TrueFire VS Fender Play
In a head to head matchup, Fender Play struggles to compete with the volume and quality of guitar lesson content that TrueFire has been producing for decades. TrueFire is clearly the superior program in almost all measurable qualities.
We're comparing two online guitar programs: TrueFire and Fender Play.
In many ways, they are the polar opposite of each other, but particularly in terms of the skill level they appeal to. Fender Play is for complete beginners, while we tend to recommend TrueFire for more advanced players.
You can checkout our individual reviews of both programs here:
For this comparison we're going to look at the basics and provide some high-level grading for each program, to help you decide which one is better and/or right for your situation.
In this section we've listed TrueFire and Fender Play along with two other popular online guitar lesson programs. Use the compare buttons to see pricing and other quick comparison features, and the orange buttons to check them out. If you do, that helps support our site at no extra cost to you.
However, please note that we do not use partner links with Fender Play because we do not recommend them for most potential guitar students.
TrueFire VS Fender Play (the basics)
First, let's start with some basic numbers.
TrueFire just has a lot more content and more members, as it's one of the longest-running guitar lesson websites in existence. It also covers a lot more ground than Fender Play, with a wide range of styles and concepts covered. On the positive side for Fender Play, they have a cheaper price tag, around $10 a month or $90 per year.
Memberships (copies sold) as of 2020
Free Trial Period
Total Number of Lessons
Styles (Genres) Covered
5 total (multiple instruments)
Skill Level, Depth and Challenge
In terms of catering to each skill level, Fender Play struggles to compete with TrueFire. The only place Fender Play gets close is in the beginner category, but even then we'd prefer TrueFire's courses, if we had to pick between the two. TrueFire just has a lot more depth and unique information in their courses, while Fender Play feels like mostly recycled YouTube-level info.
Not that YouTube guitar lessons are bad.
If you read the Fender Play review that I wrote, you'll notice that struggling to cater to non-beginners is a consistent problem for that program. TrueFire - on the other hand - is one of the best when it comes to intermediate and advanced guitar lessons.
Website Design and Navigation
When grading user experience, it's a bit of a mixed bag with these programs.
On the Fender Play side, it looks sleek and modernized, but it can be hard - at times - to figure out where you are and where you're going. Navigation within and outside of each course is a bit difficult to get a handle on.
TrueFire is the opposite, in that it's a little easier to navigate, but not quite as sleek or modernized as Fender Play has managed to be. Overall, we'd say Fender Play wins the design and aesthetic award.
Interior Course Navigation
Main Menu Navigation
Video Player Quality and Features
The SoundSlice embed that TrueFire uses (a program that runs tabs along with the video in addition to several other helpful sheet music features) helps them more than this chart would indicate. Aside from the Fender Play videos being more consistently HD (they were all created post 2016), TrueFire just has more functionality built into its video player.
Another win for TrueFire in this column.
Slow Down/Speed Up
Full Screen Quality and Pixelation
Supplemental Content and Material
TrueFire easily beats Fender Play in the tabs, diagrams, and audio file department. Many of their courses have tons of this type of content, and they're consistent about including it in most of their material, even with a wide range of course authors and contributing teachers.
Tabs and Notation
(Rating changed April 2021 - may not be reflected in other comparison pages)
Guitar Pro Files
Licensed Song Lessons
Fender Play does teach you songs, but they tend to teach you segments or easy versions of songs way too often. While we wouldn't recommend either program for song lessons, TrueFire does a better job with the songs they do teach, leaving Fender Play with another notch in the loss column.
Number of Songs
Song Coverage (completeness)
Easy Song Versions
Second Pay Wall
You could make the case that Fender does a better job of offering licensed music, but it's just not up to the same quality standard that we get with TrueFire. We'd also argue that Fender Play gets students into playing songs way too quickly.
Though Fender Play has a great design and a powerful marketing team behind it, it just doesn't come close to matching the volume or quality of content that TrueFire has been putting out for years.
If we had to choose between the two, we'd easily choose TrueFire, especially if you're more of an intermediate or advanced guitar player.
It's an especially good fit if you want to buy specific courses (no membership required) or study a nuanced style/technique.
In a direct TrueFire VS Fender Play comparison, TrueFire is the clear winner.
Do you have questions about our comparison?
Maybe you have a specific question about TrueFire or Fender Play, or something I just failed to mention in this article.
If so, drop us a line in the comments section below and we'll check in to help out as best we can.
See you there.