The benefits of taking online guitar lessons are unmistakable. You get to learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home (or anywhere you’d like), from almost any instructor you choose, and for a much lower cost than you’d be getting from a traditional guitar teacher.
There are reasons why some people still prefer in-person lessons like receiving immediate and direct feedback from a professional on a weekly basis, having your learning path figured out for you, and building a long-term professional relationship with your instructor.
However, many online guitar lesson platforms have been able to meet almost all of those needs as well, making online guitar lessons even more palatable.
Some platforms do a great job at this, and some have plenty of room for improvement. Today we’re going to be comparing Fender Play vs JamPlay (two of the bigger names in the online guitar lesson world) to see which one might be best for you.
Fender Play Overview
What is it?
Fender has been around since 1946 building guitars, but in the world of online guitar instruction, their platform is new and has done a bang-up job at imitating the online guitar lesson giants like Guitar Tricks, TrueFire, and JamPlay.
This platform looks good and operates well. It’s user-friendly, with apps for several different devices, and has a clear, progressive course curriculum for brand new guitarists, covering lessons in five major musical styles: blues, folk, country, pop, and rock.
Is it any good?
Fender Play is good if you’re a complete beginner and don’t know any better. Even complete beginners may find that the content on this platform is rudimentary, and won’t keep you busy practicing for too long.
The platform is easy to use, however, with clearly defined lesson objectives, and tons of songs for you to learn how to play. Many of these songs are oversimplified versions of the original though.
- Choose between multiple instruments (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele, and bass guitar)
- Choose between multiple styles (blues, folk, country, pop, and rock)
- Multiple guitar instructors
- Clearly structured lessons plans
- Library of songs to learn (not too bad for beginners)
- Some interactive features like practice mode, and chord challenges
How Does Fender Play Work?
Fender Play works on a subscription basis. You can sign up for a monthly or annual subscription, which gives you access to all of their lesson content, including regular lessons, song lessons, interactive features, and others.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial to see if you like it!
What is it?
JamPlay was founded in 2006, so it’s still young compared to Guitar Tricks, TrueFire, and JustinGuitar – but we’re not talking about those today. JamPlay has thousands of instructional videos, interactive tools, and reputable instructors.
What’s really cool about JamPlay is their philosophy. Their ultimate goal is to take complete beginners and turn them into creative musical artists. Shouldn’t that be the goal of every music lesson platform?
Is it any good?
JamPlay is great. There are plenty of different styles to learn, instructors to choose from, and thousands of songs. JamPlay is perfect for beginners and experienced players alike. There’s really something for everyone on this platform.
- Thousands of video lessons
- Choose between multiple styles
- Lessons in songwriting and artistry
- Choose between multiple guitar teachers
- Massive library of songs to learn
- Some interactive features
How Does JamPlay Work?
JamPlay works on a subscription basis as well. You can pay a monthly fee and gain access to all of JamPlay’s online lesson content, or one of two annual fees which give you access to all of the lesson content plus some added features (like one-on-one virtual lessons).
Key Factors When Trying To Decide Between Fender Play vs JamPlay
Taking online guitar lessons requires a financial commitment and a time commitment. Comparing the important features can be difficult if you’ve never played before, and since everybody learns differently, you should think about these carefully before deciding whether or not these platforms are right for you.
Your own interests
Do you just want to strum chords on an acoustic guitar? Do you want to learn how to shred on an electric guitar? Is there a specific style you’re most interested in learning how to play? Ask yourself these questions and look to see what these platforms can offer you.
Fender Play offers a fairly diverse selection of musical styles to learn, but they’re designed for complete beginners. You won’t be learning how to shred on Fender Play, but you’ll definitely learn some chords, so maybe this is all you need from a lesson platform.
JamPlay is like a playground for anyone who’s interested in learning multiple styles of music. There are tons of lessons for advanced players as well, so beginners have something to work toward -unlike Fender Play, whose lessons are good for pretty much one level of playing.
Reputable & experienced instructor
Having the best teacher in the world isn’t everything, but knowing your teacher has helped previous students succeed at playing gives you confidence in continuing to learn from them.
Fender Play’s instructors are of high quality. They explain concepts clearly, and the video lessons are recorded in high-definition video and audio, so you’re getting, “quality.” Fender Play simply doesn’t produce high-level guitar players. That’s just because it’s designed for complete beginners.
JamPlay, on the other hand, has reputable guitar instructors who have had real success in teaching and producing high-level players.
The bottom line here is that both Fender Play and JamPlay have good instructors, but JamPlay gives students room to progress in the long term, while Fender Play does not.
The course curriculum
Fender Play and JamPlay’s courses are very well organized. JamPlay definitely has the edge in this category, as it’s far more comprehensive.
Before you start using a website or an app for long periods of time, you want to make sure that it makes sense and is easy to use.
You likely won’t find an online guitar lesson platform that’s difficult to use, but you should at least give them each a try and decide which one you personally like better.
I personally prefer how JamPlay is organized, but you might prefer Fender Play. Ultimately, you’re the one who’s going to have to use it for every lesson, so you decide.
Having tools to enhance your learning experience isn’t a necessity when learning the guitar, but it can definitely help.
Objectively, JamPlay offers more tools -like toolkits you can purchase for extra money. Fender Play gives you some simple things like a metronome and tuner.
If your learning style requires more interactive aural and visual aids, JamPlay is probably your best bet!
How much time you’re willing to practice
You can have all of the best instructors, lesson plans, interactive tools, and reference guides in the world, but if you don’t put in the time to really practice, you’re not going to see any results.
Learning the guitar (or any instrument) requires time, self-discipline, patience, and consistency. So whatever platform you decide to try, I recommend you give 100% effort to practice and then judge the platform based on your results. Sometimes the only thing stopping you is you!
Benefits and Drawbacks of Each
- Logical progression of course materials
- Affordable, with a free trial period included
- High quality production of video courses
- Large library of songs to learn
- Best only for complete beginners, as even the later courses cover rudimentary concepts, and overly simplified versions of songs
- Only five major styles are offered
- Affordable monthly or annual membership plan
- Massive Library of lessons, songs, and interactive tools
- Bass Guitar lessons are offered
- Based around the idea of developing artists and not just guitarists
- Great for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Might seem a little complicated due to the abundance of material and the layout of the website
- Many styles are offered, but some styles don’t have nearly as much content as others
Price Comparison at a Glance
- $9.99 monthly
- $89.99 annually
- $19.95 monthly
- $159.95 annually (standard)
- $299.95 annually (pro package)
Who Is Fender Play Best For?
Fender Play is for complete beginners and nobody else. If you’re a complete beginner, I would suggest that you consider your options carefully. Fender Play will help you to begin playing the guitar, but it won’t serve your educational needs for the long term.
Who Is JamPlay Best For?
JamPlay is best for complete beginners, intermediate players, and advanced players. There is something for everyone on this platform.
If you can’t afford the $20 per month, I recommend giving JustinGuitar a try, as it’s free and will get you further along than Fender Play – by far.
Fender Play vs JamPlay Final Thoughts
Between these two platforms, I would strongly recommend JamPlay over Fender Play. Fender Play is designed for complete beginners, but you’ll be missing out on so much potential (that you wouldn’t be missing out on with JamPlay).