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Finding a Good Guitar Teacher-How?

Updated on August 23, 2010

Finding a guitar teacher who is well qualified and enthusiastic is just as important as finding a well-made guitar. As is the case with all good teachers, guitar instruction requires specific skills and abilities. What should you look for in a guitar instructor? Can you learn in a group session or do you need a private tutor to obtain the optimal results? How much education should a good teacher possess?

Traits of Good Guitar Instructors

Beginning with the most obvious, a good guitar teacher has years of experience and many student instructions under his/her belt. Normally a well-rounded guitar teacher has a background of both private and group lessons. Therefore they are able to handle a class room or group setting with the same ease as a one-on-one tutoring session.

The tutor or instructor must display a real love of guitar music and demonstrate a zealous and enthusiastic attitude about sharing his/her knowledge with the student. Would you be comfortable with a guitar teacher who could not play the guitar? Of course you wouldn’t. It can be just as disastrous to take guitar lessons from a teacher who has lost the love for the instrument and who now feels teaching is just a job and nothing more.


Teaching styles vary as does a student’s response to a teacher’s style. A child may be unable to benefit from a strict guitar instructor, or a critical teacher. It may erode a child’s confidence to feel disapproval expressed in very regular doses. The same child may blossom when criticism is balanced with praise and commendation. Knowing how you child learns best is crucial.


Some guitar teachers are teaching privately as a second or side job. How reliable and dependable will the teacher be? Perhaps those learning in a group session will not have to concern themselves with this question as much as a student receiving private lessons. Since time is needed to learn and then practice what is learned in between lessons, a dependable teacher is vital to assure progress.

Instruction Fees

How much should you expect to pay for a good guitar instructor? The amount can vary based on experience, length of lessons and goals to be achieved. Also consideration has to be given to the type of instruction being investigated.

  •        a personal tutor
  •        a group lesson
  •         an online lesson package
  •        CD courses

What can you afford to pay? Search for the best teacher you can find in your price range. Some online guitar lessons have great packages which provide not only an enthusiastic skilled teacher, but also extra perks to go along with the lessons.

Learning in a Group Setting

Back in the day, when schools could still afford to offer musical instruments and instruction to students; I picked the violin as my instrument of choice. We learned in a group session, all violinists being instructed together by one teacher.  Our music teachers carried a big load as he offered varied instructions for all instruments to various students. Now and then a student would be asked to play alone, but it was rare and never embarrassing, which would have greatly hindered my learning ability since I was very shy and very sensitive. As I continued with my classes and was promoted to first violin along with another school mate, the group sessions became bigger and better and the classes grew with junior high and high school populations. To this day when I think of my music teacher, I remember a kind, patient man who loved to teach kids and always encouraged us to progress in our abilities.

If you wish to learn the guitar with a class or group, check out the teacher’s ability to educate and encourage more than one student at a time.

Being Tutored

My classmate, who also played the violin, went on to become a music teacher. I remember she was receiving private lessons along with the lessons she took in school. Needless to say she far surpassed my abilities as she played both the piano and violin with equal skill. Being a typical kid, I remember being happy I didn’t have to take lessons after school. I liked playing the violin, but not that much. No doubt the commitment involved with private instruction has to be analyzed according to the student’s desire and love of the instrument. Exposing a child to an instrument can occur in a group environment and may be best for the child, so that boredom doesn’t set in.

How to Find a Teacher

  •        Word of mouth (personal recommendations)
  •         Craig’s List
  •         Classified Ads
  •         Flyers
  •         Music conservatories
  •         Music stores
  •         Online Searches

The above list provides plenty of ways to find a qualified guitar teacher. Figuring out and deciding which type of guitar instructor will best serve your needs may require an initial investment of time, but the end result makes the effort worthwhile.

Just as we remember our favorite teachers from our school days, we want to remember our guitar teachers with the same passion and fondness.


If you are going to pay for a good guitar teacher, what educational background should a teacher possess? The answer is rather subjective. All musicians can think of friends who teach who have college degrees, and those who do not.  Of course the more educated a teacher is, the more instruction he can provide. If the teacher is an intermediate player and you are just beginning, the knowledge possessed will suffice. However if you are intermediate and you want to progress you would need an advanced teacher to help you. Normally, the more educated the teacher; the more expensive the lessons will be.

Shop and Compare

When dealing with online instruction or CD sets, the Internet offers plenty of choices. Visiting guitar forum boards, searching specific teaching characteristics using your favorite search engine will deliver countless sites and packages. Once you have decided what type of teaching platform interests you, find the best teacher you can within that platform.

Your teacher will need to inspire you so that learning is fun and interesting. Whether a young guitar player or an older guitarists; just beginning or advanced, finding the right teacher is the goal you strive to obtain.

My Decision

I have decided to start my online guitar lessons from the very beginning. I have already been reminded of bad habits that have become deeply rooted in the way I hold my guitar and pick the strings. It will be interesting to re-learn some good habits.

My membership is with TG and I am free to learn any time of the day or night and I can review the same lesson as many times as I choose. I look forward to reviewing this course in its entirety as I advance with the course.

Want to join me? Click on the link and give the site a free 30 day trial.


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    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

      Good Morning PassinItAlong, I'm glad your son kept with it and I hope you click on my affiliate link and give Totally Guitars' free membership a 30 day trial.

      Paradise, I can't believe I didn't thank you for your comment 4 weeks ago. I don't often miss your replies, so please accept my belated thanks!

    • PassinItAlong profile image

      PassinItAlong 7 years ago

      Nice helpful share!

      My kid was very persistent in learning guitars even though he was having a hard time.

      I have been thinking of enrolling him in a short course.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Terrific hub for anyone thinking of guitar lessons. A must-read! Thanks, Jen.