When it comes to playing guitar, there is always something more to discover. In many ways, it’s like learning to play golf or training to be a martial arts expert. Obtaining a grasp of the basic rules and practicing to the point where those rules become automatic is merely the start of a long road that never actually leads to perfection– just to improvement.
There is always some new technique or technological advancement that opens up new panoramas of understanding and enjoyment even to the best players in the world. That is why the new online instructional tools such as Jamplay and Truefire are such godsends to the guitar enthusiast. No matter if you are just starting out and need a skilled, patient instructor who can work around your schedule, a blossoming guitar wizard who is looking to add new riffs to the repertoire, or someone who is just developing an interest in a new musical style which you would like to play for yourself rather than passively listen to, you can find all of the technical and artistic encouragement you will ever need.
The principle behind both Jamplay and Truefire is a simple one: There is no such thing as a single guitar expert who knows everything. But there are many highly-talented musicians who have built reputations through their mastery of specific subsets of knowledge. By recruiting these masters to instruct others in their own particular type of craftsmanship, one gets the very best instruction on an a la carte basis. You can pick and choose the skill sets you’d like to add to your own level of guitar playing and then consult with the world-famous specialist who is on staff with that particular online instructional program. If this were an HMO, it would be like having every world-renowned doctor on the planet available for consultation on your own particular health care questions.
So what’s the real difference in the Jamplay vs Truefire clash of online guitar titans? On the face of it, they are very similar offerings. Both platforms offer everything you could ever want to know about playing the guitar in any style you wish to pursue. In fact, their content is so compelling that you find yourself getting excited about it even if you have never played a guitar or even own one. The possibilities seem astounding for players of every stripe.
Take beginners, for example. Everybody has to start somewhere. For both companies, they do not simply depend on a single introductory teacher but rather offer a wide variety of courses in both acoustic and electric guitar. In addition, one can get started on any course by watching the introductory lessons for free– which gives you an idea of whether you like that instructor’s style and approach or would prefer to try out someone else.
One area of divergence between Jamplay and Truefire is that Truefire simply puts up a menu of courses to choose from, while Jamplay takes the time to drill down a little deeper into what sort of beginner you actually are. There are, of course, absolute beginners who need to be taught from Step One. But there are also those who are self-taught or perhaps took some lessons long ago. For these players, a different approach is in order and Jamplay differentiates these two categories of beginner in a way that makes excellent sense once you think about it.
Once you are rolling along, both platforms have vast opportunities to learn and grow at your own pace. One of the most interesting innovations in online instruction is the ability to put yourself inside a virtual band where your guitar (or bass) playing interacts with the virtual functions of the program so you can see yourself as a band member, not just as a solitary player at home. This provides excellent opportunities for someone to work on their timing and style in ways that would be impossible via other forms of instruction.
Beyond that, the courses are structured via linear progression so that you obviously work your way up on the ladder of difficulty as you gain experience. Yet there is also a non-linear aspect of both Jamplay and Truefire, in that you can branch off onto any style that may strike your fancy at the moment. If you suddenly feel like exploring jazz riffs or flamenco, you can do so. There are games and forums so that you are immersed in a supportive and interesting guitar community, which greatly encourages you to keep going forward.
Without exploring the hundreds of available experts on these sites or sampling the thousands of possible courses, it is not easy to tell which one may be the better option. As mentioned above, Jamplay seems to take a more customized approach to beginners. If you are just starting out, Jamplay would appear to be the superior choice. For most other players, it is hard to tell which would be preferable unless you are determined to take a course by one specific expert. In those specific instances, you would need to work with the company that has that particular guru on staff.
The only real significant difference that shows up in perusing these two sites is that Truefire seems awfully cagey about what they are going to charge you. There is literally no FAQ section anywhere on their site, and the only way you can find out how much they ask for their services is to join– although they start you off with 30-days free. But you have to join first before you get to see the fine print, which many people may not be comfortable with.
Jamplay is far more open about their pricing structure and includes a very comprehensive listing of their price structure in the easy-to-find FAQ section. Both sites offer free introductory sessions on their courses, so you can sample the merchandise before you buy, but you will have to register with Truefire before they will tell you what the real name of the game is. Jamplay is extremely open and upfront about what they are doing and offer a no-questions-asked 30-day money back guarantee.