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How to Choose a Private Guitar Teacher

Updated on April 5, 2011

Private guitar lessons

So you just got your first guitar and your ready to learn. Where do you start? Should you start by teaching yourself, or taking lessons?

There are definitely pro's and cons to both options. The thing with guitar lessons, and especially private guitar lessons is that you never know what you are going to get out of it. You could have an amazing guitar player for a teacher, but he doesn't really teach you how to play the guitar so well. Like wise you could have a really bad guitar player, that just knows a lot about playing the guitar and can teach that really well.

When choosing a guitar teacher for private guitar lessons, or even just music lessons in general, it is important to consider getting to know the teacher early on. I want to show you three things to keep an eye out for when choosing a guitar teacher, or music instructor.

Can he play the guitar?

The first thing you should do with a new guitar teacher is to let him display his skills to you. This is his time to "sell himself" He is offering a service, and you need to make sure it is a good one. Have the guitar teacher show you his knowledge of scales, runs, speed drills, techniques, and rhythms.

It is important that the guitar teacher can display these certain skill sets effectively to you so that you know where his level of playing is as well.

Scales: Can the guitar instructor play for you the major, minor, and other melodic and harmonic scales? Make sure that he can.

Runs: can the guitar teacher play different riffs on different areas of the neck of the guitar? This is important if you want to learn to play blues, jazz, or rock music.

Speed drills: Can he play the same riffs over and over at faster speeds to a metronome? Make sure he's keeping beat with a metronome. Those are important in learning and developing your skills.

Techniques: can he palm mute, pinch, sweep, hammer on/off, slide, etc? If you need to know what each of those are, you can easily look it up online.

lastly, rhythms: can he play chord progressions and lead guitar, in different rhythms? Make sure he can play in different time signatures as well.

Can he teach the guitar?

Your guitar teacher needs to be able to effectively relay the message of playing guitar to you. He can be the best guitar player in the world, but it won't mean much if he can't communicate that to you and enable you to be able to learn from that. Pay attention in your first lesson to how he words what he's trying to explain. Is he attentive to your questions? Have you told him a way it is easy for you to learn and him not take that to his advantage? These are things you need to watch out for. It's your hour of learning, don't pay him to ramble on and on about the same things, or worse yet, brag about just how good he and how much you need him. You need a guitar teacher that will believe in you, and watch out for you.

lastly, how is his character?

Your guitar teacher needs to be dependable and a stand up guy. I don't want you taking lessons from someone how is just going to rip you off, or leave you frustrated by showing up late all the time. Watch out for these bad qualities in a guitar teacher.

1. shows up late all the time.

2. answers personal calls on your time.

3. over charges for lessons that seem mediocre

4. doesn't respect you or your learning curve.

5. Thinks his way is the best way and all else comes up short.

6. Thinks you won't find a better teacher.

7. Doesn't take time to listen to your questions.

8. Always cancelling lessons.

Those are definitely some bad behaviors that you should watch out for. There are plenty of guitar teachers out there that are dying to teach you how to play amazingly. Don't pass up that opportunity for a scum bag that could care less.


Thanks for reading and I hope you got something out of this. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

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