Hey all,

Im currently thinking about taking up guitar lessons with a tutor, as Im in a rut and need some direction and critique on how i play. Ive been playing seriously since about December 08, though i did start sometime June-ish.

Im browsing through some local guitar teachers from the RGT site (Registry of Guitar Tutors). Some charge £25 and some charge £40. I went to a free guitar trial lesson of a a tutor i found near my road, he seemed to highlight errors of my playing, gave my positive criticism and pointers. He also said it really doesnt take years to actually learn to play the guitar competently and that he teaches at a steady yet fast pace. I did leave with a few new thoughts on how to play on my head due to his pointers and even showed me a few of his skills at sweep picking, solo's, improvisations etc. Only problem is he said his lessons are £40 per hour which I think is a bit expensive, and as his the first tutor I met i didn't know if his lessons were going to be good in the future or worth the £40. I hope to try out some other tutors but I think I'll most likely need to pay for a induction lesson. How would I know his lessons are worth £40 compared to others whom charge £25 or so?

So Im just asking as students and teachers how you would judge if a tutor's lessons were worth the money in investing, how you can tell a dedicated teacher who's dynamic in teaching (not just sticking to one section). How do you know a tutor is experienced and why it's £25 for one and £40 for another, is it a difference in who they learned from, there level of skill or is it just about the money. Tell me your experiences of how to identify a good teacher with both skill of the guitar and teaching, any bad experiences, positive ones? I don't want to waste my money and their time going for 1-2 lessons to "try before I buy" and I bet if I start doing that a lot I'd probably get burnt out on the whole thing!

Last edited by Azaril000 at Mar 23, 2009,
i had lessons and it didnt help at all
but if he helps you then go ahead and do it

i tend to just learn from my friends
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No,they're to high end for me.I usually just walk into a random building and scream "FIX MY BANJO NOW!!!!" until they hit me with sticks and call the police.
So that's about one (US) dollar a minute. That's not terrible, but it could be a little high. Then again, with this economy.

Now being that he (is a he right?) has not tutored any one before, that's where you might want to be a little worried. If you want to see how he is, find out if he's in a band and then go to a show and check him out there. Everything else is if you feel that he is the "right" one.
I don't take guitar lessons but I do take professional musical theory lessons and they're $20CAD/half hour. I took professional playing lessons back in the day when I wasn't in university and I think they were around the same price.
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Money shouldn't be a big factor in selecting a teacher. A good teacher will be able to teach you more and better in less sessions, but may be more expensive. You will end up spending more money for a bad/cheap teacher because you will have to go to more sessions to learn the same amount.

Ask potential teachers where they learned how to TEACH guitar (notice, not play guitar), and how long they've been teaching. Ask if they have any kind of responses/reviews from past students. Ask if they have a set lesson plan that they follow for each student (the trick here is that they should NOT have a set plan for all students, but should tailor the lessons to each individual student's needs).

These should help you find a pretty quality teacher.
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Its worth asking around if you know many people in your area that play or are involved in the local music scene - see who they recommend. Ask here too - there's enough people on UG, there must be some in your area.

Edit: don't let the price dictate your choice, and don't assume cos someone is cheap they are not as good as the expensive guy. I only pay £18 an hour, and my teacher is awesome.
Last edited by zhilla at Mar 24, 2009,
It sounds like you have a good sense of what you want from guitar lessons. I say try out a few more teachers and pick the person who seems the most suitable. Music stores that host guitar lessons might be able to provide you with a good idea of what type of teachers they have on hand (ex. Teacher 1=Blues, Teacher 2=Classical, Teacher 3=Theory etc.)

Paying more for the lesson doesn’t automatically mean that the teacher will be better. If the first lesson is not free don’t worry about it, just consider it a loss. It’s worth spending a few extra dollars to find the right instructor. Have each instructor give you as much material as they can during each lesson, and you should have plenty of things to study for the time being.

I have had a variety of experiences with music teachers. I found my first guitar teacher through word of mouth. He was one of the premier jazz instructors in the area. He was not a college graduate. He was an excellent teacher, but he did not teach rock songs and he didn’t focus much on technique. My point of view was that if you could learn to play a difficult style of music such as jazz then you could learn to play anything, so the experience was worth it.

When I attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, a class was offered that allowed me to take lessons with a music major who was attending the same school. The instructor I was assigned to learned jazz from a much different point of view and the lessons were very insightful, but he was lazy and didn’t prepare anything for our lessons. He didn’t even show up to a few of the lessons that we had scheduled.

I also learned to play saxophone without taking any lessons. Five years into my studies, I decided to take a few lessons from a reputable graduate of the Berklee College of Music who lived in my area. He usually gave me a one-hour lesson even though I only paid for a half-hour. We spent a lot of the time listening to and talking about jazz recordings, which gave me a better understanding of the topic at hand. This instructor had me work out of a generic method book and gave me limited advice on how to improve my skills. He never prepared any customized lessons and he also didn’t show up to a few of the lessons that we had scheduled.

I think it is very difficult to find a good teacher. The teacher that most suited my needs did not have a college degree. He smoked cigarettes during our lessons and didn’t teach me songs that I could impress the girls with. None of that bothered me, because I knew I was learning more than I could ever learn on my own or from anyone else.

You can check out the link to my website on my signature. The homepage has a very extensive outline describing what to look for when finding a guitar teacher. Hopefully my thoughts help…..
I'm just not feeling it with my current guitar teacher, and I think I could get a better teacher. I currently pay $20 for half an hour and will use info I learned from this thread to make my experience better.
I pay 50 euro for 1 lesson a week per month. the lessons take 45 minuts but i really feel i'm learning stuff. altogh hes my first guitar teacher and the only one in my area but hey. i'm elarning to play :P

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I love my guitar teacher. He graduated from Musicians Institute and teaches me almost all kinds of music. and i only pay $25 for 45 minutes.
I take classical guitar lessons and they help me alot! My guitar teacher is a really nice guy, he corrects bad playing habits, and also helps with me phrashing and all these small details that are really important. I pay 13 € per 30 min which is reasonable for me.

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I take lessons and they cost $15 CAN (or about $12 US) per half hour. I've been playing for 7 years and only recently decided to take formal lessons, I must admit they definitely do help. Having a teacher is like having a guide for what you want to be able to play, and getting you there about twice as fast. Teachers also ensure that your playing is technically sound and will correct nuances in your playing before they become difficult to break.

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I just started lessons a month ago, 4 lessons so far. I pay $40 per hour. I found my teacher through referrals. He is classically trained, but played a lot of metal when younger. He teaches mostly rock and pop, as that is what his students want.

I can say, from my experience so far, that I have learned more in the past month than I did in the previous 3 months! It is just so much easier when you have a good teahcer showing you how to do things, make things easier, etc. than it is trying to pick it up on your own. I have also found that I am more focused in my practice, since I don't want to waste my money.

I think I found a good teacher, so I am lucky and it has been a good experience.