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I want to be able to play guitar before I die. Of course, I also want to play the harmonica, piano, get a great voice and learn C++, amongst other things.

So, for the time being, I guess I’ll have to settle for digital jamming.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band are great, but also very pricey – even more so than most games because of the controllers.

Luckily there are plenty of free alternatives. In the past, we already discussed Frets On Fire Make 'Frets On Fire' Even Better With Mods (Win/Mac/Lin) Make 'Frets On Fire' Even Better With Mods (Win/Mac/Lin) Read More and several other rythmic flash games 5 Rhythmic Online Flash Music Games to Groove Up Your Day 5 Rhythmic Online Flash Music Games to Groove Up Your Day Read More to groove up your day, and today we have yet another great “guitar game” on presentation.


Reader, meet JamLegend. Meet, and fall in love with it.

JamLegend is an online rythm game, perfect for jamming away in a browser of your choice. You can try to top your own scores, ascend in level and unlock features, or face other players from all over the world.


Many of you – especially those from the scene – might already know JamLegend. It’s already been around quite long in closed Beta, and opened up to the public some time ago.

Play Songs, Duels or Showdowns

There are three main game modes that ought to be taken into consideration.

First, and the most obvious one, is playing by song. Browse the immensive list of available songs by title or artist and rock out! You’ll be facing one of the site’s bots to increase the competition. Practice your playing, and work yourself up in the highscores.

When you’ve set a decent highscore, you can challenge one of your friends for a duel. This will simply give them a chance to better your score. It’s not exactly a face-to-face duel, but it provides an easy check to see who’s the better one of you, and also avoids any possible schedule conflicts.

If you however prefer the more… social approach, and really crave that face-to-face aspect of duelling, you can clench your thirst with a showdown.

Showdown mode isn’t limited to friends, so you can jam with anyone on the site. The quickest and easiest way to start a showdown is through an Auto Match, which puts you in a random room with random people. You can also browse the available rooms or create your own if you’ve got a more specific aim in the game.

Tapping or Strumming

There are two different ways to play, tapping or strumming. Which one you uses depends mainly on your own preference. Note that you can’t choose between these in every game, when playing a show-off a mode is default for everyone in the room.

Most people find BEATjam the most easy way to play. Similar to Dance Dance Revolution, you simple tap the right key at the right moment.

People aiming for a Guitar Hero experience, on the other hand, might prefer Guitar Jam. Here you must hold the keys, and strum with the Enter key at the right moment.

If you are to avoid an aching hand or arm, you might also want to change the default key setup. The key configuration for both Regular and Left Hand Flip Mode can be easily altered in the options.

Play at Your Level

You can choose between several game difficulties, depending on your skill.

Available are Normal, Skilled, Insane and Legendary. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Note that most people are very able in the difficulty they’re playing, with high hitrates. Just because you’re able to ‘survive’ at a certain difficulty doesn’t mean you’re ready for a showdown.

By playing, you gain experience points, even more so the better you play. By collecting these points, you’ll be able to advance in level, and prove yourself in the JamLegend hierarchy.

By completing certain objectives, you can also unlock groupies (no, these do not represent real people). The can be simple tasks, like reaching a certain note streak, to more devious tasks, like playing a thousand songs. Obviously, the harder unlocking the achievement is, the more groupies you’ll earn with it.

Similar to the levelling system, achievement scoring is a way to prove your place amongst the other players.

So, what’s your take on JamLegend? What highscore did you reach that you think nobody will be able to break? Spit it all out in the comments section below.

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  1. Nikki(:
    December 9, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Okay, I wanted to play guitar hero but I lost my game and I got tired of playing guitar master. So I went and searched stuff up ion google and found the one and only Jamlegend(: I loveee Jamlegend I have been playing for about 3 weeks now I'm a level 16 and I play Skilled and some insane(:The most Awesomestt game everr its better than guitar hero and rockband put together. You can even use guitar hero and rockband controllers,,,How cool is that(:

  2. joe sandi
    November 14, 2009 at 8:52 am

    comentar saya permainan ini sangat menyenangkan dan menghibur......

  3. Shadowlord
    August 13, 2009 at 4:51 am

    this would have been sweet if the program would detect joysticks, because i have a PS2 controller to USB adapter so i can play FoF with my PS2 controller and would like to use that with it but didnt seem to work, its a shame because this site surprising has a lot of songs that i cant find on or if the charts are accurate to guitar i dont know, it would be nice if i culd download the chart as a midi file so i can use it for FoF

  4. RAZORNFSMW (razor need for speed most wanted) blacklist 1
    May 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm


  5. Pngwn
    March 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Cool game. Also check out Super Crazy guitar maniac deluxe games for other guitar hero alternatives. It's just a flash game but still very cool.

  6. webby
    March 30, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Have been using this since 2 months. Its damn addictive !!!

    I’m on level 6..

    March 29, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    This is very cool, thanks for the article. I know what I will be doing all day tomorrow at work....and it won't be working. :)

  8. Allie
    March 29, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I love that they included experience points :)

  9. Dylan
    March 29, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Didn't MakeUseOf do an article on this when it was still in beta? I think I got my invite from here.

    Oh, and I play guitar, piano, and harmonica (kinda). I'm cooler than you. If I learn C++ you will build a shrine to me.

    • Simon Slangen
      March 30, 2009 at 1:02 am

      It was mentioned in the comments in another article about rythm games, that's how I got to know it.

      It certainly deserved a dedicated article, though :-D

  10. Arjun
    March 29, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Im one of the co-founders of JamLegend, thanks for the great review. Awesome job covering all the features of the site.

    • Varun
      December 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      OMG !!!!! i cant believe an Indian has made this...i soo love this website...well done !! We Indians rock !!

  11. Jash Sayani
    March 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Have been using this since 2 months. Its damn addictive !!!

    I'm on level 6.

  12. Robert
    March 29, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Oh man this is so full of WIN!!

  13. samjohnno
    March 29, 2009 at 9:36 am