Fender Play Review: An Online Guitar Instruction Platform That Really Works
Fender Play is an online learning platform designed to teach guitar and bass guitar to beginners and intermediate players. It’s developed by Fender, a renowned company known for manufacturing guitars and amplifiers.
Pros of Fender Play:
Structured Curriculum: Fender Play offers a well-organized curriculum, starting from the basics and progressing to more advanced techniques. This structured approach can be beneficial for beginners who are just starting to learn guitar.
Variety of Genres: The platform covers a wide range of musical genres, allowing learners to explore different styles of playing. This can help keep the learning process engaging and enjoyable.
Video Lessons: Fender Play primarily relies on video lessons, which can be advantageous for visual learners. The videos are typically clear and well-produced, making it easier to understand the techniques being taught.
Song-Based Learning: Fender Play emphasizes learning through popular songs, which can make the learning experience more enjoyable and relatable. Learners can apply the techniques they’ve learned to real songs they know and love.
Mobile App: Fender Play offers a mobile app, making it convenient for learners to access lessons and practice on the go.
Cons of Fender Play:
Limited Advanced Content: While Fender Play is great for beginners and those at an intermediate level, more advanced players might find the content somewhat limited. The platform’s focus is primarily on foundational skills and popular songs.
Lack of Live Interaction: Unlike some other online guitar learning platforms, Fender Play doesn’t offer live lessons or direct interaction with instructors. Some learners might prefer real-time feedback and interaction.
Subscription-Based Model: Fender Play operates on a subscription-based model, which means you need to pay a monthly fee to access the lessons. This might not be the most cost-effective option for everyone, especially those who only want to learn specific techniques or genres.
Not Ideal for Music Theory: If you’re looking to dive deep into music theory and technical aspects of playing, Fender Play might not be as comprehensive as other platforms dedicated to these topics.
How Much Does Fender Play Cost?
Fender Play offers a couple of different payment options, allowing users to choose from an annual renewal or monthly subscription. Choosing the annual renewal is the cheaper option in the long run, with a one time (per year) payment of $89.99. If you choose the monthly subscription, you’ll pay $9.99 every month recurring.
Fender often runs sales on their annual renewal plan, frequently slashing the price of membership to as little as $49.99 for the entire year. If you’re interested in trying it out, but you’d prefer to check it out for yourself before committing, they offer a free 14 day trial, or if you purchase a Squier or Fender guitar or amp, they’ll extend the trial to 3 months.
Who is it For?
Fender Play is designed for individuals who are interested in learning how to play the guitar or bass guitar, particularly beginners and intermediate players. It caters to a diverse range of people, including:
Beginners: Fender Play is well-suited for those who are picking up a guitar for the first time. Its structured curriculum and user-friendly approach provide a solid foundation in playing techniques, chords, and songs.
Casual Learners: If you’re looking to learn guitar at your own pace without the pressure of formal lessons, Fender Play offers a flexible and convenient option. You can access lessons whenever you have time and progress at your own speed.
Self-Directed Learners: Individuals who prefer to learn independently through video lessons and practice sessions can benefit from Fender Play’s comprehensive library of instructional content.
Song Enthusiasts: If you’re excited about learning popular songs and applying your skills to real music, Fender Play’s song-based approach can keep you engaged and motivated.
Guitar and Bass Players: Fender Play offers lessons for both guitar and bass guitar, so it’s suitable for those interested in either instrument.
Those Who Want to Explore Different Genres: Fender Play covers a wide range of musical genres, making it appealing to learners who want to experiment with different styles of playing.
Individuals Who Prefer Online Learning: If you’re more comfortable learning through online platforms and video lessons, Fender Play provides a digital environment for your guitar learning journey.
Busy Individuals: Fender Play’s mobile app and on-demand lessons make it convenient for people with busy schedules to fit in practice and learning sessions whenever they have time.
How is the User Experience?
However, please keep in mind that there may have been updates or changes to the platform since then.
Ease of Use: Fender Play is designed to be user-friendly, with a clean and intuitive interface. Navigating through the platform, accessing lessons, and tracking your progress is typically straightforward.
