Guitar Tricks vs JamPlay (Here’s What I Found After Trying Both)

Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not influence our reviews or ratings. We endeavor to keep our opinions fair and balanced to help you make informed buying choices.
  • Guitar Tricks and JamPlay are two of the biggest websites for online guitar lessons.
  • We put them head-to-head on lesson content, features, and value for money.
  • Find out who wins and which service is the best for your needs!

In light of current events, the traditional method of learning the guitar from a teacher is not possible for many guitar players around the world. As the education system changes to online learning and we have way more time spent in our homes, guitar players are now looking for ways to take their playing to the next level by learning from online resources.

When you search for online guitar lesson websites, the two biggest names you will come across are Guitar Tricks and JamPlay. Based on reviews by thousands of students and my own experiences, I can tell you that both websites are well-known for a reason.

If you’re just starting out and want to learn guitar from the ground up, or you’re an experienced guitarist who needs online guitar lessons for those extra skills, both websites have you covered.

They are both extremely well organized, have a huge variety of lessons by world-class instructors and guitarists, and they both cover a whole range of genres from rock, blues, jazz to classical and country. Both websites have their advantages and disadvantages, however.

In this article, I will break down some of the key differences to help you make an informed decision on which suits your needs best.

Guitar Tricks vs JamPlay (Verdict)

Guitar Tricks has better courses for beginner guitarists, their curriculum is extremely well organized, and it will keep beginner guitarists on the right track. Each guitar lesson is extremely thorough, and you’ll get a solid grasp of the theory which is crucial for learning,

JamPlay, on the other hand, has a much bigger resource of lessons and styles of music that are offered. JamPlay’s teachers are more well-known and the guitar lessons are more geared towards intermediate and advanced guitarists.

Overall, I recommend Guitar Tricks for beginners and JamPlay for intermediate and advanced guitar players.

If you want to read more, we’ve done separate deep-dive reviews into both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay:

Guitar Tricks: Award Winning Online Guitar Lessons

With a brilliantly structured core curriculum, a huge library of songs to learn, and world-class teaching staff, Guitar Tricks stands out as a premium guitar tuition service that is unrivaled.

Claim Your Free Trial Learn More

Breaking Down The Platforms

Guitar Tricks and JamPlay are both exceptional online learning resource for guitarists. Both sites are filled with hours and hours of quality instruction by world-class guitarists and instructors, and there is no doubt that students will get so much better just by taking a couple of courses.

For those still on the fence, let’s dive in a bit deeper into each of them.

Courses For Beginners

For beginners who are just starting to play guitar, getting the fundamentals right is important. Both websites have a specific curriculum for beginner guitar players, but when it comes to Guitar Tricks vs JamPlay, Guitar Tricks is more well-known for its amazing beginner curriculum.

But well-known doesn’t always mean better, so let’s compare the two beginner courses and see who comes out on top…

Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks has a curriculum called the Core Learning System and the system is divided into Fundamentals 1 and Fundamentals 2. The Fundamentals 1 course covers things from introduction to the guitar, how does the guitar work, strings and tuning, the most basic chords on the guitar, and simple melodies that you can learn on the first day.

The instructor gives a great overview of the most basic things on the guitar and the students get a thorough understanding of the instrument. After learning the basics, there are also super simple songs that you can learn, where you can apply your understanding.

Then there is the Fundamentals 2 course, which covers more basic theory and guitar knowledge that any decent guitarist needs to know. Fundamentals 2, as a part of the Core Learning System, covers basic scales, how to read music, major & minor chords, understanding the song structure, and learning barre chords.

All of these topics are introduced in several subtopics, where you get access to detailed step-by-step videos with supplementary sheet music (both tab and notation). But the amazing thing about Guitar Tricks’ approach is that they always explain the music theory behind all the things that they teach, which is often overlooked when learning the guitar.

In Fundamentals 2 course, you’ll also find popular songs that you can learn at this level after learning the basic concepts. After all, it’s always about connecting the concepts to real music at the end of the day. So for complete beginners, Guitar Tricks offer the absolute best instruction hands down when it comes to online guitar lessons.

JamPlay

JamPlay divides its curriculum into multiple “phases“, and phase 1 is the beginner course. In JamPlay, you don’t get one unified curriculum to follow, and instead, JamPlay offers a list of teachers, each with their own curriculum.

You’ll find teachers for both acoustic and electric guitar, and you can be assured that each teacher’s curriculum will cover all the basic things you need to know. The problem with this is that it’s pretty overwhelming for a beginner student to make a decision on which curriculum to pick. But at the same time, this gives you access to similar information from multiple different viewpoints and personalities, which is really good for reinforcing the basics.

