When learning the guitar, deciding whether to have lessons or not can be difficult. Some people prefer to teach themselves, and many do a very fine job of that. However, I feel it is a good idea to enlist the help of a professional guitar teacher, especially in the early stages, as this will ensure you learn the fundamentals correctly, and don't develop bad habits. Lessons will cost money, of course, but in the long run I believe you'll find that what you learn will justify the cost.
When looking for guitar lessons, you'll first have to decide what type of lessons you want group lessons, or private one to one lessons. Group lessons tend to be less common than single lessons, but they are usually cheaper. They can provide a more informal approach to learning, and interaction between group members can also aid the learning process. Private one to one lessons will be more expensive, but they offer a more focused way of learning where the teacher can devote the entire lessons to you.
Some guitar teachers will happily travel to your home to teach you, whilst other will prefer you go to them. Those who do travel will usually charge a little bit extra to cover the cost, so it might be preferable to find a teacher with his own teaching studio. Another benefit of this is that often a teacher will have things like amplifiers and guitar effects set up in their studio for you to use, and they may have recording facilities to record your progress as well.
When it comes to actually finding a guitar teacher, I suggest you do a little bit of research, rather than just going with the first one you find. Ask about how long they've been playing, and how long they've been teaching. Ask what sort of styles they play, and also find out if they've got any relevant qualifications. None of these things guarantee they'll be a good teacher, but it should give a fairly good indication. Most importantly though, you should find a teacher who inspires you, and you feel comfortable learning from.
As for what you can expect to pay for guitar lessons, well it varies from teacher to teacher. A world renowned guitar player may charge hundreds of dollars per hour, whereas a music student might only charge 20 dollars or so. You tend to get what you pay for, so get the best you can afford, it will be worth it in the long run.
That's it on guitar lessons for the moment. Hopefully that's explained a few things for you, and you'll now feel confident about getting lessons for yourself.
Chris Lake is a professional guitarist and guitar teacher. He writes for several guitar websites including his own. To check out more of his writing please visit Guitar Lessons.