Structured Curriculum: The platform provides a well-organized curriculum, guiding learners through progressive lessons. This structure is especially beneficial for beginners, as it helps them build a solid foundation in a logical sequence.
Video Lessons: Fender Play primarily relies on video lessons, which are generally well-produced and easy to follow. The videos include close-ups of instructors’ hands, making it easier to understand finger placements and techniques.
Interactive Elements: Some lessons may include interactive elements such as quizzes or exercises to reinforce learning. These activities can help learners practice what they’ve just learned and gauge their understanding.
Song-Based Learning: Fender Play’s emphasis on learning through popular songs enhances the user experience, as it allows learners to apply their skills to real music they enjoy. This approach can make the learning process more engaging and motivating.
Progress Tracking: Learners can track their progress within the platform, allowing them to see which lessons they’ve completed and how far they’ve come in their guitar learning journey.
Mobile App: Fender Play offers a mobile app, providing the convenience of learning and practicing on-the-go. The app typically mirrors the functionality of the desktop version.
Customer Support: Fender Play usually offers customer support to assist with any technical issues or inquiries learners might have.
Other Apps to Consider
There are several other online platforms and apps that you might consider for learning to play the guitar or bass guitar. Here are a few alternatives to Fender Play:
Yousician: Yousician offers interactive lessons for guitar, bass, piano, and more. It uses gamification to engage learners and provides real-time feedback as you play. Yousician covers a wide range of skill levels and musical styles.
JustinGuitar: JustinGuitar is a popular YouTube channel and website created by guitarist Justin Sandercoe. He offers a comprehensive range of free guitar lessons, from beginner to advanced levels. The platform is known for its detailed tutorials and song-based teaching approach.
Guitar Tricks: Guitar Tricks provides a vast library of video lessons, covering various genres and skill levels. They also offer a structured curriculum, as well as song tutorials and a user-friendly interface.
JamPlay: JamPlay offers a wide range of guitar lessons taught by different instructors. It covers multiple genres and provides both beginner and advanced lessons. The platform includes interactive features and a supportive community.
TrueFire: TrueFire is known for its extensive collection of high-quality guitar lessons taught by professional instructors. It offers a variety of courses, from beginner to advanced, and covers diverse styles and techniques.
Fret Trainer: Fret Trainer is a mobile app designed to help you improve your fretboard knowledge and finger agility. It’s a great tool for practicing and memorizing the notes on the guitar neck.
Ultimate Guitar Tabs: This app provides a vast library of guitar tabs and chords for a wide range of songs. It’s a valuable resource for learning and playing songs you love.
Coursera and Udemy: These platforms offer a variety of guitar courses, often taught by experienced musicians and instructors. They provide more structured courses that can cover specific topics in-depth.
Final Thoughts on Fender Play
Fender Play can be a valuable resource for individuals looking to learn or improve their skills on the guitar or bass guitar. It offers a user-friendly platform with structured lessons, video tutorials, and a song-based learning approach. While Fender Play is particularly well-suited for beginners and intermediate players, there are some factors to consider before making a decision:
Structured Learning Path: Fender Play’s curriculum is well-organized, providing a clear progression from foundational techniques to more advanced concepts.
Video Lessons: The video lessons are well-produced and often include close-up shots of instructors’ hands, making it easier to grasp techniques.
Song-Based Learning: Learning popular songs can be motivating and enjoyable, allowing learners to apply their skills to real music.
Variety of Genres: Fender Play covers a diverse range of musical genres, catering to different musical tastes.
Mobile App: The mobile app enables learning on the go, which can be convenient for busy individuals.
Limited Advanced Content: More experienced players or those seeking advanced techniques might find the platform’s content somewhat limited.
Subscription Model: Fender Play operates on a subscription basis, which might not be the most cost-effective option for everyone, especially those with specific learning goals.
Lack of Live Interaction: The platform doesn’t offer live lessons or direct interaction with instructors, which could be a drawback for those who prefer real-time feedback.
Not Ideal for Music Theory: If you’re interested in in-depth music theory, Fender Play might not provide the level of depth you’re looking for.
Try it free