Guitar Instructors – An Essential Guide

Guitar instructors can help us overcome obstacles and become better players, but how do we find the one that’s right for us?

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In this free lesson you will learn…

  • The benefits of having a guitar instructor
  • Guitar lesson pricing
  • What to look for in a guitar instructor
  • The benefit of learning from different people

With So Many Guitar Instructors, How Do We Find The One That’s Right For Us?

So many guitar instructors, so many options!

Who’s the right pick to teach us what we want to know about the guitar?

Finding the right teacher is a long and time-consuming process that involves a lot of thinking and weighing of your options.

In this free guide we’re going to teach you what to look for and consider when finding the right guitar teacher. Let’s dive in!

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Guitar Instructors Each Have Their Own Method Of Teaching

Guitar instructors are more than just what they teach.

Each person has a set of skills and interests that vary, as well as their own set of musical experiences that helped mold them into the musician and teacher they are today.

  • When you’re shopping for the right teacher, it’s important that you take your time in finding the right fit.
  • Depending upon your level of musical skill and experience, you will have different needs that the right guitar teacher can accommodate.

It’s important to do your research and talk to a variety of different guitar instructors to see what their skill set and teaching styles are, and if it will benefit you to learn with them.

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The right guitar teacher for you is the one who accommodates what you already know and helps you expand upon that knowledge.

  • If you’re brand new to the instrument, the right guitar teacher for you is the one who shows that they can provide you with a solid framework to learn within.
  • Many guitar instructors are guilty of subjecting all of their students to the exact same curriculum, and that can have some negative effects on our guitar education later down the line.
  • Finding a guitar instructor who caters to your musical interests is also important.

Nobody should take Jazz lessons from guitar instructors who only teach Folk music!

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Pro Tip: Shop around and have conversations with different guitar instructors before you commit to lessons with any one of them.

  • Get to know a bit about the person you may end up learning from, and you can make a decision on which instructor is right for you with more confidence.
  • Show up to the music school they teach at during office hours and ask if they have time for a conversation about guitar lessons.

Many guitar instructors are super open about their teaching methods, and would love to talk about what they can do to help you succeed at guitar.

One-on-one lessons aren’t the only option, though!

Let’s talk about group lessons below.

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Guitar Lessons In A Group Setting

Group lessons can be a lot of fun! 

  • On top of that, they can introduce you to a circle of people that you can learn with, which makes the process a lot more enjoyable (especially for those of you that are more sociable).
  • The advantage of lessons in a group environment is that they are often significantly cheaper, and happen at a regimented time every week for a period of about nine weeks.

This gives us the advantage of a constant time commitment each week that we have to block off time for, which helps us with staying practiced..

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Guitar instructors in a group setting will have a fixed curriculum that everyone learns from, which is great because you can study with your peers.

Pro Tip: Get to know the people in your lesson group! Many students will organize study dates with their peers to practice together.

Everyone should have the opportunity to surround themselves with like-minded people.

Group lessons are a great prospect for beginner guitarists who aren’t quite ready for one-on-one lessons, or who would rather learn among other people at their level.

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The Differences Between Online Guitar Instructors & In-Person Guitar Lessons

Online guitar lessons can be almost as effective as in-person guitar lessons, provided you have a good enough internet connection.

  • The main difference that we will find between these two mediums is that in-person lessons don’t rely on the strength of your internet connection, and therefore conversation can flow more easily.
  • Many online guitar instructors make the investment into high-speed internet to avoid this problem, but connection goes two ways.
  • In-person lessons depend a lot less on the quality of gear the guitar instructors are using, and therefore aren’t prone to shutting down abruptly.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of each below!

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Online Guitar Instructors

The best part about taking lessons with online guitar instructors is the convenience.

  • Being able to learn from home is amazing, and the comfort level definitely helps us to relax when learning
  • Many online guitar instructors invest in high-quality gear to transmit their audio so you get a crystal-clear sound for your lesson.
  • As well, the internet and Facebook interest groups make it really easy to find someone that you might gel with for lessons.

The downside however, is the connection.

If you don’t have an internet connection that can sustain an hour-long video call, chances are you’d benefit more from an in-person teacher rather than an online one.

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With all this technology at our fingertips, there are a lot of elements of online lessons that may almost make them easier for some when it comes to learning.

An added benefit that not a lot of students talk about is that many online guitar instructors package their lessons together in PDF format, or sometimes even in the form of playable tablature (if you have the right program to support it).

  • A lot of this technology serves musicians well, especially playable tablature like that found in programs such as Guitar Pro.
  • Online guitar instructors are usually great for introducing us to apps and other tech-based tools that will help us learn.

That’s not to say that in-person guitar instructors are opposed to tech, just that many online instructors may have more insight.

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In-Person Guitar Instructors

This brand of guitar lesson is tried-and-true for a reason. 

  • Face-to-face guitar lessons are amazing because we have someone right in front of us guiding our hands.
  • Learning guitar on your own can be difficult, and a guitar teacher is the perfect person to help you navigate the wild world of guitar with more confidence.
  • As great as online guitar lessons are, there is something special about having someone right in front of you teaching you.

