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Where to Take Guitar Lessons?

Important Things to Consider When
Choosing Where You Take Guitar Lessons

Here are some important things to consider when choosing where you take guitar lessons.  First, should you go with a lessons studio, a music store, or an independent private instructor?  With an independent instructor, you know the instructor will be the same from lesson to lesson—no surprises!  Independent private instructors often have the best rates, too.  And with a world-class private guitar teacher like Stephen from Stephen’s Guitar Lessons, you also get decades of playing experience (and more than a decade of instruction experience), not to mention professionalism, flexibility, customized instruction, and lots of free stuff!

Next, you would need to choose your guitar instructor.  To do this, you need to determine things like: how much playing (and teaching) experience the instructor has; what sort of reviews do other students leave for the prospective teacher; is the instructor fluent in—and hopefully primarily focused on—the genre(s) that you want to learn; does the instructor offer a free introductory lesson so you can get a feel for how they teach—and will it be an actual lesson, and not just a sales pitch; what does the instructor do to help ensure that the student succeeds with their instruction, and so forth.  Other aspects like cost and convenience—and even instructor availability—can factor in as well, but there are no automatically dominant things; it mostly comes down to how qualified an instructor is, and how well the student can follow their instruction.

Then you would need to determine how often or frequently you would want to take lessons.  I generally recommend weekly lessons for the vast majority of students, in the same time slot each week if at all possible; the regularity of such a schedule can be very beneficial for the student, in almost all cases.  But occasionally I will have a student that will be able to thrive with slightly less frequency, depending on their schedule.  The benchmark I usually recommend that students consider is (assuming they are getting a reasonable amount of practice each week…please see my other blog post about practices to get more info about that) if they are able to fairly well get through most or all of what we went over in a given lesson, before they attend the following lesson, then we’re doing pretty well; if they can’t get even start to get comfortable with the material from a 45-minute lesson, even with a reasonable amount of practice time in a typical week, then we can possibly get a benefit from having more practice time and pushing the lesson out to biweekly.  If a student were to easily get through the material each week well before the next lesson, then it would be my responsibility to bring more instruction to each lesson—and bringing the right amount to each lesson is actually one of my specialties.

Next you would determine how long you would be taking lessons for, which can be a tricky thing to figure out.  It’s difficult to say how long it will—or even should—take for any given person to go from a complete novice to a point where they feel they can progress fine on their own without lessons, but what I usually suggest is for students to take lessons as long as they feel they are getting something out of them.  When they get to a point where the return on the investment doesn’t seem to make as much sense anymore (which could happen early or late—or not at all—for different students), then they could pull away from formal lessons and concentrate on other ways to improve their skills (of course, sometimes if you’re in a rut while taking lessons, the solution could be to try a new instructor…that’s certainly something to keep in mind).  Conversely, whenever a player feels like they are on a plateau of sorts, where they don’t feel that they are progressing as they should, often private lessons (with a competent instructor who takes the time to give high-quality lessons, tailored to each student) can get them out of a rut.

And lastly, you would want to have a good idea of how much you should expect to pay.  Rates can definitely vary for private guitar lessons, depending on where you live and also lots of other factors.  But what really matters most in that department, in my opinion, is if the price is reasonable for A) where you are geographically, and B) what you get for your money—the value.  Check around at what other, comparable lessons providers are offering their lessons for; keep in mind that lesson lengths can vary (some places offer 30-minute sessions, others 45-minute sessions, others 60-minute sessions, and others either another length or some combination of more than one length option), and so you want to be sure you are comparing apples to apples here—which can be hard, because a larger percentage of a 30-minute lesson will be taken up with tuning/getting set up/etc. than in a longer lesson, and there is always the possibility of information saturation before you get to the end of a long lesson (where some—maybe a good bit—of material can’t be absorbed in that sitting).  So you have to take the student’s abilities and needs into consideration as well.

And it’s important to note that if a lessons provider doesn’t list their rates, and instead requires you to contact them to discover something as fundamental to a purchasing decision as the cost, then you have to wonder why they would choose to do that.  My recommendation, to ensure that you are getting as fair a rate as possible from your lessons service provider, is to only deal with those who post their rates and fees and costs where everything can be easily found and seen without having to ask for that info.

So there are a few things that are quite important in determining where to go for guitar lessons, and the answer will vary from student to student—but all students can benefit from a defined and purposeful approach, starting first with deciding what type of lessons provider you want to go with (private instructor, lessons studio, or music store), then decide who exactly you want to go with for your instructor (or what provider), how often you’ll take lessons (your provider can also offer guidance here if you want or need it), and how long you’ll take lessons (and the provider can also help with this part).  Once you start with the actual instruction, you will also need to determine—with your instructor’s help—what your intentions and plans as a guitar player are, and then your instructor will be able to help you forge a path forward to accomplish those goals.


Give me a call (or send me a text) at VIP-PLAY-GTR (847-752-9487), or contact me through the website to set up your FREE intro lesson today!

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