Wondering is JamPlay is good for a very, very guitar-beginner like you? Below is my review after joining on online guitar lesson JamPlay.
Able to play guitar is one of my long-time dream. However, I keep on postponing it, since it’s not an important skill for me nor my job. Moreover, I'm just a 40y-housewife, what's the importance of guitar playing skill for me?
But when my father in-laws gave his old guitar for my daughter, I was tempted to make my old-dream come true. I think it would be nice if I can play and sing along with my daughter someday. But with so much works as a mother and freelancer, I don't think I will have much time to learn guitar offline or join in a certain music course. So, I thought taking online guitar lesson is a good choice for me.
There are some recommendations, but I prefer JamPlay, because … yeah, I think it has cool instructors.
All about JamPlay
Founded in 2006, JamPlay often referred as one of the best online guitar course. There are Kevin Wimer, Chris Dawson, and Jeff Booth, who working together to make this site available for everyone. With thousand lesson in various levels, genre, and style, JamPlay has been used by more than four hundred thousand users.
All of the lessons are provided in 15-20 minutes video streams online, which can be accessed anytime and anywhere. JamPlay is also available on Android IOS, and even chromecast.
JamPlay provides so many additional lessons and tools; such as chord library, jam track, scale library, progress report, guitar tuning, and fun games training to test your music notation, fretboard memorization, and note recognition. It is also provides Live Courses which are downloadable and can be used while you learn your lesson material.
Have a look on below link to find your favorite guitar chord
List of JamPlay Lesson
There are five lesson categories in JamPlay, based on your skill level and music genre
#1. Beginners; for acoustic and electric player, with 19 teachers and 654 lessons
If you are a no-experience player, self taught, or simply want to start learning again, thus this category will perfect for you.
As a-never-played-before (good start to build a solid foundation); you will learn how to hold the pick, the right hand posture to hold the fort and strumming, tuning guitar and how to take care your guitar, strumming, picking and rhythm, and much more.
If you are a self taught guitarist or if you ever learned about guitar, but never hold and strum; you can learn how to connecting chords, find the best technique, reading sheet music, etc., on this category.
Have a good feeling to start again? Then you should sign up here. You will learn from the past, but give up for some reason; find a reason to start again, simplified music theory, understand timing signature and better practice routine.
#2. Styles and genre: learning based on the music genre with 137 courses and 3454 song genre
This category is for you who want to learn guitar based on your favourite music. You can choose
- Slack Key
- Folk R&B and Soul
#3. Skill builder which has 59 courses and 1205 less
This is the lesson for you who in intermediate level. You will learn
- Lead Concepts and Technique
- Speed and Technique
- Tips, and trick (there are 16 courses, which discuss about unlock chords, progression and strumming pattern, fix problems with basic theoy, and so on)
- Reading music and rhythms
- Singing with Theory and improvisation
- 12 String guitar
- Rhythm guitar
- Ear training
- Recording and mixing guitar
- Instrument care and maintenance
#4. Learn songs with interactive tabs
Do you have a favorite song you want to able to play? Then you have to have a look this category. Who knows, you will find your favorite there. There are 451 songs from various genre to learn. You will see songs from from Billy Idol, Chad Kroeger, Cheap Trick, James Brown and many more.
#5. Master class
Do you ever wish to learn from your favorite artist? Then get your chance on JamPlay.
It is a feature lesson taught by progressive guitarists from all styles of music. The lessons are focused on each artist's particular style, and are taught by either the artist himself, or a qualified instructor which has been familiar with the artist's playing style.
You will see names like Bumblefoot who a performer guitar in Guns n Roses, Steve Stevens, guitarist for Billy Idol, Glen Drove, former guitarist for Megadeth, and tens performing artist who has known for their skills.
Features in Jamplay
The site also gives you some helpful resources to help you learn playing guitar better
#1. Chord Library; it is a library where you can find thousand chord voicings in dozens of tunings.
#2. Scales Library; I didn't really get about this features since I am realy new in music; I just knew that it is a library to find a set of musical note in diatonic, pentatonic, blues, symmetric, and exotic scale (ie. Balinese Scale, Chinese Mongolian scale).
#3. Jamtrack; a useful track from the JamPlay teacher to help you practice your guitar playing.
#4. Lick and Riff; a collection of short videos that teach you a number of licks across a variety of genres. The good things from this feature is you can download the video!
#5. Training games; There are three interactive games to improve your knowledge and skills in guitar playing; Music Notation Quizes, Fretboard Memorization, Note Identification.
#6. Progress report; it is a section page that will save your learning progress, so you can access your last lesson easily.
