Hey all,

I've recently come to a troublesome dillema. I've been attending for about 3 months private 1:1 guitar lessons with a local tutor at a discounted rated of £30 instead of his average £40 an hour rate.

Now I've recently been told he probably will be moving me to lessons with groups of 2-4ish. He states this would be good for me to work alongside more advanced guitarists so my drive gets boosted to achieving my goals faster, but he has also slipped in it's also because im paying a discount rate, which while understandable is still more than a average private lesson here in the uk.

On a personal level I don't feel confident or comfortable playing with others with my current skill, and I also feel in a selfish way, the attention and focus of this tutor will be split into 2-4 through the hour. So i fear what I actually learn and gain from the hour will decrease. I can see the positives of group lessons but I have this tingley sensation against it at the moment. Although I have stated these concerns, it kinda feels Im being pressured into it (maybe for a good reason?)

I just wanted everyones views on their view of the situation and how they would proceed. I am also very interested on your views, experience and advice on private 1:1 lessons vs group based lessons.
Last edited by Noir17 at Jul 4, 2009,
I would try and get used to playing in front of people. Screw what anyone else thinks about your playing, they are getting lessons too right?
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Well, I have had the pleasure of both. The thing about my group lessons, is I was worse then pretty much everyone else. So that is good in a way, that these guys would teach me things that helped me a lot, but I also started this following about 6 months of private lessons, it wasn't that I felt uncomftorable, but the lesson was split into a group of 6, and doing that, that early on, hurt my playing ability early on. After about three months of that, I switched back to private, and in my opinion, it is completely worth it, I learned more, I can ask questions without being worried that it is a dumb question, and most importantly, instead of paying for a discounted hour lesson, I payed full, and received a full hour lesson, not one where it was split and I couldn't understand or even play what was being tought.
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I would at least start with the group lessons, see how you go, it is very good for you skill to play with others, for example when I was at school too many people wanted guitar lessons (loads of us all started guitar at the same time and all wanted lessons in year 10) and so I had a group lesson on occasions with a friend and we would play songs together like I would play 12 bar blues with he soloed over the top and vice versa.

But I also think £40 for a private lesson is ridiculous, so I would start research other guitar teachers willing to go 1 : 1

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I've had lessons with another guy, and he was a bit better than me. and the lessons didn't work for me anymore. the teacher didn't give me the attention that I needed, but he gave almost all his attention to the other guy so he could get even better. so I don't think group lessons would be any good. but I don't know how your teacher will handle it, you could at least try it.
being comfortable playing with/infront of people you dont know = win

being ignored by your teacher and not actually learning anything = not win
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I think playing with more experienced people is a great thing. whenever i jam I always do it with someone better than me so i can learn from them.
It might be discouraging at first to see someone better than you but its just part of the learning process ;P
i've done a bit of both and really you'll only get out of it what you put into it. have a group based lesson requires you to often think for yourself without being instructed which i guess is a double edge sword on one hand you learn but also you may be doing it wrong but i guess you always learn from your mistakes. the good thing about private lessons is that you always can learn what you want to learn.
I myself have been through the process of group lessons. They are a double edged sword in many respects. Here are a few.

-If the other students are better than you, it gives you motivation to be better than them.
-You have an opportunity to meet other guitarists in your age group, leading to possible jam groups, bands, advice, opinions of that sort.
-When doing an improv or jam, you can pick up ideas and licks from the other guitarists. I find that even simple blues improvs (with my first, and more desirable teacher) inspired many different ideas and licks for soloing on my own.

-The biggest (possible) con of group lessons is being the head of the class. Sure it may be a self-esteem booster at first, but you'll probably have to wait for other students to learn something you may already have down. The less-skilled students might also drag the class, preventing your own learning ability,
-The other students in your class might be huge pricks and (from personal experience) this is not cool at all. I'll leave it at that.
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i charge £27 for 1 on 1 lessons and dont do group and the lesson is tailored to the student some students i teach in their home and this is slightly more to cover my travel expenses (depends on distance and travel time).

we do a jam at the end of every month which all my students can get up and play together (which imo is far more beneficial than sitting in a group learning) and charge £3 for every person who wants to play to cover the cost of the hall.

I think your teacher is ripping you off.
I guess it really depends on if you actual have a pair of balls. You cant be scared to learn and ask questions they are there to learn also. Everyone starts somewhere what d-bag it going to sit there "like oh this guys can't sweep yet ROFL what loser". Also if you like the guys in the class maybe you could get together jam, start a band, or even get together and discus music theory in a way getting free tutoring
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Last edited by a500n54 at Jul 5, 2009,
i were in a group once and realised that the other guys either
-only played one finger riffs in drop d/c
-are pricks.

and i was like "Hey, lets jam in a easy key, like C Major!"
and they would go like"I can still riff more br00talyier than u"
and"what is jamming, or how do you jam in keys/scales?"
"how do you construct chords/scales?"

yap, im not going to rant on beginners but i was in an intermediate+ group xD
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I find that group lessons are a great addition to private lessons, but I would not take them alone personally. I have seen some places where each kid gets a private lesson, then once every other week they all gather together to have a big group lesson where they all tie everything together in a more band like situation. It works great as a tie together... but for actual initial learning I don´t like it.
Private lessons are, IMO, better than Group lessons. It's more expensive BUT you know the teacher is going at your speed.
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i'd rather have private lessons, personally.
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