Guitar schools are also a place of focused education, meaning that it will often be easier to focus without distraction.

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As amazing as it is to get your guitar lessons online, in-person guitar instructors can teach in a more hands-on way that many online teachers have trouble achieving.

Pro Tip: One of the most important things we can do when taking guitar lessons (either online or in-person) is to come to your lesson prepared.

Many guitar instructors plan in advance for what they will teach each week, but that curriculum depends upon whether you practice regularly or not.

Stay on top of your homework!

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Is One Better Than The Other?

The answer to this question depends on a number of things.

  • Your comfort zone and comfort level is one of them, and your relationship with the guitar teacher is another.
  • If you feel comfortable with your teacher, then the environment in which you learn matters a lot less.
  • The most important factors are that you learn with someone who will elevate your guitar playing, regardless of if you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned veteran guitarist.

Many guitar instructors are able to teach effectively whether it be online or in-person. Find the one that’s right for you in an environment that you’re comfortable in!

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There’s Nothing Wrong With Learning From Multiple Guitar Instructors

That’s right, we said it!

You can have more than one teacher, and that’s okay!

  • Every guitarist has their specialties, strong suits and weak points – no one is perfect (despite what some people will have you think.)
  • It’s totally fair to want to capitalize on the strong suits of multiple guitar instructors, and if you have the money to spare then you should!

Learning from different musicians can help us craft an extremely well-rounded approach to the guitar, so don’t be afraid to branch out!

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Pro Tip: It’s important to stay open as a musician, and this is where taking lessons from different guitar instructors can help.

Over the course of your journey as a musician, you will meet and learn from many different people.

Be open to learning different approaches to the instrument you love so much and you’ll constantly be amazed by the new things you learn!

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It Might Take You A While To Find The Right Fit

Now we’ve reached the hard part:

Finding the right guitar instructor.

  • This may seem harder than you think, and up until now, we haven’t addressed some of the things that can happen with the wrong teacher.
  • If you’re young and not-yet a teenager, personalities matter a little bit less, but comfort is still of utmost importance.
  • As we get older and our personalities develop however, we may find that we don’t get along with everyone.

Rest assured, that’s totally okay!

As much as we would love to get along with every person and musician we meet, it’s not always that simple.

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Character traits and opposing personalities may clash, or you may find that you don’t like your instructor’s style of teaching.

Better yet, that style of teaching may very well just not jive with your approach to your own education.

Don’t be afraid to shop around and demo lessons with different guitar instructors to see what makes you feel confident in your instrument.

The right teacher will:

  • Encourage you, not put you down.
  • Elevate your strong points and help you practice your weak points.
  • Show you cool things that will benefit you as a musician as well as a music lover
  • Introduce you to music and concepts of music that will inspire and amaze you
  • Help you construct a practice regimen that will benefit your guitar playing

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What Should You Expect To Pay?

Price range is one of the huge variables in guitar lessons that can make it difficult to decide which guitar instructor is right for you. 

  • Often, guitar lessons are priced based on skill level and the level of education that you require.
  • Guitar instructors teaching at the beginner level will have a lower price point, but will often have pre-made teaching material that all of their students start off with.
  • Many of these teachers can start as low as $15/half hour, or even $20-25 dollars for a full hour.

Intermediate guitar teachers may also have a lot of pre-written teaching material to help you excel, but will also design lessons based around your interests and skill level in order to accommodate your learning and musical styles.

These lessons can run anywhere from $25-30 per hour, or $20 for a half hour.

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For advanced-level guitar lessons, we may be looking at a higher price point – however, the benefit is completely personalized lessons that help us work on specific parts of our playing.

Advanced guitar instructors know how to get your fingers moving quickly and effectively.

These teachers are able to give you challenging exercises and homework that will keep you on your toes and progressing quickly!

Pro Tip: There are many guitar teachers who cover all three of these essential skill levels, and are willing and able to grow with their students over many years.

A teacher who will stick by you is a great asset to have, as they can get to know your musical approach and help you elevate it over a long period of time.

If you find a teacher that you vibe well with, stick with them!

Learn From A Guitar Instructor Who Teaches In A Way That Benefits You

The ideal guitar teacher is one that helps you progress. 

Sometimes this progress comes in small forms like learning a better way to play a difficult chord. Other times, progress with your teacher comes in bigger forms like learning entire guitar solos front-to-back.

It can take us years to find the perfect guitar instructor, but in that time we should be open to the advice and education given to us by each teacher we learn from.

Remember that every musician has their own approach that they have developed, and that everyone has something to offer.

Pro Tip: As a final note, it’s important to become conscious of your learning style and habits as you progress with learning the guitar. A great guitar instructor is incredibly important, but their job can be made easier and more effective if you are aware of the things that are holding you back.

Be humble, open to learning and criticism and willing to practice!

Happy playing!

Where Do I Go From Here?

Want to widen your search for great guitar instructors? We recommend:

  • Stop into your local music store and ask if they have any on-site teachers
  • Talk to some guitar instructors in different Facebook groups
  • Try a demo lesson with different guitar instructors
  • Learn more about your learning style to determine how you learn best.

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