JamPlay tends to have way more lessons that cover broader topics and there is a boatload of options for both acoustic and electric guitar. For example, you have electric guitar instructor Lisa Pursell who will cover everything from controls on the electric guitar, tuning, easiest open chords, important scales, and playing simple solos. You can access the same kind of detailed instruction for acoustic guitar, covering similar topics like basic open chords and scales to strumming patterns, and learning simple songs.

One of the options you get is the course that is specifically designed for kids and children who are just starting to learn the guitar. Instructor Steven Eulberg teaches a very fun, friendly, and patiently-taught series of lessons that young guitar players can sit through without being super bored. So all in all, JamPlay offers a vast amount of beginner lessons to choose from while Guitar Tricks offers a more unified beginner course.

For people who are just starting to learn the guitar, Guitar Tricks is definitely easier to follow, but JamPlay is certainly not a poor choice either.

Jamplay: Step By Step Videos That Make Learning Guitar Fun

JamPlay™ is the leader in online guitar lessons. If you are just getting started with guitar or are interested in improving, you have come to the right place. Perfect for both the beginner guitarist to seasoned musician.

Claim Your Free Trial Learn More

Courses for Intermediates

For both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay, the courses get divided up into different genres and musical styles once you finish the beginner level. In both websites, you pick a genre of music to focus on and go in-depth into one genre. But the two websites have major differences regarding how their lessons are organized, so let’s take a look at each example.

Guitar Tricks

After finishing the Fundamentals 1 and Fundamentals 2 courses, you get to choose from four main genres to choose from – blues, country, rock, and acoustic. Each of these four main genres is taught in level 1 and level 2, and there are several subtopics within each genre.

You’ll get plenty of material to work on and it will cover everything from musical history, music theory, techniques, songs, and even the equipment that are recommended for that genre. When you are studying a song in that genre, you can also expect to learn about what kind of guitar settings to use, what kind of amp, or pedals are best for that style of playing.

(In the market for a new amp? We’ve rounded up the 7 Best 15W Tube Amps on the market!)

Aside from the four main styles of music, you can also study other styles of music such as bluegrass, classical, funk & soul, jazz, metal, rockabilly, surf, and world music. Although not as in-depth as the four main genres, each of these additional genres are all taught by professional guitarists who specialize in the style.

From these lessons, you can expect to learn techniques, exercises, history, music theory, and songs that are specific to those genres. One thing to consider is that all of these additional styles of music have various amounts of lessons and courses that are available. For example, jazz will have many more materials and lessons than genres like rockabilly or surf. But it’s certainly an ample amount of lessons that will keep a beginner or intermediate guitar player busy and engaged for quite a while.

JamPlay

Phase 2

This is where JamPlay shines the most. After finishing the Phase 1 level, you move onto Phase 2, which covers a crazy amount of genres. There is simply no guitar lesson website that can be equal to JamPlay in the genre variety. Here is the full list of genres that are available:

  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Fingerstyle
  • Metal
  • Hawaiian Slack Key
  • Bluegrass
  • Rock, Celtic
  • Classical, Country
  • Surf
  • Funk
  • Flamenco
  • Folk
  • RnB
  • Soul
  • Reggae
  • Gospel
  • Pop

What’s even crazier is that each genre has teachers who are world-famous guitarists, many with years of teaching experience. If you’re lucky, you might get to learn about a style of music from one of your favorite guitarists. They have the legendary guitarist of Megadeth – Glen Drover teaching in the metal section, or learn funk style playing from guitarist Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy… You get the point.

But this is only part of it. Other than the genre-based learning, JamPlay offers extensive courses that are skill-based. In skill-based learning, you can expect things like lead guitar concepts & techniques, speed, reading music, theory and improvisation, 12 string guitar, singing with guitar, rhythm training, ear training, studio skills & engineering, plus a whole lot more.

Not only does it cover guitar techniques and music theory, but JamPlay also has courses that specifically designed to improve your musicianship. Personally, I find that the musicianship aspect is always overlooked when it comes to guitar education, but things like having a good musical ear, being a good composer and producer, and music technology skills are equally important as being able to shred major and minor scales up and down the guitar.

Artist Series, Masterclasses, and Live Courses

Another thing that makes JamPlay special is its courses that are specially designed by many famous guitarists. World-class guitarists teach their own masterclasses about topics that they are passionate about and also teach about their own style of playing.