You can try all of features by sign up as JamPlay membership. If you're still not sure, you can try the free membership by clicking the link below.
My experience learning guitar on JamPlay as a very beginner
At the first time I signed up to Jamplay, I had to fill questionnaires about my reason learning guitar, my guitar level (of course, there is an option for no-nothing-about guitar), guitar preference (electric, acoustic, bass, etc.), and favorite music genre.
It is said, that the questioner is aiming for JamPlay able to recommend a perfect instructor according to user goals and guitar level.
After submitting answers, I redirected to instructor page.
Since I choose beginner level and acoustic guitar, I ‘ve been redirected to “Beginner Guitar Lesson for Acoustic and Electric Player”.
There are 11 instructors in the various teaching track record. I opened all of the instructor profile and decided to join in Jessica Baron class. I chose her because she looked standing out among others instructor. LOL
No no, It's just a joke, I chose Jessica, because I do know nothing about guitar. I just able to strum, picking one or two strings with a melody in my head (literally just in my head), but no song comes out to enjoy.
In my opinion, Jessica has a full lesson about guitar, from the basic knowledge through song writing. Though, I didn’t plan to be a songwriter, but I do need her lesson about guitar, before I gaining my confidence to play it.
Her background as a developmental educator, I think, would also suit me. She is also the Executive Director for Guitars in the Classroom, an organization that brings music making to education by integrating singing, strumming and songwriting. Jess is also Jess co-author of MusicMakers curriculum for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Thus, in my opinion, she does fit and does know how to teach guitar for beginner.
And Jessica did meet my expectations, her very first lesson was about basic knowledge of guitar; ie. how to choose a guitar, understanding guitar parts, install and replace strings, tuning, strumming, and so on.
Learning with Jessica, means learning two things, learn how to play the guitar, and singing. Yes, you will get the vocal lesson and how to sing properly on the early lessons, though you, perhaps, not intend to sing while playing a guitar.
There are 66 lessons in Jessica's class. All of them are in 6-20 minute video HD. Some lessons consist of two sessions. For example the 20th lesson, which consists of Fun Strums and learning how to play guitar for “Green Green Grass” song. Have a look below the picture to get a clearer understanding of Jessica Lesson material.
Almost all of the lessons are equipped with supplementary material in PDF, or JPG. And, each of lesson page is also equipped with notes, to help you take notes while watching the video lesson. Unfortunately, you cannot download your notes, but as long as you are an active member of JamPlay, you can open your notes any time.
I will talk about the membership of JamPlay by the end of this review. But, let me finish about Jessica class, before I forgot the important things I should write.
Unlike others, Jessica does not teach guitar playing on standard tuning, but on Open G tuning. According to her experience, Open G tuning will help beginner to learn guitar faster and easier. In Open G, you will learn chord from one finger, two, and three fingers. Sound new for you? So, keep reading below about it, okay?
As you see on Jessica’s lesson list above, you will still learn standard tuning, after mastering to strum guitar, and your fingers already adaptep to play guitar chord.
Learning guitar with Jessica was really fun. You will feel you’re able to play guitar and singing though you just learn for few songs (and even with your two fingers only).
But I got difficulty when learning chords in three fingers. I have to accustom my 3 fingers to press 3 strings once, without making a shrill sound. And it's really difficult to do.
Because I was too excited on learning, I hurt my left thumb. It became stiff if I tried to bend it. I lost my thumb strength too when I tried to hold things, even I couldn’t unplugged switch from the socket, though it is just an easy job.
I tried to soak my hands in ice water every two hours. But since my stiffness last more than three days, I decided to seek doctor advice.
That day I felt like I just wanted to give up, and I began to think that playing guitar is not for me. However, I don’t like to stop something in the middle. So, I tried to practice in shorter time, about 15-20 minutes and made it 2-3 times a day. I tried to practice with basic strumming, while adapting my fingers to a 3-fingers chord. Slowly, I started to be able to do it, though sometimes I still heard somber tones cames out from my play.
So, this is my tips; when you decided to start learning guitar, it's better to manage your energy and enthusiasm. Just take 15-30 minutes to practice playing the guitar and give your fingers to rest. If your fingers start to hurt, just rest for 3-4 days, and start again if your fingers get better. You’re learning guitar to have fun, right? So, do your best to not get hurt.
My other tip is, please do not hesitated to jump to another lesson. I mean, as you see on the Jessica Lesson list, she has a tips lesson like yoga practises for beginner. I must tell you this yoga lesson does useful for a beginner. Try to practice it daily. It will reduce the pain you might feel.
