Jam Sessions review

Can this game teach everyone guitar?

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Makes crappy playing sound great

  • +

    Can pull off great song playing

  • +

    Recording songs


  • -

    Won't help you at real guitar

  • -

    Very few chord sheets

  • -

    Sounds a little MIDI-esque

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Sept 13, 2007

Your real guitar might be lurking at the back of your cupboard next to Mouse Trap, but your DS could soon rekindle those derailed dreams of becoming the next Hendrix. Great in theory - but by seemingly every single account, learning to play Jam Sessions requires as much discipline (and thumb-gymnastics) as the guitar does.

Playing a note is as simple as holding down a direction on the D-pad to select a chord, and then strumming a horizontal line on the touch screen to make a sound. Smoothly transitioning between chords takes a fair amount of practice, and hitting the minor notes regularly (which are located rather spitefully on the diagonals) is a little something we like to call impossible, until you've put in the hours.

But if it's difficult to learn and won't help you grasp anything useful about any real guitar (and, we can assure you, it won't), what on earth's the point of it? Well, there's the thing; Jam Sessions turns the art of learning an instrument upside-down. Whereas with a "real" instrument, the ham-fingered strummings of a beginner produces a sound not unlike a parrot falling into a lawnmower, Jam Sessions is finely tuned so that even the random flickering of a novice can produce something melodic, and this proves a great incentive to invest more time and effort in it. Jam Sessions might not help you learn how to play the guitar, but it'll go a long way to helping determine if you have the persistent character needed to learn the thing.

More info

GenreOther Games/Compilations
DescriptionIt won't teach you anything about playing a real guitar, but it will make you sound good right from the get-go.
US censor rating"Everyone 10+"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)