Top Questions When Starting Adults Starting Guitar Lessons
This article details some of the top questions adults have in getting started with guitar lessons as complete beginners and provides answers that reveal just how easy the process can be!
As adults, we often have an interest in picking up a new hobby or revisiting a past interest that may have never come to fruition throughout childhood. As the director of Lessons In Your Home, D.C. and Baltimore, I can tell you that many of the students who work with us are adult beginners, and lessons are a great success and past-time at any age. However, it wasn’t until a couple of friends let me know they had an interest in starting guitar lessons that I really picked up on the questions and concerns adult students may have before even approaching the idea of finding a teacher. They are now well on their way to getting started, but adult beginners who are considering guitar study can benefit from having a few of the initial questions answered.
Question: Can I even learn guitar now as an adult?
Answer: The answer is absolutely! The great thing about music is that students can start at any age and enjoy the process of learning an instrument. I like to consider music lessons a giant puzzle that is worked on each week. You put the pieces together (i.e. note reading, technique, etc.) as you learn them, and you have solved a song. Then, you get to advance to a more difficult “puzzle” in the form of another exercise or song that applies what you have learned and adds on.
Also, adult students should not doubt their level of musical comprehension. With step by step instructions, it doesn’t matter how old you are, and adults have the benefit of being able to read and re-read tips in method books and from their teachers to hone a technique or skill. In many ways, the added comprehension of being an adult benefits you in guitar lessons.
Question: I’m not trying to be a pro here—I just want to do this for fun. Is it okay if I just want to learn some chords for fun?
Answer: Yes, and it’s great to be clear on goals with your teacher. Guitar lessons are progressive, meaning that you may not start with chords, because more details about how the instrument works are needed first; but if it’s a goal to just learn chords or simple songs to sing along, teachers can focus the lessons to concentrate on this after some initial groundwork is established.
Question: So how long is it going to take me to learn guitar?
Answer: Even though this is kind of a loaded question that can be answered a bunch of ways, it’s still one I hear very frequently, so I know it is a major concern for adult guitar students. A lot depends on how much time you have to practice and work at the instrument, but even within 3 months, you should be able to work through simple melodies and chords and start to build fluency. However, by the end of lesson 1, you’ll have exercises to get you started on your first song. An important thing to remember is that learning an instrument is a process, and you can keep honing your skills to strengthen your playing ability as much as you like! It’s a rewarding endeavor at any stage, and who knows? After you reach your first goal of learning simple chords, you may unlock an interest to keep going and learn more.
Question: What if I don’t have time to practice all the time—some weeks get really busy with work?
Answer: As adults, we do have much more on our plate than younger beginners. Inversely, younger beginners have a lot on their plate as well with school, homework, and other extra-curricular activities. The reality is that everyone has weeks that aren’t as productive on the practice side, no matter what age they are. The great thing about lessons is that they are consistent, so even in weeks where you don’t have a lot of time to practice outside of the lesson, working with an instructor will keep you going, and you’ll at least have assisted practice time with them that week. If you make it a point to practice when you can, you’ll still see real results, even if some weeks are easier than others to hit your practice goal.
Question: Okay, so now what do I do now that I have decided to take lessons? Buy a guitar? Find a teacher?
Answer: These two steps can be done almost simultaneously and interchangeably. If you are concerned about what type of guitar (electric or acoustic) is best for you, you may want to find a teacher first by searching online or finding one through a music store. They can help in directing you to good resources to purchase an instrument and can help you decide what route to go. If you would like to get the guitar first, though, go ahead if you know what you want! Getting the instrument will provide motivation to get started, and you can find great deals at local stores or online. For beginner guitar students, I always recommend getting a budget-conservative option from Guitar Center, as they have acoustic guitars starting around $100 that are great beginner instruments.
Enjoy The Process
Starting guitar lessons as an adult can present a lot of questions when you have an interest but are not sure how to approach the task at hand. A lot of questions from adults are much different than those parents have for children starting the instrument, and with a little guidance, you will find that it’s really not a difficult undertaking at any age. The joy of learning an instrument is universal, so if you are thinking about getting started but don’t know how, no worries! Use our guide to answer some of your preliminary questions and enjoy the process of becoming a musician!