Ready to Start Learning Guitar?
Learning to play the guitar can be a fun and rewarding experience, and finding the right guitar teacher is essential to ensure you get the most out of your lessons. A good guitar teacher can help you develop the right skills and techniques needed to become a confident and competent player — while also providing guidance and encouragement along the way.
To help you find the best guitar teacher for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask potential teachers, as well as some tips on finding guitar teachers in your area. Each question we suggest includes possible answers that can help you — and a few Red Flags that a teacher may not be for you. So grab your favorite guitar (or air guitar, we don’t judge) and let’s get started!
Questions to Ask a Guitar Teacher
NUMBER 1: How long have you been teaching?
A teacher with years of experience may be better equipped to help you develop your skills and overcome challenges. However, a newer teacher who is passionate and knowledgeable may also be a great choice. A teacher who has been teaching for a long time but doesn’t seem interested in the kind of music you want could be a red flag.
NUMBER 2: What’s your teaching style? Are you more of a laid-back strummer or a strict drill sergeant?
Different students have different learning styles, so it’s important to find a teacher whose style matches yours. If you prefer a more relaxed approach, look for a teacher who emphasizes creativity and exploration. If you prefer a more structured approach, look for a teacher who emphasizes technique and discipline.
A teacher who insists on only one teaching style and doesn’t take your preferences into account could be a red flag.
NUMBER 3: What kind of music do you specialize in? Are you a shredder or more of a folk artist or a classical guitarist?
Look for a teacher who specializes in the style of music you want to learn. If you want to play heavy metal, look for a teacher who can shred. If you want to play folk music, look for a teacher who is well-versed in fingerpicking and strumming techniques. If you want to learn Classical guitar, then find a teacher who specializes in Classical guitar.
A teacher who doesn’t have experience or interest in the style of music you want to learn could indicate your training money should go somewhere else.
NUMBER 4: Do you believe in learning music theory, or do you think it’s not important?
Consider a teacher who values music theory and can explain it in a way that’s easy to understand. Learning music theory can help you become a more well-rounded musician and improve your songwriting and improvisation skills. A teacher who dismisses music theory entirely, or feels it’s unimportant could be a red flag.
NUMBER 5: How do you structure your lessons? Will we be working on technique, learning songs, or both?
Possible good answers: Look for a teacher who can balance teaching techniques with learning songs. A good teacher should tailor their lessons to your specific goals and needs. A teacher who is only interested in teaching technique or learning songs could be a bad student-teacher fit.
NUMBER 6: What kind of practice do you expect from your students? Are we talking a few minutes a day or an all-day guitar jam session?
Look for a teacher who encourages you to practice regularly and provides guidance on how to make the most of your practice time. Your practice time should be daily, and at least as long as your lesson time with the teacher. Practice is essential to improving your skills and developing good habits. A teacher who doesn’t seem to care about your practice habits, or suggests that practice isn’t important, is a red flag.
NUMBER 7: Can you provide references from current or past students?
Look for a teacher who has a track record of success and positive reviews from past and current students. A teacher who can’t provide any references or has negative reviews from past or current students could be a red flag.
NUMBER 8: Do you offer any performance opportunities for students? Are we talking local gigs or full-on arena concerts?
Look for a teacher who provides performance opportunities or recitals that fit your goals and comfort level. A good teacher should offer opportunities to perform in front of peers and other audiences, which can help you build confidence and hone your stage presence.
A teacher who doesn’t offer performance opportunities or doesn’t seem interested in helping you develop your stage skills will stunt your growth.
NUMBER 9: What’s your cancellation policy?
A teacher who has a clear cancellation policy that’s fair and reasonable will help you plan when things go sour. Life happens, so it’s important to find a teacher who understands that. A teacher who has a strict cancellation policy that doesn’t allow for any flexibility or is unreasonable could be a red flag if your schedule is sometimes chaotic.
NUMBER 10: And last but not least, how much will all of this awesome teaching cost me?
You want a teacher you can stick with long-term. Find a teacher who charges a fair rate that fits your budget. A good teacher should be upfront about their rates and any additional costs associated with lessons. A teacher who charges exorbitant rates or tries to upsell you on unnecessary extras could lead to you quitting based on budget, causing a disruption to your learning and growth.
Tips: How to Find Guitar Teachers
Finding a guitar teacher can be as simple as asking friends or family members for recommendations or doing a quick search online.
CalidoGuitars has a long-standing relationship with two exceptional guitar teachers in the Houston Area. Marc Garvin (website) is a professional guitarist and teacher that you may have seen in several of our Calido Guitar YouTube videos. Jordan Hudson (website) owns Memorial Music in Houston. They provide a wide range of music and instrument classes, including guitar.
If you’re not in the Houston, Texas area, there are several websites you can research. Type in “guitar lessons” into websites such as Thumbtack, for example. TakeLessons, and LessonRating can also be helpful in finding guitar teachers in your area. Additionally, local music stores and community centers may offer lessons or have recommendations for teachers.
Choosing the right guitar teacher is an important decision, and it’s important to find someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, and compatible with your learning style. By asking the right questions and researching options, you can find a teacher who can help you achieve your musical goals. Remember, with the right teacher and plenty of practice, you’ll be playing like a pro in no time!