Finding a Guitar Teacher: 5 Things to Consider

Boy learning to play acoustic guitar. Boy is practicing acoustic guitar in his room

So, you have decided that you or your child would like basic guitar lessons, but what teacher will be the best fit?  There are many things to consider in selecting a guitar teacher, as this instrument has been utilized enormously by many styles and genres of music, and enrolling in guitar lessons can hold a different expectation between different people, depending on where the student would like to go with the instrument.  Finding the best teacher for you requires considering the student’s musical interests, level of playing, age, goals, and where the lessons will take place.  After considering these points, it will be easier to find a guitar teacher who provides the experience the student is seeking.

Student Age

Is the student a young beginner, an adult, or somewhere in between?  If the student is a young beginner, it is good to consider whether a potential teacher has previous experience working with children of the same age.  This is especially important for students starting around age 6 (or even younger), as hand strength, coordination, and reading skills are still being developed.  A guitar teacher who has worked with younger students will be able to shape the lesson curriculum in a constructive way and set appropriate expectations.
On the other hand, if the student is a teenager or adult, he or she may want to have a teacher who relates specifically to this age group and understands their musical interests.  Therefore, it is always fitting to ask if a teacher has worked with students of the same age group as you or your child.

Musical Interests

This may be one of the most important points to assess when finding a guitar teacher.  Though most guitar teachers are versatile when it comes to the styles they are comfortable playing and teaching, certain genres and studies require specialized training.  For example, an instructor who specializes in heavy metal may not be the best fit for a student who wants to focus on classical guitar repertoire (though there are always exceptions).
Start by considering what types of music the student enjoys or has an interest in.  If the student displays an interest in jazz, classical, folk, etc., that will guide your selection of a guitar teacher who has experience in the same styles.


Similar to establishing the student’s musical interest is outlining his or her general goals.  These do not need to be extremely specific, but if a student would like to learn guitar from a note-reading perspective, or just learn basic chords, it is important to communicate this to a potential teacher.  That way, the lessons can begin with a clear perspective for the teacher and student and lead to a greater sense of accomplishment.

Level of Playing

Has the student taken lessons before?  If the student is an absolute beginner, a guitar teacher who specializes in working from this baseline will be a better fit than one who only works with advanced students on refining specific stylistic techniques, like jazz improvisation.  Make sure to communicate previous playing experience with a potential teacher or lessons company, as this is another factor that helps you find the best teacher and set up the initial lesson plan.

Venue for Lessons

Are you interested in a group lessons experience, private studio lessons, or in home guitar lessons?  You may not have a preference, but if you do, this will narrow down your options.  The student may want to enroll in group lessons with friends for a fun activity they can share.  Or, potentially, there may be a music studio right around the corner from your home that is easily accessible for the student to attend once a week.  For in home lessons, the convenience in eliminating the commute and bringing music into the entire family’s household may prove to be more appealing.  This, again, is a matter of preference, but it is beneficial to consider what environment will be the best for encouraging growth in the student’s guitar study.

In Summary

Before deciding on the best guitar teacher option for you, thinking about the student’s age, musical interests, goals, previous experience, and the desired lesson format/venue are all important points to examine.  Communicating these to a potential teacher or lessons company will make the experience more rewarding and provides a better opportunity for the lessons and curriculum to meet your expectations.
For more information on in home guitar lessons, contact us, and start your lessons now!

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