To get you even more excited, here are some guitarists that teach their own masterclasses on JamPlay: Ariel Posen, Horace Bray, Mark Lettieri, Yvette Young, Artur Mendes, Tosin Abasi, Andy James, Mike Dawes, Brent Mason, Bumblefoot, Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Steve Smyth, and Sarah Longfield.

It’s a really amazing list because these guys are legendary guitarists from different generations and completely different styles of music. Apart from famous guitarists teaching about their own style of playing, there are also JamPlay instructors who specialize in dissecting other legendary guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Santana, or Tom Morello.

Another really cool feature in JamPlay is the “live courses”. This is your chance to interact with your instructor and classmates in real-time and feel like you’re part of a real class in a music school. You can ask any questions you have or read comments from other students. There are multiple live courses that happen every week, and each one is dedicated to a special topic like jamming in a band, writing chord progressions, learning iconic licks, merging pentatonic shapes and so much more.

And even if you miss it, every live course is recorded and stored in the archive so you can access them anytime you want. There are also open Q&A sessions with instructors that are happening every week as well.

In terms of available courses and resources, there simply isn’t an online resource that can beat JamPlay. Even if you work diligently through many of these courses, it’ll take many years for you to run out of lessons to take. It’s basically an online music college that specializes in everything that has to do with an electric and acoustic guitar. But that being said, it’s really up to the student to make the best use of the resources available and try their best not to be overwhelmed by too much information.

Courses For Advanced Guitarists

Guitar Tricks

With GuitarTricks.com, there simply isn’t enough material for an advanced or very experienced guitarist to really benefit from. Sure, they can always take up learning a new style of music or a new song on the site, but they will probably run out of things to learn pretty quickly. Or, they might feel that a lot of the lessons are too easy for them.

JamPlay

On the contrary, JamPlay was made for intermediate and advanced players. With constant updates of new courses by world-class guitarists and a seemingly endless amount of lessons that are available, everybody from bedroom guitar players to professional guitarists will always have something to learn from.

Advanced players can really benefit from courses like the JamPlay Artist Series, masterclasses, skill-based courses, musicianship courses, to learning about a completely new style of music altogether.

Songs

Guitar Tricks

GuitarTricks.com has a vast resource of officially licensed songs to choose from. Their song list is well organized and you can pick a song by searching artists, songs, or collections. From their list, you can find songs from many legendary artists and bands like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, AC/DC, and the Eagles.

But they also make sure to include modern artists as well, such as Ed Sheeran, Blink 182, and Coldplay. Although you probably can’t find all your favorite songs on the list, you can still expect to find the most well-known songs from each artist. The list also grows every week, so that’s something to look forward to on Guitar Tricks.

You can expect to find an incredibly detailed lesson on each song. The lesson will cover things like the song’s history, how to achieve the guitar sound that you hear on the record, musical theory and song form, a full performance of the song, and even an additional Jam Along video based on the original song. And what’s more is that all of this will be supplemented by accurate sheet music that includes both tab and standard notation. 

JamPlay

JamPlay‘s song list is pretty similar to the Guitar Tricks song list. The songs are included in JamPlay’s “Phase 3”. To accommodate the extremely diverse styles of music, they are categorized in multiple ways – instructor, genre, difficulty, and lesson length. Like Guitar Tricks, you can expect songs from famous artists like The Beatles, ZZ Top, Fall Out Boy, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, Demi Lovato, Eric Clapton, and more.

Because each song takes JamPlay a lot of effort to produce multiple studio-quality video lessons with supplementary materials, they obviously can’t have all the famous songs in the world on their list. But even if you can’t find the exact song, you can expect to find a song that’s in a similar style. So you’ll still be able to learn in your preferred style of music with a world-class guitar instructor giving you a detailed lesson of the song.

Instructors

Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks has up to 32 guitar instructors on their website and they are all professional guitarists with a lot of experience both playing and teaching guitar. GuitarTricks makes sure to hire instructors from various musical backgrounds, ages, and gender.

Although not as notable as some of the names you’ll see on JamPlay, they still have instructors that are world-class musicians. Some examples are Sharon Aguillar (lead guitarist for Cee Lo Green) and Ander Mouridsen (guitarist for John Fogerty, Taylor Swift, and Pink). Other lesser-known instructors are all amazing music educators who are all very friendly and patient in their lessons.

JamPlay

As I’ve already mentioned, JamPlay has hired some of the hottest and legendary guitarists on the planet!