As for today, when I wrote this review, I am still on lesson 22, E minor on Open G tuning. I am still unable to switch my finger from C Major to E Minor, moreover, when I have to use the two-chords in a song. Have a look my current progress below the video.
One more thing, the aim of Jessica's lesson is not to make you a guitar player only. She wants you to be able to play guitar, as well as have a mind of a musician. Thus, she not only teaches about chords, but also knows the tone through the beat, and practicing your hearing on guitar tuning.
If you're a beginner, spend some times to watch Guitar 101 Live course on the Live Couses page by Chris Liepe. He does a great teacher, he showed how to play guitar correctly.
On JamPlay, you will get access to switch from one instructor to another, so I tried to switch Eve Goldberg on my early courses.
For me, Eve is such a good teacher too. She explained her lesson well. However, because I do know nothing about the guitar, and not feeling confident starting my chord lesson in three fingers, I choose to keep on Jessica’s class.
JamPlay has some membership to offer, but mainly there are two categories of membership, monthly and annually. Each membership has different advantage, but in monthly membership, you will have access to JamPlay apps which available on Android and Apple.
Unfortunately, if you don’t renew your membership, you will lose your access to any lesson in JamPlay. So, if you’ve never played guitar before, it is best to choose the annual membership. Who knows, you will need more time to learn every lesson in JamPlay.
I myself choosing a monthly package, since I thought I would only need two months to complete Jessica's lessons. But it turns that I need more time on some lesson. Then I thought, annual membership is better for a beginner like me.
Anyway, many said, JamPlay has 30-day trial for free. However, when I signed up for a free trial, I only have 1 week accsess to try JamPlay. After that, I have to upgrade my membership to continue my beginner lesson.
Those who love JamPlay
I learned better here than I did with live instruction material. And for a very low fee I can get better and choose my time to study. There are also people friendly with bunches of top of the line instructor.
I’ve been a member for four years and I have learned a tremendous amount of theory and technique. If you’re serious about become a great musician, you need JamPlay.
Paul Mc Aviney
Jamplay have very good programs for virtually any style and level experience, from beginner to seasoned professional.
I think that they are a good value, They have some instructors that teach beginner acoustic guitar. They also monitor your progress so you can tell what you are working on and where you have been.
I think JamPlay is great for people who want to learn a variety of lessons on everything from metal to jazz and country. Their content is great too.
There are three membership-prices, according to your payment method; monthly or annualy.
The monthly membership is $19.95 and you will get access for all JamPlay lessons and features for 30 days.
There are two option for annualy membership; Year Standard and Year Pro. The Year Standard membership price is $159.95 and the Year Pro is $299.95.
With annualy standard you will save 33% from the monthly price. You will also receive 1 guitarist toolkit, such a tool which will help you to learn guitar. And if you purchase the Year Pro membership, you will get 8 toolkits and 1-on-1 consultation with your teacher, plus 1 JamPlay T-shirt.
I will tell you about the toolkits (I didn't have an access on this toolkit, but I have sneaked a peak about it). Another beneficial learning guitar on JamPlay is, there are so many feature that so useful for us, and one of them is the toolkit.
JamPlay has 8 toolkits, i.e
- The Practice Plan
- Gear, Tone, and Studio
- Mode, Melody, and Theory
- Blues and Rock
- Acoustic Learning
- Electric Learning
- Country and Bluegrass
- Fingerstyle and Americana
Each toolkits costs $99.95. So you will save a lot of money by purchasing the annualy membership.
However if you are not sure about JamPlay, you can try to buy a monthly membership first, and then upgrade your membership later.
Another way to save your money is taking advantage of holiday moments. Usually, JamPlay offers a huge-holiday discount such as onThanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and other holiday moments.
You can also get a discount of 25% by following the link below.
And if you are not satisfied with JamPlay services, you can sent a request to get your money back (100% !) as long as you make the request within 30 days after you registered.
Verdict and conslusion
As a beginner, who really doesn't know anything about guitars, learning to play guitar on JamPlay is pretty great.
I am free to set my learing schedule. And since it is also available on many platform, it enable me learning anytime and anywhere. The learning material is also great, I really can learn guitar from the scratch.
Although the video lesson cannot be downloaded (it doesn't apply to Year Pro membership), but I can have the print out lesson to help me learning by myselves. There is also a consultation forum that can be used when experiencing learning difficulties.
To sum up, in my opinion learning at JamPlay is quite worth, fit with the price and its service.
Like other learning online courses, the outcomes from this course will be differ on everyone. The results is depend on perseverance and activeness of the student.
What I wrote above is based on my personal experience only, and does not represent results in general. The above review is only useful for consideration, and cannot be used as an assessment of results in this online course.