Have you ever thought how awesome it would be to learn the guitar? Of course you have! We all have at one point or another because music is such a huge part of our lives. Being able to play a guitar would allow us to gain a deeper meaning and appreciation for music and we could jam out and play some of our favorite songs.
So what do we do?
We picked up an affordable guitar down at one of the major retailers, an amp, and some headphones (so you don’t disturb the parents) and we give it a shot. Fast forward a few weeks (maybe even just a few days) and the thing is already collecting dust.
Because learning guitar on our own is pretty dang hard. Even with all the great resources we can find online it’s still difficult to learn an instrument without some form of guidance. What we really need is someone there that can hold our hand, instruct us, and help us improve.
Choosing a guitar teacher is actually easier than it sounds. A few things to consider when scouting around for someone should include:
- Location – Obviously, you’ll want to find guitar teachers in your area because it’s such a hands-on experience. Having the teacher right there with you allows them to help you see (and feel) exactly where your hands need to be.
- Experience – No doubt you’ll want to choose an individual that shows real skill with the instrument. You don’t necessarily need to look at the years of experience – swing by and listen to how they sound. There are many professionals that have picked up a guitar and really mastered the instrument rather rapidly because it’s their passion.
- Patience – Learning a new skill takes a lot of patience and this is certainly true for instruments since it’s not just something you can pick up and go. You’re looking at a major investment in your time and energy so you’ll want to find a teacher that is going to stick with you and have that patience to keep guiding you even when you’re frustrated.
- Flexibility – Though you’ll be practicing every day you’ll still want to check with the teachers in your area and see what kind of schedule they have. You may find yourself stuck to specific days that aren’t very flexible which is no good since you miss out on the lesson. Try to find someone that isn’t overloaded with students and can cater to your needs.
- Tech-Savviness – We’re all connected through the Web and you’ll want that with your guitar teacher. What to look for is whether they are good with technology so that you may practice over Skype (such as if you can’t visit), if they have YouTube videos to show, or if they can recommend other online resources to help you really grasp the instrument.
- Formats – It’s good to find a person that gives you a wide range of learning environments so that you never get bored. Private lessons are what you’re probably used to with learning something new but group lessons are equally helpful because you’re now interacting with others that may be below, at, or above your level so there’s always something new.
- Pricing – Price is obviously going to be a factor; you don’t necessarily want someone that charges too low and you don’t want it too high. If someone is teaching at a dirt-cheap rate it’ll make you wonder how much they value their (and your) time and may mean they’re just trying to rush you through. On the flip side if it’s too much you could be in way over your head as someone just picking up a guitar (especially if you later find out it’s not for you). Ask the teacher why they chose their rate and use your judgment.
Learning a guitar would be amazing, don’t you think? If it’s been on your mind for a while maybe this is the year you pick one up. Keep these items in mind when you’re ready to find a teacher.