The best part is that they are not just rock or blues guitarists, but rather a very diverse group of guitarists. It’s almost hard to believe that JamPlay was able to assemble such a diverse group of guitarists on one website.

This roster includes metal guitarist Andy James, modern jazz guitarist Horace Bray, tapping genius Yvette Young, blues guitarist Artur Menezes, legendary acoustic guitarist Mike Dawes, legendary session guitarist Brent Mason, and rock guitar legend Bumblefoot. They even have famous guitarists that have a really unique style of playing like Kaki King and Sheryl Bailey, a world-famous jazz guitarist and educator.

Video Player

Both websites have amazing video players with similar specs. With both websites, you can choose from various video quality from 224 to 4k depending on how fast your internet speed is. With 4k, you can even watch it on a big TV screen in your house without a problem, or you can just watch it from your smartphone.

My favorite features on both sites are the looping and ‘slow-mo’ features. Both websites offer sophisticated looping ability where you can select specific parts of the video and loop it infinitely. The slow-down features are also amazing because you can slow down to 0.5x without affecting the pitches that you hear.

By combining the looping feature and the slow-down feature, you can learn difficult guitar parts with ease. Because the only way to learn a difficult phrase is by repetition!

Community

Both websites have a great forum and community section where you can connect with your teachers and fellow members. While the community section is well-designed for both websites, Guitar Tricks has a slightly better forum.

Their topics on the forum include open discussion, guitar basics, technique and style, music theory, songwriting, recording, listening post, tone and effects, gear discussions, gear reviews, tech talk, musician’s life, and more. In each of the topics, if you ask away any questions that you have, someone from Guitar Tricks will be there to answer your questions. The teachers at Guitar Tricks answer the questions at a super-fast rate and the comments from fellow members will also help you better understand a subject.

For JamPlay, it’s more of an open-discussion section where members can start their own thread or respond in pre-existing threads. It gives you a sense of belonging and gives you a feeling that you’re a part of a community of 500,000 members from all over the world. And even though the threads might not be as well organized as Guitar Tricks, JamPlay does offer multiple live Q&A sessions where you can ask away any questions in real-time.

Additional Tools

Guitar Tricks

Guitars Tricks has a couple of additional tools and features that you can take advantage of. One of the new features is the one-on-one coaching feature, where you can select a teacher that you want to study with, and pick either a 30-minute or 1-hour session. It’s a way for you to check-in with the teachers on Guitar Tricks and you can even check-in with a teacher that you took courses with.

Guitar Tricks also gives you access to additional tools like Scale Finder, Jam Station, Metronome, Chord Finder, Reference Tuner, Fretboard Trainer, Chord Charts, Guitar Tab Guide, Guitar, and Glossary,

JamPlay

Just like Guitar Tricks, JamPlay does offer a one on one consultation option, but it’s more of a coaching/discussion session rather than a guitar lesson. JamPlay has an amazing award-winning tools section that can benefit anyone from complete beginners to professional guitarists.

First, they have the “Lick and Riff Library“, where you can browse through a list of all kinds of different licks and riffs that were introduced during the lessons. Then, you have the incredible “Chord Library” and “Scale Library“. The chord library contains even the most obscure kinds of chords and gives you more fingering choices than you can ever learn. The scale library is the same way, and it covers all the basic scales to exotic scales.

Other than these features, you also get access to high-quality jam tracks in all keys and genres, online metronome, tuner, chord names, and various training games like Music Notation Quizzer, Fretboard Memorization, and Note Identification.

Pricing

Both websites are evenly matched in terms of pricing, which is not surprising given they are direct competitors. JamPlay only just win out as their yearly subscription is $20 less than GuitarTricks, plus their free trial period is twice as long at the time of writing.

Guitar Tricks

  • $19.95 per month
  • $179.99 a year
  • They are currently offering a 14-day free trial.
Guitar Tricks: Award Winning Online Guitar Lessons

With a brilliantly structured core curriculum, a huge library of songs to learn, and world-class teaching staff, Guitar Tricks stands out as a premium guitar tuition service that is unrivaled.

Claim Your Free Trial Learn More

JamPlay

  • 1 month – $19.95
  • Quarterly Membership – $49.95
  • Yearly Membership – $159.95
  • And they are offering a 1-month free trial!
Jamplay: Step By Step Videos That Make Learning Guitar Fun

JamPlay™ is the leader in online guitar lessons. If you are just getting started with guitar or are interested in improving, you have come to the right place. Perfect for both the beginner guitarist to seasoned musician.

Claim Your Free Trial Learn More