Parent article: Fender Play Review
Updated by Bobby
Recently updated on September 29th, 2021
Updated logos and home page screen shots for all programs mentioned.
Though Fender Play has a slick interface, it doesn't have the value of an Ultimate Guitar Pro membership, especially if you're just looking for tabs and song lessons.
This is a comparison of two popular guitar programs: The Ultimate Guitar Pro membership and Fender Play. While the two websites use a different format to teach, they're both designed to help you learn guitar, which puts them in a similar online guitar lesson category.
For those interested, we've also reviewed both programs individually:
This page uses tables and a comparison tool to look at Fender Play and Ultimate Guitar side by side, covering basic program format, pricing, features, and even some grading for different categories.
It'll help you figure out whether you should work with the streamable lessons in Fender Play or the pro-level tabs in Ultimate Guitar.
Let's get started.
A Quick Comparison Chart
First, we've created a comparison table with Fender Play, Ultimate Guitar Pro, and two other programs we recommend. Note that for lessons, we'd recommend Guitar Tricks and Justinguitar long before we'd recommend Fender Play.
Ultimate Guitar Pro
Price and Basic Feature Comparison
Fender Play offers a longer trial period, but Ultimate Guitar is significantly cheaper, perhaps since they only offer tabs and are not a full lesson/teaching program.
Memberships (copies sold) as of 2020
Primary Content Focus
Pro Quality Guitar Tabs
Video-based, streamable lessons
Free Trial Period
Total Number of Lessons
Styles (Genres) Covered
5 total (multiple instruments)
Keep in mind, Ultimate Guitar Pro is a pro-level tab resource, offering Guitar Pro-style tabs for almost every song out there. Fender Play is a lesson database with videos are courses to help you learn guitar from the ground up. They are two very different programs.
Here's an example of an Ultimate Guitar Pro tab:
And a Fender Play lesson.
Structure, Design and User Experience
Broadly speaking, Fender Play has a far better website design than Ultimate Guitar. Ultimate Guitar rarely updates their site's look, and the same seems to go for a Pro membership, which basically upgrades a regular Ultimate Guitar membership and carries over the look of the interface.
Overall, Fender Play just looks cleaner, more slick, more modern, and is easier to navigate.
Interior Course Navigation
Main Menu Navigation
Here are a couple more screenshots of Fender Play and Ultimate Guitar, highlighting the interface and navigation.
One area where Ultimate Guitar clearly dominates Fender Play is when it comes to supplemental content. This is - after all - everything that Ultimate Guitar Pro sets out to do: They provide you with tabs and supplemental content to go along with those tabs.
Everything is included with each Pro song page: Tabs, chords, sheet music, audio backing tracks, and even print outs, if you want them.
Tabs and Notation
Guitar Pro Files
Always (similar to GP)
The only area where Fender Play wins out by default is with instructor interaction, but this is just because Ultimate Guitar doesn't have instructors.
Licensed Song Lessons
The last area is another one dominated by Ultimate Guitar. Despite Fender Play having a lot of song lessons, it's not enough to beat out Ultimate Guitar Pro's database that literally tops 15,000 songs and counting. Anything you can think of will be there. The only disadvantage - compared to Fender Play - is that you don't have an instructor teaching you the song.
Despite the lack of instructors, Ultimate Guitar Pro is one of our favorite - paid - recommendations for learning songs.
Number of Songs
Song Coverage (completeness)
Easy Song Versions
Second Pay Wall
So which one is better?
Despite having a slicker interface and the power of streamed teaching behind it, Fender Play is just too shallow and weak to keep up with the learning standards of today's online guitar lessons.
And while it's hard to compare it to something like Ultimate Guitar Pro - that only does tabs - we'd recommend going with a program that tries to do less but does it really well, as opposed to a program that tries to do a lot but only sorta succeeds.
Ultimate Guitar Pro is our winner in this comparison.
Do you have questions about Fender Play or Ultimate Guitar Pro?
We've used them both a lot, so we can likely help you out or at least point you in the right direction.
Leave it in the comments section below and we'll chat.