Updated by Bobby
Updated on July 25th, 2022
Added compare buttons and updated home page screenshot for JamPlay.
Jamplay vs Justinguitar (comparison)
Our pick: Justinguitar for beginners, JamPlay for intermediates
While Justinguitar and JamPlay are similarly good, they both cater to very different audiences. We vote Justinguitar for beginners and those wanting to cover the basics. We'd recommend JamPlay for those that want a more detailed and specific course, perhaps in a narrower musical niche.
JamPlay and Justinguitar have a lot in common in terms of their educational structure. They both use videos and courses to teach guitar through an instructor. In the case of Justinguitar it's one teacher - Justin Sandercoe - while JamPlay uses over 30 and are publishing new courses on a fairly regular basis, often with brand new instructors.
The question this article is meant to answer is simply this: Which one is more ideal for me?
To get an answer, we'll compare the two programs in side-by-side tables in the following categories:
- Skill level, depth, and challenge
- Structure, design, and user experience
- Video player quality
- Supplemental content
- Song lessons section
We'll use a simple grading system going through these five categories to give you a feel for both JamPlay and Justinguitar. You'll be able to easily see weaknesses, strengths, and similarities between the two programs. If you want to look at other options, you can checkout Guitar Chalk's online guitar lesson recommendations.
Our Affiliate Policy
Please note our affiliate policy: Guitar Chalk is supported entirely by our readers. We do not run traditional banner advertising or sell sponsored content. This helps keep our content free and objective.
We do however recommend guitar lesson programs that we partner with, though that does not in any way influence our evaluation or opinions of these programs. For example, JamPlay is a partner of ours, but we want you to use Justinguitar instead if that's a better program for your situation.
You can checkout the comparison table below and read on for the full rundown of JamPlay VS Justinguitar.
Comparing to Similar Programs
Guitarzoom (Steve Stine)
Listen to the Comparison (video walk-through)
JamPlay VS Justinguitar: Side-by-Side Comparison
In terms of pure musical variety and diversity, JamPlay scores a little better than Justinguitar. This is primarily because Justinguitar is limited to one instructor - Justin Sandercoe - while JamPlay is routinely recruiting new teachers and perspectives to create courses for their program.
Memberships as of May 2020
Free Trial Period
7 and 30 days
Total Number of Lessons
Styles (Genres) Covered
$160 per year
With this in mind, it reinforces our recommendation of JamPlay for those wanting a wider variety of content to explore and more viewpoints/experiences to derive skill from. This isn't to say that Sandercoe does a poor job getting variety into his content (he has had a long time to work on it), but he's just not as strong as JamPlay in that department.
In the basic information above, it should also be noted that Justinguitar's content is completely FREE, without even requiring an email sign up.
You need to give up an email to use the progress tracker, but I think we can forgive Sandercoe on that front. He's the consummate gentlemen when it comes to his marketing tactics.
Skill Level, Depth and Challenge
The skill level you're working from will have a lot to say about which of these two programs you'll find more appealing. As I alluded to previously, the skill level breakdown would look something like this:
- Beginner lessons and the basics: Justinguitar
- Intermediate, advanced, and specifics: JamPlay
While there are of course exceptions to this rule (JamPlay has really picked up their game in the beginner content department over the past couple of years), it's fair to call it a broad trend between the two programs.
While both websites do a good job organizing their courses, we actually find Justinguitar's courses and video ordering to be a little easier to follow. JamPlay will have multiple courses for one topic, so there can be a little bit of confusion figuring out where to go next.
Structure, Design and User Experience
Justinguitar and JamPlay are both membership websites (though Justinguitar doesn't require a login to view content) and they both function best on a desktop computer environment. From a design and aesthetics perspective, JamPlay is a little more up-to-date, even after Sandercoe revamped his site back in 2018.
Interior Course Navigation
Main Menu Navigation
We graded both programs fairly close in this category, as there isn't a ton that's worth complaining about, outside of some outdated interior elements and confusing navigation here and there.
Video Player Quality and Features
Since Justinguitar uses YouTube as its video host, it's a little more limited than JamPlay's video player (we're not sure what backend they're using). JamPlay has more videos shot in HD and has the section looping feature. Their videos also tend to look better when blow up to full screen.
Full Screen Quality and Pixelation
Supplemental material includes anything provided outside of the video. This includes text content, printable documents, diagrams, and similar add-ons. JamPlay is particularly good in this area, as they almost always provide a ton of supplemental content with their videos. They'll even include downloadable Guitar Pro files, which are really handy.
Tabs and Notation
Guitar Pro Files
While Sandercoe does offer a modest amount of supplemental content, it's not enough to compete with JamPlay, though most programs don't do as well as JamPlay in this category.
Song Lessons Section
On multiple occasions now, JamPlay has said that their song lesson section is no longer a priority, based on feedback from their members. I'd suspect it's more an issue of them getting out-gunned by other competitors, including Justinguitar. And while Sandercoe hasn't published as many song lessons as JamPlay, he's close. And what's more, it's clearly a priority for him, and a part of his site that he cares about. If song lessons are something you want to focus on, Justinguitar is a better place to start.
Number of Songs
Song Coverage (completeness)
(Revised rating - May 2020: This rating may be different for JamPlay in other articles)
(New category - May 2020: This rating category may not be in similar articles)
Easy Song Versions
Concluding our JamPlay VS Justinguitar Comparison
It's hard to find much negative to say about either Justinguitar or JamPlay. Both have done a great job with production, organization, and presentation of their video content. While talking about strengths, it's important to emphasize that we think both can work in almost any situation, regardless of skill level or musical genre of interest.
But, if we must give a short assessment of both, here's how they'd break down:
- Justinguitar: Better for song lessons and beginner content
- JamPlay: Better for intermediate material and specialized study
Since Justinguitar is completely free, a lot of people elect to start there and get their feet wet while leaving the option open to move into other programs later. Though for some, Sandercoe's program is really all they need. Unless you want to jump firmly into a specific style, start with the free option and go from there.
Questions about the Programs
Do you have questions about Justinguitar, JamPlay, or our review and comparison process? If so, leave them in the comments section below and we'll help out as best we can. See you there.