There’s no shortcut to mastering the guitar. Regardless of what that ten-minute guitar tutorial YouTube video told you, you’d still need to go through the basic steps, like learning to hold the instrument, identifying the chords, and building finger calluses.
The good news is that hiring a private tutor is no longer necessary in this day and age. With guitar-learning software like Fender Play, you can kickstart your guitar journey using only your computer or mobile device. So, how does learning the guitar in the comfort of your home sound?
In this Fender Play review, we’ll walk you through the software’s best features and what it can offer to beginners and experienced players alike. We’ll include some of its pros and cons and whether Fender Play is worth investing in 2024. Let’s get to it!
You’ve probably heard of Fender as a guitar brand before. And that’s only expected, being that it's one of the most popular guitar manufacturers of all time, side by side with giant names like Gibson Les Paul, PRS, and Gretsch. Famous artists, including legendary guitarists Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Jeff Beck, have used Fender-made guitars throughout their careers.
Fender Play is a guitar-learning platform developed by the same guitar brand. But unlike other similar remote learning platforms, the software focuses on four types of stringed instruments: bass, ukulele, electric, and acoustic. The software comes with a suite of extensive courses covering everything you need from a tutor.
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Fender Play will let you choose between the four instruments we mentioned earlier if you’re a first-time user. They also ask which genres of music you prefer. The choices will be between pop, rock, blues, country, and folk. Once done, you can start your guitar lessons with the following features at your disposal:
The teaching method of Fender Play is simple: a learning structure tailored for each user. In short, they base the materials they provide on your current level as a guitarist and your motivations for playing. Compared to other apps with self-directed structures, Fender Play guides your hand throughout the courses.
Your progress in the platform is called the “My Path.” Here, you’ll see your personalized path of lessons to take. It lets you track your progress as well. This section will display buttons, arrows, and other indicators to point you in the right direction. Naturally, you’ll start from your current level and gradually level up as you consume more lessons.
Each learning path will have seven levels in total. These stations are a collection of materials you need to complete. There are 15 to 20 courses for every level, which contain various activities, such as learning a chord or a skill through videos and tablature exercises. The content will largely depend on your prior experience and your instrument choice.
To keep your experience engaging, Fender Play added gamified elements to the courses. These are learning lessons that incorporate games like quizzes and jam tracks. Coupled with interactive song lessons, riff tutorials, and style discussions, you’ll surely stay on track.
When you finish a course, the software will indicate your accomplishment with a green check mark. This way, you’ll know which lesson you haven’t finished and pick up where you’ve left off. Still, they give learners complete control, allowing them to revisit a course multiple times or skip it and move to other topics.
Every path contains a list of curated learning materials. Among such resources are high-quality tutorial videos from expert guitar players worldwide. That said, the entire curriculum of Fender Play is devised by experienced teachers from prestigious musical institutions, such as the Thornton School of Music in Southern California.
The videos’ topics depend on your current level. If you’re just starting, the videos will take you to the basics of guitar, including how to hold the instrument and the terminologies used. These videos are bite-sized, most of which are only three to five minutes long. So, you can watch these clips despite your busy schedule and learn at your own pace.
Fender Play boasts an ever-growing selection of music for its learners. Adding new songs weekly, they now have hundreds of options for their users. The list features a wide range of genres, too. From classic and timeless bands like The Strokes to bop music from modern singers like Shawn Mendes—you won’t run out of songs to learn.
Aside from the online lessons, Fender Play provides plenty of useful tools for all guitar players. Apps like Tune and Tone come free with the software. They also offer educational content, such as articles and editorial blogs, which discuss practical guitar tips and insights for everyone.
The Feedback Mode is another valuable tool that came with the latest Fender Play iteration. As its name suggests, it helps you by providing feedback on your playing. The tool makes accurate observations, such as which areas need improvement, and offers suggestions—fine-tuning your skills further!
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Fender Play offers monthly and annual subscription plans. The monthly subscription comes at a very affordable price of $9.99. The yearly plan, on the other hand, costs $99.99 saving you about $20. Both options will give access to all available guitar learning resources on the platform. They offer a free 7-day trial for all interested individuals.
Yes, Fender Play is designed to be beginner-friendly. It starts with the basics of handling an instrument and progresses to more advanced techniques.
Unfortunately, you can’t connect Fender Play directly with your TV. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. One popular method is linking your device with Chromecast and casting it on your smart television.
Fender Play primarily offers pre-recorded video lessons. While it doesn’t feature live lessons, the platform provides high-quality instructional videos.
Fender Play has an online community where users can interact, share experiences, and support each other. This community is accessible through their website and app.
New content is regularly added to keep the learning experience fresh and engaging. Users can enjoy new songs, techniques, and lessons periodically.
Fender Play is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to learn the guitar, ukulele, and bass from scratch. It lays the groundwork for these instruments superbly, offering a comprehensive yet user-friendly learning experience. All the lessons are easily digestible with expert teachers and fun exercises.
One excellent aspect of Fender Play is its hand-held approach throughout your learning process. It doesn’t leave you lost or overwhelmed, which is crucial to maintain a learner’s motivation. If all that checks out, Fender Play might be the online guitar tutor you’re looking for!
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