answer to the question of whether to choose JamPlay vs. Guitar Tricks is far from straightforward. Each one excels in a particular area, whereas they’re neck to neck with each other in several aspects. It’s super challenging to declare a final winner!
Yet, let me put it this way: if you’re looking for beginner lessons to help you learn guitar playing, Guitar Tricks will be your best companion and offer you just the right lessons to accelerate your learning journey.
However, if you’re an intermediate or advanced player, you’ll find JamPlay tailor-made to your requirements, especially with its numerous pro instructors and countless genres. For bass guitar lessons, Jam Play is once again your way to go! Guitar Tricks doesn’t offer them.
What if your top priority is to learn songs? Certainly hit Guitar Tricks; no second-thoughts! With a gigantic library including 1,000+ songs, you’ll play guitar songs day and night!
If you care about video quality, like me, Jam Play offers better resolution, with the larger majority of the courses being shot in HD or 1080p at minimum. You’ll see the details of the details and you even get to view the shots from four different camera angles, making for an all-around view to draw you in.
As for instructors, JamPlay features many more instructors than Guitar Tricks, and they’re incredible musicians with a lot to offer. Yet, Guitar Tricks manages to offer a “personalization” element to the experience by giving you the opportunity to opt for one-on-one lessons in the comfort of your pajamas.
While JamPlay doesn’t offer that, you do attend many live sessions with instructors. So, it depends on your preferences and whether you’re seeking that type of direct feedback in the first place.
Both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay come at the same exact cost, $19.95 a month, so there isn’t a margin to set them apart. As for money-back guarantees, Guitar Tricks gives you two entire months to get your money back if you’re unsatisfied, while Jam Play gives you a month. That’s quite sufficient time for you to make up your mind!
Other than that, Guitar Tricks and JamPlay are truly leaders in every sense of the word. They’re packed with features and value that showcase exactly how they made it to every list of the top online guitar lessons.