Ok gang, I finally chose the on-line training site I’ll be using during my journey to learn how to play acoustic guitar. I did a lot of research in my decision and my goal with this post is to give you the best stuff I found all in one place.
The first thing I did was do a quick search to narrow my decision down to the top players in the game. According to my research the top two on-line guitar training sites at the time of this post were: Jamplay and Guitar Tricks. Apparently everyone else knows that too, because there are tons of comparisons out there of these too. Many articles and even websites dedicated to nothing but comparing these two companies. But before you go searching through these articles you should know that many, if not most of these websites are affiliate websites.
That means they exist mainly for the purpose of generating income from referring people to these two sites. Nothing at all wrong with that, it’s just that you have to be careful when you’re getting advice from “review sites”, because sometimes the information isn’t coming from someone who actually used the product or service they’re reviewing. Nothing wrong with that either I suppose. In fact in the interest of full disclosure, if you join from one of the links on this page I’ll make a small commission too.
For me though, it’s important for me to get my information from someone who has used the product or service I’m considering. That said, before we go any further I want to tell you that I did in fact join both JamPlay and Guitar Tricks. I’m going to tell you at the end of the article how I was able to join and evaluate both at the same time and only pay for one. Right now though, let’s first reveal which one I chose for myself, and why.
After joining Both Guitar Tricks and Jamplay at the same time and taking a good look around at both, I chose JamPlay. As I said, there are many, many great “vs.” reviews out there comparing these two in great detail. For me though as a brand new player who has no experience with guitar, the quality of the lessons was the most important thing. I needed detailed, in depth lessons.
Everything I’ve read about both JamPlay and Guitar Tricks was great. They’re really neck and neck as far as their satisfaction rating with members, with both enjoying satisfaction ratings in the very high 90’s. So really, you could spend a very long time reading these reviews and not really be able to make a decision. There was one thing I saw on-line that really put it all right there and made the choice easy for me. It was this chart below, which I found on Lessons Review.com. This gives you all the stats right there, side by side. But I want to point out a couple of things on this chart that I think most people overlook.
Take a look at the “Total Lessons” line. Do you see what I see there?
|Delivery||Instant (Online)||Instant (Online)|
|Cost/Lesson||$0.04 / Lesson||$0.02 / Lesson|
|Best Deal||25% off 1st month with coupon code below||14 day free drial|
At the time this chart was created Guitar Tricks had twice as many lessons posted as Jam Play, with 8000 lessons compared to just over 4000 on JamPlay. But look at the number of total hours! JamPlay had 158 hours training than Guitar Tricks with half the total number of lessons. How is that possible??
Well, what that suggested to me was that JamPlay’s lessons must be longer and more in depth. JamPlay also had many more instructors than Guitar Tricks, which was also important to me. More about that in a moment. However, with so many great reviews from current members of both, I knew it would be a matter of preference.
You’ll see that Guitar Tricks is not only quite a bit cheaper than Jamplay, but it has a 60 day money-back guarantee vs. only 7 days with JamPlay.
You also get a 14 day free trial with Guitar Tricks. So, since I wanted to evaluate both from the inside I took advantage of the free trial at Guitar Tricks to take a look at them free, then paid to join Jamplay. Even though the chart says 25% off your first month, I was able to find a 25% off coupon code which I’ll share with you at the bottom of this article.
So, once inside of Guitar Tricks I went straight to the beginner section. I looked at a few teachers until I found one who I thought had a style I could relate to, and got started watching videos. After watching 5, 6, 7 very short, general videos and still not being shown anything to really get started “doing” anything, I started to get frustrated. SHOW ME SOMETHING! Give me an exercise, a chord, anything. I want to DO something!
I spent at least an hour watching what felt like about 10 1-4 minute videos that I felt like could’ve been combined into maybe 2 at the most. Suddenly I understood how Guitar Tricks could have twice as many lessons but 158 hours less actual training hours than JamPlay. One other thing I didn’t really like personally was that there was no way to choose to watch videos featuring the guitar you’ve chosen, at least in the beginner section. For example, I’ve chosen to play acoustic guitar, but the beginner section at Guitar Tricks featured a teacher using an electric guitar. I didn’t see any way to choose another teacher at the beginner stage. That could’ve been because I was on a free trial, but as I understood it the trial was a full-feature trial.
I know much of what you need to know as a beginner is the same whether you’re playing an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar is the same, but personally I just wanted to see and hear someone playing the style of guitar I’m holding.
When I logged into Jamplay it was love at first site. Again, I went right to the beginner section as I had done with Guitar Tricks. What I found there was access to a whole list of teachers I could easily and quickly evaluate by watching a few moments of their video. I was able to find one I liked playing the guitar I have after not much time at all.
Once I found a teacher I liked I started his beginner course. The first thing I noticed was that much of what was split into several videos at Guitar Tricks was combined into one longer, more in-depth video. By the second video the teacher I chose was already showing me a great finger exercise to get started. It was one of the things that made me choose him in particular. Another teacher I viewed, for example, chose to introduce a very difficult (for a beginner anyway) chord as the first thing she showed the student. I was instantly frustrated and knew I’d soon be discouraged if I stayed with her.
So anyway, by the time I’d viewed my second lessons with this instructor I knew JamPlay was the one for me. As I said though, because both of these are great sites with membership approval ratings of 97% or above, the only way to evaluate them correctly would be to join them both at the same time. To do so on the cheap, just do what I did! Join Guitar Tricks via their 14 day trial, then join Jamplay using this 25% off code here: 1BA1E2 .
Let me know which one you decide to join. Good luck!